Monday, November 2, 2015

Goal Setting: Setting your weight loss plans up for success

Weight loss goals can determine how successful you will be at achieving your target. Well thought through goals help us keep motivation levels high and keep us realistic. They provide a plan for change as you transition into a healthy lifestyle.
Be smart around setting goals, unrealistic and aggressive goals can lead to frustration and eventually failure. Here are a few tips which can help you plan realistic and attainable goals. 

Focus on the process: We always know what we want to look like or how many kgs we want to loose, for example we know we want to loose 10 kgs but have we ever thought of how we are going to achieve that! Therefore, we must focus on the process of achieving our target; whatever it is – workout, cutting sugar, reducing calories, we much focus on the process and stick to it.

Set a realistic timeline: Focus on losing 2-3 kgs per month. A lot of us look for fast track options, we want to loose weight as quickly as possible. Remember, the faster you loose the weight, the higher the probability of it coming back as fast. Slow and steady weight loss that is long through a well balanced diet and exercise is always sustainable.

Plan your strategy: You know what you are going to do. Saying that you will exercise is a good but slightly unrealistic thought. However, knowing that I will start by running for 30 minutes every day or weight training or yoga for an hour everyday will help you stay focused and you will know what to look forward to. Simultaneously, if you plan to follow a particular diet, plan your meals ahead of time and if need be prepare and store for the next meal so that when hunger strikes you always have a healthy option available and don’t reach out for the nearest junk food.

Measure: Track your progress. Measure yourself before you get into a fitness regimen and keep a track. Your clothes will keep talking to you. Seeing steady changes really help boost confidence especially when you realize your old jeans fit you now J. Don’t trust the weight scale too much. The weighing scale can sometimes be very misleading and de-motivating. Our weight can differ on a single day basis what we eat for dinner, bloating, menstrual cycle, alcohol consumption, etc. Therefore, a more accurate and trustworthy tool to gauge success of your fitness regimen is measuring inches. Checking weight is important too, but not every day. Once per week or 10 days is good enough. Make sure your weight graph is moving in direction of the goal, THAT’S IT!

Be Accountable: Maintain a diary to track your food intake and exercise daily. This will help you stay honest and would help you understand what is working and where you have gone wrong.
Trust the process and stay happy. A lot of times we don’t see the results we want to see. You are exercising well, eating well and still no change. This can be attributed to stress. Stress causes water retention and severe bloating. It is very important to have faith and patience in what we are doing and stop hyperventilating if one odd week the scale doesn’t move.
Bottom line, remember we are dealing with a human body. Our achievement depends a lot on our genetics and how much we give to the process. Any sustainable program takes time, so don’t loose hope and give up. Instead wake up and help yourself achieve your goal and trust me it WILL HAPPEN!

Radhika Bhatia
Masters in Dietetics, ACE Certified Fitness Coach (ongoing)
Radhika Bhatia is a Freelance Nutritionist and Lifestyle 
Consultant. A Masters in Dietetics from Pune University Radhika spent 5+ years driving nutrition charter in Nestle and PepsiCo. Besides promoting clean eating and healthy lifestyle, Radhika is a competitive Fitness athlete and is currently pursuing her ACE Fitness Coach certification.

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