Many of my clients come to me for help with a weight loss goal. One question I get often is, "How much weight should I try to lose during my 6 month program?" This reminds me that there is an overarching question in our American society where over half of the population is overweight. How does one set a weight loss goal, period? This is a question worth exploring.
First you must determine if you are overweight. Most people know whether or not they fit into this category. However, some may think they are of normal weight when classifiably, their body is carrying around more weight than is healthy for their frame. Your doctor, health resources provided by your medical coverage, or a Health Coach are great people and places to consult with this question. If you've determined that you are indeed overweight, your next step is to calculate the total amount you need to lose to bring yourself back into the healthy range.
Once an amount is determined, it is important to set a time frame for yourself. For those who find themselves in the obese category, time is of the essence since even as a weight loss goal is slowly accomplished, the individual must continue to carry around the weight for some time. The longer an obese body functions with extra weight, the more health risks increase. With that in mind, if this describes you presently, you simply must consult (again) a doctor or Health Coach to help determine for yourself an acceptable time frame. Whether or not your goal is a big number like the example here, it is of utmost importance that you next set smaller goals for yourself, broken down into a number of months.
I'll provide a very simple "for instance" here: if an individual finds after meeting with his or her Health Coach that 50 pounds must be lost to get back into the healthy zone, a reasonable time frame for this goal (if no urgent health concerns or diseases exist that require weight loss sooner) would be a year. This accounts for about 5 pounds of weight loss per month with about 2 months of maintenance built into the goal. Over the course of a year, a lot can happen in one's life that would threaten to distract from the health goal. Giving oneself a year to lose 50 pounds (if that's how much there is to lose) is a great example of a reasonable, yet determined goal.
The most important thing to remember when determining your weight loss goal is that everyone has unique needs, obstacles, and tolerances around weight loss. Just as there is no one-size-fits-all diet, there is no single timeline for weight loss that will work for the masses. You must keep perspective in mind: that you are purposing to work on this goal for your health and quality of life, so that you may live the life you were intended to in fullness and without physical hinderances.
Are you working on a weight loss goal? What time frame did you set for yourself? What has been your biggest challenge in sticking to that time frame? Start a conversation here in the comments or reach out to me! I'd love to hear from you.