It has been a while since I wrote the Part 1. I hope that those of you who have successfully gone through the milestones that I mentioned in Part 1 have lost some extra weight and are now ready to join the weight loss journey again for more achievements.
We know that rapid weight loss can be quite unhealthy. Please read “Fasting, The Shortcut to a Slimmer Body?“, therefore gradual and consistent planned weight loss is considered healthier and more sustainable.
We will focus on GOAL SETTING in this article.
Setting weight loss goals is an important part of the journey. An acceptable weight loss is 1-2 pounds (about half to 1kg) per week. To know how long it is going to take you to lose the unwanted weight, you will need a weight target, which is your final goal weight. However, small goals should be made to make your effort and results more noticeable, to reassure and to encourage you to continue.
Let me use a scenario to show you how to set goals effectively.
The scenario: John Doe weighs 95kg and is 170cm tall. His BMI is 32.9 (severely obese). John’s ideal body weight (BMI<22.9) should be 66kg; however, this is impossible for John to achieve in a foreseeable time frame, as it is over 30% of his body weight that he needs to lose.
According to the dietitian’s assessment, John’s healthy weight is adjusted to be 73kg; therefore, he needs to lose 22kg of body weight. If John loses half kilo a week, it is going to take him 44 weeks to get to this target. To keep him motivated and make his goal more achievable and measurable, small goals should be set before the final target weight can be reached. Working with the dietitian, John Doe set his goals as follows:
- 90kg: To lose 5% of body weight (i.e. about 5kg) in 6 weeks.
- 84kg: To lose 7% of body weight (i.e. about 6kg) in 6 weeks.
- 76kg: to lose 10% of body weight (i.e. about 8kg) in 12 weeks.
- 73kg: to lose 3 kg in 1 month.
The rationales behind setting the above goals are:
- Weight loss at the very beginning can be fast as John is most motivated.
- Weight loss can become not as significant as John is capable of doing more exercise and gaining some muscle while still losing fat.
- Weight loss can be easily maintained if healthy eating and regular exercises are consistent.
Once you reach your target weight, don’t forget “maintenance” is needed to keep the weight off for life. If you reach a weight plateau before you reach your target weight,work with a dietitian or a personal trainer to fine tune your diet/exercise to stimulate further weight loss. However, sometimes a higher than perceived ideal body weight can be your actual healthy weight!