Diet-to-Go Blog
  1. Lose Weight! From Goals to Success in 4 Steps

    4 Steps to Weight-loss Success

    We all have different reasons for wanting to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle, but we all have one thing in common. Whether we are looking to lose a little or a lot, to get ready for an event or to maintain a life-long healthy diet, setting proper goals is essential to our success.

    Without proper goals (and the tools to stick to them) we’ll never get where we want. Have you set a SMART weight-loss goal? And are you documenting your progress to stay on track? Here’s how to get started:

    Step One: Set SMART Goals

    A solid weight loss plan involves more than just resolving to skip dessert. “Weight management should address nutrition, fitness and emotional habits,” says Naturopathic doctor, Daemon Jones

    Make sure your weight-loss goals are SMART:

    Specific: When will you start? What will you focus on? How will you do it?

    Measurable: How often will you do this? How much will you do? What will you track and how?

    Action-oriented: What eating or behavior will you change? What is your fitness routine?

    Realistic: Can you complete this goal? Be honest! Setting small goals makes it easy to track your progress.

    Time-framed: How long will it take you to reach your goal? What are your milestones?

    Let’s give it a try!

    “Be more active” is not specific, action-oriented or measureable. Hmmm

    “Walk five miles every day” is specific, action-oriented and measureable but if you are just starting out, this may be too ambitious. (It’s not realistic.)

    “Walk 30 minutes EVERY day” is more realistic, but what will you do if you work late or there is a thunderstorm during your walk time? (It’s still not realistic.)

    “Walk 30 minutes five days each week for 4 weeks” is specific, measureable, action-oriented, realistic, and time-framed. This is a great goal!

    Tip! Don’t focus on too many things at once. Select 2-3 goals at a time.

    Step Two: Identify Barriers and Potential Set-Backs

    Barriers are anything that causes you to slip up in your goal. When you hit a barrier, it’s important to reach out for support from your family, friends, the Diet-to-Go support team, doctors, community, etc. Slip ups are normal so expect them, but identifying them now and having a plan in place for how to overcome them will help you to be more successful. 

    What has stopped you before? What could stop you in the future? Who will you reach out to and in what way when you encounter a barrier? Have a plan and you’ll find success.

    Step Three: Track Your Progress!

    Yes, you can track your weight, but there are LOTS of ways to track your progress that can be even more meaningful and motivating. Some of the following tools help you keep your eye on the prize; while others help you stay more focused and cognizant throughout your journey (both of which are scientifically proven to boost your results)! 

    Here are some fantastic ways to track your progress with tools, other than a scale:

    • Use a meal tracker app. Did you know that dieters who track their food and exercise as much as DOUBLE their weight loss compared to those who don't? Why? Because things aren’t always what they seem. Sometimes we think we’re on track and we’re off by enough to impact our progress. 
    • Take pictures! Not only does taking pictures help you really SEE your results and changes (especially when your body changes shape more than weight), but progress pictures are great motivation and positive reinforcement too!
    • Take measurements to monitor your progress. When you are eating right, and especially if you are exercising/weight-lifting too, at times the scale may stay the same or even go up as you replace fat with muscle. This is an AWESOME accomplishment and you would never know it was happening if you didn’t take measurements.
    • Try journaling! A daily diet diary is a fantastic way to not only document your journey, but also gain insight to what works and what doesn’t. Look for patterns, correlations, and triggers. Be sure to track your eating habits, activity level, and your mood each day. You’ll be amazed what you learn!
    Step Four: Reward Yourself!

    Set small rewards along the way. It’s nice to achieve a goal and some would say that is reward enough. But just imagine if you were looking forward to a relaxing massage. Planning a treat will help you look forward to reaching your goal with even greater anticipation and focus. Here are some ideas to get you started: 25 Fantastic Non-Food Rewards.

    Author: Kristen Ciuba
    Kristen is a Nutritionist at Diet-to-Go, based in Lorton, VA. She tries to “practice what she preaches” by fitting in healthy foods and cooking, challenging exercise, and quality time with family and friends every day!  


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