Goal Setting

Goal Setting

Goal Setting

In last week’s article I talked about detox diets and the false economy of using them for weight loss. In short, the effects of these extreme diets are temporary and once you go back to old habits, it’s likely that any weight that you may have lost will be regained.

How should you go about becoming a healthy weight?

Firstly we start by setting some goals.

“I want to tone up!”

This is a popular goal with my female clients.

We all have fat and muscle in our bodies. However, an excess of subcutaneous fat (just below our skin) will obscure any muscle that may be lying underneath. ‘Toning up” is simply making those muscles more prominent. For this to happen there needs to be a decrease in overall body fat level. These muscles also need to be trained, but I’ll talk about that at a later date.

So as a goal, “toning up” is not a bad start, we have an idea of what you are trying to achieve but we need to examine this in more detail in order to succeed.

SMART goals

SMART

Goals need to be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic & (have a) Timeframe.

Specific

Instead of ‘toning up’ we would need a more specific goal. Is there an ideal weight you would like to be? Instead of setting a vague goal of ‘losing weight’ or ‘toning up’ set a specific overall goal such as to lose a stone, drop 3 cm off your waistline or walk for 30 minutes every day after work.

Measurable

Chose a goal with measureable progress. This will also allow you to break down your goal into several short-term goals. The goal of ‘losing weight’ is not measurable whereas losing a stone is measurable. If you lose a stone, the goal is accomplished and this is a success.

Achievable

An individual who is obese, does little to no exercise and does not have a healthy diet should not expect to run a marathon within 1 month of starting a training programme. Likewise attempting to lose 1 stone in a few days in not achievable nor is it a healthy. Setting a goal to lose 1 pound by this day next week is a better approach, and once you achieve that goal set the same for the following week. Consistently achieving these smaller goals will ensure you maintain momentum towards meeting your overall goal.

Realistic

Your goal must be realistic, meaning that it can be done. A goal of never again eating chocolate, sweets, and biscuits may not be realistic for you if you really like these foods. It may be better to start by setting a goal of gradually reducing your intake of sweet products over time, avoiding it during the week and having a ‘cheat’ day on the weekend.

Timeframe

Set a time frame for the goal, for example, next week, 3 months or 1 year. This will give you a clear target to work towards and make you more accountable.

So think about what you would like to achieve over the coming weeks and months. Write your goals down.

Are they SMART?

I’ll take this further in the next article.

More Information

Book An Appointment

Or contact the clinic for details

Liam Leech, BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science, MSc. ANutr.

Liam Leech

BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science, MSc. ANutr.

 

 

 

 

 

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