Weight Loss Goals

Thinking about setting a weight loss goal?   That’s great, do it!   Really!
I won’t pretend I’m an expert, but I do know this: Weight loss isn’t that complicated. That doesn’t mean it’s easy to accomplish, just not hard to understand.

The simple formula, and you know it’s true, is:

  • When we consume fewer calories than we burn, we lose weight.
    (Calories in – calories burned = gain/loss)
  • The more we move our bodies, the more calories we burn and the faster our metabolism runs

Weight Loss, Eating and Physical Activity

The problem is that when we restrict calories too much, we end up getting really hungry, and that never works for long. If you are able to calculate calories to determine what your daily requirements are, that’s a good start. I know I try to monitor how many calories I consume each day, I’ve learned that I just can’t trust when I think I’m hungry. It happens to me daily that I’ll think I’m getting hungry, and if I wait 30 minutes it will sometimes pass. That usually happens if I just ate something sweet or a simple carbohydrate.

An easier wayGood nutrition to deal with that, if you don’t want spend time calculating calories all the time, and eating the same thing (I do that alot!), is to subscribe to a service like eDiets.com or another company that prepared the means in advance so that if you just eat what they provide, you’ll meet your calorie requirements. Take the guess work and ERROR, out of it.

Another site that I think is great is My Fitness Pal. It’s free, and it’s an online tool that determines what your daily calorie intake should be to reach whatever goal you have, and give you a place to record and track everything you eat so you’ve got an honest picture of what your nutrition intake is. Here’s a picture of a recent daily update for me:

Fitness goal software

The Formula

Like most things, I think sometimes we overthink weight loss looking for shortcuts and loopholes, but this formula always works. Doing the work to calculate calories takes some attention, focus and energy … but what worthwhile goal doesn’t? (weight loss goal calculator)

calculate calories

We can slice and dice it a million ways, but the formula doesn’t change. Ever watch Dancing with the Stars? The celebrities who are able to stay on the show 6 weeks or more ALWAYS end up losing weight, because all of a sudden they are getting regular exercise, i.e. they are moving again, burning more calories than they are taking in.

I know we’re not going on Dancing with the Stars any time soon, but it helps illustrate the point. Move more + eat less/better = lose weight.

You can achieve this goal!

Ways To Reach Your Weight Loss Goals

The good news is we don’t have to go to those extremes. There are plenty of great programs to help you get a handle on the nutrition and calorie consumption chores, and they all work if you follow them.

Exercise doesn’t have to be a marathon. Just start moving more, and taking a daily walk is a great place to start. If you live in a major metropolitan city in the US and want to get serious, there’s an affordable 24 Hour Fitness gym somewhere nearby. For me, getting in an atmosphere of exercise, doing the work and making progress is a good motivator, too.

My Suggestion

Here’s my simple suggestion to achieve your weight loss goal: No shortcuts! Adopt a reasonable, nutritionally sound eating plan, match that to a commitment to start increasing your activity a little each day, and voile’, 6 months from now you’ll lose weight AND you’ll be on a life journey that will succeed. Think long term, not “3 weeks” (see #10 here).

Let’s start with the simple, widely-agreed facts about weight loss:

  • To lose weight we have to consume fewer calories than we burn each day
  • Not all calories are the same. 100 calories of bread and sweets is definitely not the same as 100 calories of steamed vegetables or lean protein.
  • You can’t lose weight starving yourself – EVER. Just doesn’t work.
  • Intelligent, sustained weight loss involves lifestyle changes, not diets.
  • Weight loss has 2 components:
  • Proper nutrition
  • Exercise, which basically means moving our bodies more
  • I’ve never talked to a personal trainer, nutritionist or doctor who disagreed with these basic propositions. The trick is how to we implement or follow them.

    Weight Loss Goals

    A weight loss goal is a “process goal”, or something that you do, or don’t do, on a consistent basis. The steps of the Action Plan still apply though, starting with a clear, specific, measurable goal and reasonable, but challenging, target dates to reach it.

    The right plan is one that works, but that’s not always easy to come up with. In the area of weight loss though, there is so much science, so many examples that we know what the plan should look like.