What is a Realistic Weight Loss Goal?
Weight Loss
June 14, 2023
How to set a Realistic Weight Loss Goal

It might seem a bit strange to take a step back and ask yourself if you’re setting a realistic weight loss goal for yourself, but it’s an important step to be sure you keep yourself on a healthy track toward an achievable target.

What Exactly is a Realistic Weight Loss Goal?

Though setting a realistic weight loss goal might seem like something obvious, it’s one of the first places most people will make mistakes that will progress to other parts of the bodyweight control strategy until they finally lead to a failure. 

Overall, there are three primary areas where we can steer ourselves off course by failing to identify and establish a realistic weight loss goal for ourselves.

  1. We set targets that are too difficult and can’t be achieved, particularly over time.
  2. We set targets that are not challenging enough, make little to no measurable early progress and lose motivation because the results just aren’t happening.
  3. We don’t set any targets at all, making it very difficult to understand any progress that does happen.

What Should You Be Aiming For?

Thought it might seem pretty obvious to say that what you’re aiming for when you set a realistic weight loss goal is health, that really is the case. There is no single target that is appropriate for everyone. We all have our own starting points, lifestyles, body types, preferences, fitness levels, and challenges that we face. These all play a central role in deciding where we want to be, how fast we should get there, and how we should do it.

That said, as a general rule of thumb, most doctors typically advise that a good realistic weight loss goal is for an average of 1 to 2 pounds per week (or 0.5 to 1 kilogram). To do this, you’ll need to burn about 500 to 1,000 more calories than you eat each day. At its most basic level, this is accomplished by making changes to what you eat and by bumping up your regular physical activity level. 

That said, as anyone who has tried this will tell you, there are many other factors that can play a role in making things easier. These mainly include making a priority of improving your sleep quality, working on your stress levels, and choosing the right weight management pill to support the efforts you’re making to reach your target.

You Can Adjust a Realistic Weight Loss Goal Along the Way

Another mistake many people make early on is in deciding on a realistic weight loss goal for themselves and mentally carving it in stone.  Yes, an average of 1 to 2 pounds of weekly bodyweight reduction is typically recommended. However, keep in mind that “average” is the salient term here. There will be times when you lose 3 pounds per week, times you lose 2 pounds, 1 pound or even nothing. It might even look like your weight climbed by a pound. The key is that by the end of the month or the quarter, you’re down by an average of 1 to 2 pounds per week. This will allow you to understand that your body is still headed in the direction you want at the rate you want, but that there will be times when you’re experiencing more water retention than usual, that you were more active on a given week, or that you were hit with a massive deadline that kept you out of the gym for three days straight.

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