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21 Feb

Goal Weights: What Are They and Why Do I Need One?

Your goal weight is the target you are aiming at. It is also, for about half of dieters, a place that is forever in the future. For those who keep up the struggle and achieve their goal weight, it is the point at which celebration takes place, and a return to normal eating, which very quickly puts that goal weight back in the past.

The goal weight is important. It lets you know where you are aiming and when you get there. These are good things. Using arrival at this goal as a signal to return to normal eating; that’s a bad thing.

The goal weight needs to be attainable and maintainable.

It also needs to be thought about, rather than a number you just pick out of the air.

I have had many clients sitting in my consulting room, carrying anything up to 7st (100lbs ish) excess weight, deciding that their goal weight is what they weighed at 16 when they were sylph-like and hadn’t yet discovered the joy of over-eating to solve a whole stack of emotional problems.

The goal weight needs to be realistic.

Targets that are attainable with just a little effort, create huge internal rewards. There is nothing like success at something that was at least a little challenging to make you feel really good about yourself. It also sets you up with an increased chance of success with the next target. So if you need to lose 7st (100lbs) then do it in 1st (14lb) steps. Or even 7lb steps.

The goal weight does not need to be your final weight.

The goal weight is really just a tool – something to help you get where you want to go. One of the big problems, if you are very overweight, is that the job of returning to a normal weight is really difficult. There is no other way of looking at it. It is no use kidding yourself it will be easy. You can’t undo years of food abuse in a couple of weeks. There isn’t a pill you can take that will let you off the personal responsibility hook.

Acknowledge that the weight is there because you eat too much and exercise too little.

It’s no big deal. But taking responsibility means you can own the results and the successes that will come your way. So think sensibly about the weight you are aiming for. Bear in mind also that this is just a number you are picking influenced by the weight of all the people around you who are a healthy weight. They are not you. It does not matter what other people weigh. What you probably want is to be a specific shape, or clothes size, (again influenced by the opinions of others) and are guessing the weight that matches that vision of the future you. That’s ok as long as you understand what you are doing.

But bear in mind that fat and muscle have different densities and you can be shapely with lots of muscle or blobby with lots of fat and be exactly the same weight. So choose your goal weight wisely.

If you need to lose a lot of weight then set an easily reached goal initially like 1st or maybe 10lbs to give yourself a taste of success. Learn to maintain that lighter weight for a couple of months before moving on to the next step of losing a little more. The key to successful weight loss is not losing the weight – it’s keeping it off.

If  you want to know a little more about how easy it is to keep that weight off once you have lost it then check out my book How to Lose Weight Easily and Free Yourself form Diets Forever.

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