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Help! I want to lose weight before my wedding! What can I do?

Or maybe it’s 15 lbs for a high school reunion, or drop 4 dress sizes by your birthday. Whatever your weight loss goal is, it has to be S.M.A.R.T.

S.M.A.R.T. goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.

Let’s look at these examples…

1. Sheila wants to lose weight this year. The amount she wants to lose isn’t specific and neither is the time.

2. Cherise wears a size 12 but wants to fit her size 4 clothing she wore in high school for her reunion next month. This isn’t realistic and probably not sustainable after she loses the weight for the event.

3. Benita wants to drop 20 pounds to reach her goal weight of 130 lbs. No time-frame given.

4. Pam wants to get a buy a house first and then work on losing weight. Buying a house isn’t relevant to losing weight and the goal isn’t specific.

Here’s an example of a SMART goal -

Keisha wants to lose 20 lbs in 5 months by reducing her sugar intake, replacing fried foods with grilled or steamed and exercising at least 4 times a week.

Boom! This goal is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely.

When you create SMART goals, think of it as a blueprint to achieve your fitness objective.

Incorporate these strategies when making a weight loss goal.

  1. To start, to lose weight sensibly and healthily, aim for 1-2 lbs a week. Any loss greater than that, is more than likely going to be gained back very quickly.

  2. Stay away from the “detox” or “cleanse” diets unless you’re doing it for reasons other than weight loss. Many of the X day (enter number of days) detox diets involve laxatives or diuretics that can be harmful and could result in very low blood pressure.

  3. Calculate your TDEE - total daily energy expenditure. If you Google TDEE calculator, you can input your age, weight, height and activity level to get an estimate of the amount of daily calories you need to maintain your weight. To lose a pound of week, subtract 500 calories a day from your TDEE. Try reducing it from more than one meal, or eliminating a rich dessert.

  4. Think of nutrition and exercise as a marriage. One cannot do its job well without the other - they have to work in tandem. You can exercise until the cows come home, but you can’t out run, out lift or out cycle a poor diet. Likewise, eating healthy is great, but your body will metabolize food more efficiently if you are physically active.

Weight loss goals require planning and commitment but by reducing your consumption of highly processed foods, sugar, fat and additives, you are on your way to managing your weight and overall better health.

Make a plan and commit to it. You can do it!!

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