…it’s going to lead you to another very important, lifelong goal!
Part two, of sharing our goals, is one we think almost everyone can relate to. It’s not as fun as training for an event, not nearly as popular as the topic of weight loss, but we think it’s just as important.
We hope that by sharing this goal it inspires healthy choices, every day of your life.
Everyone is all about weight loss, especially in the New Year, but no one really talks about weight maintenance.
For me, weight maintenance is a forever goal. However, to keep it time based, I set an end date (my birthday) and once reached, re-evaluate and set a new goal for the year ahead.
Weight maintenance isn’t super exciting but in a country with calorie dense, hyper-palatable foods and stressful, sedentary lifestyles, it’s necessary.
Ask yourself, what happens once you reach your goal weight? Are you excited? Do you think, “What now?” Do you think about new goals; and is weight maintenance one of them? Or, do you end up right back where you began only to need to lose the weight all over again? Regaining lost weight happens to a lot of people, myself included, so let’s set a goal of weight maintenance together. Even if you’re not at your ideal body weight, you can set this goal now and it will be ready and waiting once you hit your target weight.
To make it measurable you need to label a number as your ideal body weight. Be realistic. For me, my ideal body weight is the weight I’ve been for most of my life. I’ve yo-yoed, but it’s my weight when I’m healthy, eating well and able to be active. Once you have your number, what are the things you have to do to stay here? Make a list. My list includes counting calories. I know, lately calorie counting has gotten a bad rap. Sure, calories are impossible to accurately track. I only recently learned that nutrition labels are allowed a 20% margin of error. That’s a lot! Apps and exercise machines are no better. Calorie tracking is also time consuming. So why is tracking calories worth it?
Here’s the deal with counting calories, it’s not actually about the calories. The habit of counting calories forces us to pay close attention to what we eat and helps us make healthier decisions. Calorie counting and food logging is a simple behavior that inspires many other positive behaviors. Counting calories also simplifies complex behaviors. Fat loss requires a person to adopt a combination of, often difficult, behaviors – eat less, eat better, move more, find ways to make unhealthy environments healthy, change social environments to support healthy decisions, re-frame how we react in high calorie environments, and re-prioritize time so that weight loss/maintenance behaviors fit into our busy schedules. That’s a tall order, so counting calories is the spark that gets things going. Knowledge is power, and to be successful and maintain your success, calorie counting is a simple task you should include to help you reach your goal of fat loss/weight maintenance.
Weight maintenance also requires knowing your triggers: What causes you to veer from your healthy body weight? Making a list of triggers helps you avoid pitfalls and stick to your goals. Below are some of mine:
- Not sticking with an exercise regimen.
- Not tracking calories and weight.
- Snacking – small amounts of calories can add up to a lot by the end of the day.
- Not getting enough sleep; staying up late. I’m more likely to overeat and lose my resolve in the evening and when I’m tired.
- Eating trigger foods like sugar, honey, mango (really, those are all triggers for me).
- Eating out, because it’s difficult to accurately track calories and eat healthy, nutrient dense foods that fuel my workouts.
Unintentional Weight Loss
- Not maintaining a weight training schedule.
- Intense emotional stress.
Do you know your triggers? Make a list. It will help you set a successful goal for weight loss and maintenance.
Armed with all this information, we can now set our SMART goal for weight maintenance.
I will maintain my current weight of ____ pounds in 2017 and re-evaluate on my birthday, 2018. This goal is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time based.
Last, but not least, knowing your triggers will help you set action-oriented SMART goals so you have a plan to succeed.
A few examples below:
- I will not eat sugar for one month (I still eat sweet foods. Dates, coconut sugar, pure maple syrup and stevia are some of the sweeteners I use in my favorite recipes that don’t trigger cravings).
- I will weight train 2 days a week for 45 minutes each day.
- I will include cardio 3 days a week for 60 minutes.
- I will prepare my meals 6 days a week.
- I will weigh myself daily for an entire month.
- I will track my calories for one month.
- I will sign up for a triathlon, run, or cycle event in July of 2017 (which will lead to another SMART goal)!
List your favorite rewards; new workout clothing, workout gear, massage, stay-cation or vacation, spa day, new book, magazine, cookbook, or an entry into a fun race or event…
Enlist family and friends who will inspire and motivate you, and do the same for them! You get one body to live in and love during this lifetime, so take care of yourself and inspire those you love to do the same.❤️
We invite you to use SMART goals to set yourself up for a lifetime of health and success! Setting a SMART goal for weight maintenance is one of the most important.
Wishing you the very best in health and fitness!
Shelly & Teresa