3. Focus on Process Goals
Many people trying to lose weight only set outcome goals, or goals they want to accomplish at the end.
Typically, an outcome goal will be your final target weight.
However, focusing only on outcome goals can derail your motivation. They can often feel too distant and leave you feeling overwhelmed (1Trusted Source).
Instead, you should set process goals, or what actions you’re going to take to reach your desired outcome. An example of a process goal is exercising four times a week.
A study in 126 overweight women participating in a weight loss program found those who were process focused were more likely to lose weight and less likely to deviate from their diets, compared to those who focused on weight loss outcomes alone (1Trusted Source).
Consider setting SMART goals to set strong goals. SMART stands for (1Trusted Source):
Some examples of SMART goals include:
- I will walk briskly for 30 minutes five days next week.
- I will eat four servings of vegetables every day this week.
- I will only drink one soda this week.
4. Pick a Plan That Fits Your Lifestyle
Find a weight loss plan that you can stick to, and avoid plans that would be nearly impossible to follow in the long term.
While there are hundreds of different diets, most are based on cutting calories (8Trusted Source).
Reducing your calorie intake will lead to weight loss, but dieting, especially frequent yo-yo dieting, has been found to be a predictor of future weight gain (9Trusted Source).
Therefore, avoid strict diets that completely eliminate certain foods. Research has found that those with an “all or nothing” mindset are less likely to lose weight (10Trusted Source).
Instead, consider creating your own custom plan. The following dietary habits have been proven to help you lose weight (11Trusted Source):
- Decreasing calorie intake
- Reducing portion sizes
- Reducing frequency of snacks
- Reducing fried food and desserts
- Including fruits and vegetables
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