Set Realistic Goals For Weight Loss Success

When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s helpful to set goals so that you can monitor your progress and stay motivated. But it’s also important that you make sure your goals and expectations are realistic. Having unrealistic expectations of your weight loss plan could prevent you from achieving long-term success.

For most people, losing one to two pounds per week is a healthy rate of weight loss. However, you may find yourself hoping for faster results and trying to work harder (or eat less) in order to lose weight more quickly. The problem with this approach is that you could jeopardize your health—drastic weight loss can result in dehydration and other problems, and set yourself up for failure. Sticking with a drastic weight loss plan for a long period of time is difficult. Once you give up your extreme diet, you’ll probably regain any weight you lost, if not more.

If you have unrealistic expectations about how much weight you should be losing, you may become easily discouraged by slower progress. Instead of celebrating losing one or two pounds and being motivated to keep going, you might be tempted to give up if you feel like your efforts “aren’t working.”

Set a goal to lose one to two pounds per week until you’ve lost about 10% of your body weight. Once you’ve lost 10% of your body weight, your body will generally experience a plateau for a while as your metabolism adjusts to your new size and calorie needs. These slow downs are normal and preparing yourself to work through them will increase your chances of long-term weight loss success.