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Setting realistic weight loss and fitness goals


 

Often when losing weight, we want it to be over in a minute. We all know that it’s not realistic, but we keep reaching for that quick fix. It’s time to realize that it’s often a long haul to lose weight and to keep it off. Realistic and best way to lose weight and fitness goals give us the start we need.

Instead of choosing to think that you can lose weight at a rate of 10 pounds in a week as those quick weight loss ads tell you, do some research and educate yourself about weight loss and fitness.

Here are the basics:

1. A pound equals 3,500 calories. That means to lose a pound you have to eat 3,500 calories less than your body needs for fuel. Since most people only eat a couple of thousand calories in a day, it’s impossible to say that you’ll lose a pound or more per day. By way of example, if you restricted your diet by 500 calories per day, in seven days you would lose one pound.

2. When you first start losing weight, you do lose a certain amount of water weight that will come back once you stop restricting your diet. It’s always nice to see that quick weight loss of three or four pounds when you first start a diet. Usually it’s not loss of fat, however, but loss of water from eating fewer carbohydrates. Those water-weight pounds will come back quickly when you start eating a normal diet again.

3. So, what is the weight loss answer? It’s to reduce your calories slightly and be realistic about how much you can lose within a certain amount of time and keep off. You may not be happy about the pound a week example, but setting realistic goals is an important part of permanent weight loss. If you lose a pound a week, you’ll lose 52 pounds in a year. Would you rather lose 52 pounds in two months and gain it right back or lose 52 pounds in a year and keep it off? Logically, we would pick the 52 and keep it off, but when we’re setting weight loss goals, speed often gets the best of us.

4. Fitness goals work the same way. We think that after months or years of sitting around we can get fit in a week. So the first day out, we run instead of walk and we pull a muscle. To set fitness goals, it’s important to assess where you are fitness-wise right now and determine where you want to go. Make a list of incremental steps to reach that goal and start out slowly. Each day or each week increase the length of your walk until you feel you can run part of the way, and then convert those walked miles into miles that you run. The same works for strength training or for floor exercises. Be realistic and you’ll last longer and maintain fitness over time.

Setting realistic weight loss and fitness goals boils down to determining where you are right now and where you want to be. Divide that large goal into manageable objectives and keep track of your progress in a weight loss and fitness journal.

Above all else, don’t think of your weight loss and fitness regime as a program that will be over one day. It works best if you make it a lifetime lifestyle change.

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