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Successful Dieting: How to Set Long Term Weight Loss Goals

When it comes to losing weight, one of the keys to success is setting weight loss goals. One important part of this goal setting plan is to set long-term goals. Here are some essential steps to setting the goals that will put your perfect weight loss plan in motion.

Setting Realistic Goals

It's extremely important to be realistic in setting long-term goals. Although your long-term weight loss goal can be whatever you desire, where you place the goal achievement date can be problematic. When setting an ultimate goal, don't expect to lose more than a pound per week. Although you will sometimes lose more than a pound per week, you will also have standstill phases of your diet, where you don't lose any weight for a few weeks. Because of this, you want to set the goal of one pound of weight loss per week. Therefore, if you have 100 pounds to lose, you want to set your goal at the two-year mark. Although that may seem like a long time, time goes by quickly when you are on a pleasant program. With slow weight loss, you can still enjoy your favorite foods, simply in lesser quantities.

Focus on Fat Loss, Not a Scale Number

Set a goal for how many inches you lose as well as how many pounds you are going to lose. This can help you be more clear on the fact that fat loss is the goal, not simply weight loss. Consider weighing yourself only once every two weeks or once per month. It's easy to get obsessed with the scale, and it's even easier to get discouraged if it doesn't appear that you've lost any weight for the week. Yet, frequent weighing can be deceptive. If you are working out, you'll likely gain muscle weight, but that's a good thing. Muscle burns more calories, meaning that you can eat more and lose weight. Focusing on the long-term goal of fat loss can set you in the right frame of mind to not obsess with the scale.

If you don't know how many inches is the ideal measurement for yourself, you may thumb through catalogs to see what the best size you think that you could realistically achieve and maintain. Catalogs have charts that reveal the inches for each different size, and it provides measurements for your bust, stomach and hips. Take all of these measurements. Measure yourself once a month to see how you are progressing to your long term inch-losing goals.

Health Goals

You also want to set long-term goals for your health. For instance, if you have high cholesterol, set a long-term goal for the range that you aim to achieve and keep. You may also do this for any other health concerns that you have. You will also want to set your goal number on the BMI chart; although that chart is highly questionable, it's still widely used and can be another self-indicator to how far you've come. If you go to a gym, also record things such as your body fat percentage. Setting a long-term goal for how much of your body fat percentage you'd like to drop can be a great motivator as well.

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