How to lose weight fastIf you’re like most people you started out this year with big lofty goals of losing 10, 20, 30 … pounds and told yourself this is the year I’m going to do it! Not only am I going to lose weight this year but I am going to do it fast. If I just stick to my goal I am guaranteed to drop 20 lbs in 5 minutes right? This may be an exaggeration but most people fail to reach their goals because they set them unrealistically high and expect great results in short periods of time. This is in fact the biggest mistake that people make and ultimately why people give up within the first 3 weeks of the New Year. Naturally we all start off with all the motivation in the world and fully intend on reaching our goals, however often times our expectations are so high that when we see little or no improvement this motivation is lost, frustration sets in, and we give up.


So, how can we prevent this pattern from occurring this time around? What is it that allows successful people to make the necessary changes in their lives? The answer is simple, they set S.M.A.R.T. goals. No, it doesn’t mean they are smarter than you; it’s an acronym that stands for setting goals that are Specific, Measureable, Action-based, Realistic, and Time-bound.


Goals should be specific and well defined, with clear actions to be taken. Often times we set goals that are open ended or we say I wish I could lose weight but this is far too vague and rarely sets us in motion towards our goals.


How to achieve your weight loss goals

Goals should be objective and measurable so that you know when they have been achieved. Going back to our example of simply stating I want to lose weight, again we see there is nothing to compare it against to see if we have reached our goal or not. Without anything to measure against we make it easy on ourselves to let our goals fade away.


Each goal needs to have specific actions that will be carried out to reach your goals. For example, stating I want to lose 2 lbs is a goal, not an action. An action statement would be “I will do 30 minutes of cardio and eat a healthy breakfast every day”. This is where we break our goals down into all the actions we are going to take in order to reach our goals. Every step counts along the way.


Your goals must be possible to achieve given the time and resources available. The goals you set must be attainable and reasonable given your particular age, body type, fitness level, lifestyle, schedule, and so on. This is where breaking your goals into realistic and manageable chunks comes into play.


Goals must have a deadline. If there is no time frame set, there is no sense of urgency. This is why the school system is based on tests and exams because if it wasn’t we wouldn’t have the motivation to learn all that material in a timely fashion. Making our goals time-bound is where we hold ourselves accountable on our journey towards our higher goals.


Ok, you caught me there is no R for reward in this theory but it has been my experience that if you worked hard all week and reached your goal there is no harm in treating yourself to that Only eat pizza as a reward when you reach a SMART GOALpizza you were craving all week. Now, I am not saying to go out and eat a whole pizza to yourself I am merely suggesting that you have a few slices for all your hard work and then get right back on track.

Meet John…

To better understand the SMART principle lets use the example of John who wants to lose 30 pounds this year. He has been saying this for years and is sick of his negative self-talk regarding his previous failed attempts at losing weight. This time John is SMART, he calls a certified personal trainer to help him jump start his weight loss effort. In doing so the personal trainer helps John set goals using the SMART principals. Listed below are the goals they set together in order for John to lose 30 pounds in a fun, healthy, and safe manner. Notice how the large goal of losing 30 pounds was broken down into much more realistic and less daunting weekly assignments.

Week 1 – Lose 1 pound this week by:

• Exercising for 1 hour on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
• Go for an hour long walk at a brisk pace on Tuesday and Thursday nights after dinner.
• Ensure I eat a healthy breakfast every day this week.
• Drink 8 cups of water per day instead of sugary juice or soda beverages.

Week 2 – Lose 2 pounds this week by:

• Exercising for 1 hour on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
• Go for a 30 minute jog on Tuesday and Thursday nights after dinner.
• Ensure I eat 3 healthy meals per day this week.
• Drink 8 – 10 cups of water per day.
• Eliminate dessert after dinner.

Skip to…

Week 8 – Lose 2-3lbs this week by:

• Exercising for 1 hour on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.
• Go for a 45 minute jog on Tuesday and Thursday nights after dinner.
• Ensure I eat 6 healthy meals per day this week.
• Drink 8 – 10 cups of water per day.
• Eliminate all unhealthy foods and beverages from my diet.

As you can see each week built on the previous weeks goals and we started out slowly and gradually Smart goals are gradual not all at onceeliminated unwanted behaviours and replaced them with healthier ones. In today’s high tech and big hype marketing environment it’s easy to set unrealistic expectations of ourselves. In addition, the media promotes very desirable body images with movie stars, models and elite athletes that for the average person are unrealistic goals to strive for. The point is everybody has to start out somewhere and we didn’t come into this world knowing how to run. It was a gradual process from the crawling stage up to the running stage. Some of us still can’t run I’m one of them; I assume that’s why they created the stationary bike! This year do what works for you, take your time, be SMART and I guarantee you will see the results you’re looking for.