Setting reasonable and achievable goals

Wednesday, May 13, 2009
If you start out with an expectation of permanent perfection or with a weight-loss goal that is too high, you are likely to be disappointed. At the beginning of a study done at the University of Pennsylvania, participants were asked how they would feel about losing the amount of weight that the researchers could predict would be the likely result. Participants said that they would be disappointed. To be satisfied or “happy” about their weight loss, the participants said that the amount would have to be substantially more. Being dissatisfied with a realistic weight loss is counterproductive.

So what is a realistic goal? Successful weight loss is typically losing about 10% of body weight in six months. More rapid or dramatic loss is possible, but it is the exception, not the rule. For sustainable weight loss, changes should be made in a stepwise, realistic, achievable way.