Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Weight Loss Results From Many Small Goals

Today, I'm going to reveal the secret to lasting and permanent weight loss. This is the great "magic pill" that the world has been sitting on pins and needles for regarding the battle to shed those pounds and it will turn the world of dieting on its head. What people need to do to bring about a real change in their weight and health is.....


Do you ever get the feeling that life can be like that scenario above sometimes? Just when you think you are hearing something so amazing, unbelievable and fantastic about the wonderful world of weight loss, you get an interruption in your life or current circumstance that robs you of the thrill of seeing real results that you so desperately seek. Sigh. If only weight loss were as easy as a simple formula, but it's not.

With that said, though, I want to share with you something that I did during my 180-pound low-carb weight loss two years ago that may help you become a HUGE success as well, especially if you have a lot of weight to lose like I did. There's nothing fancy or special about this, but many may find it is exactly what they need to reach their ultimate weight loss goal. I can't believe I didn't think to put this in my book, but I guess it became so automatic to me that I didn't think about it.

Here's what it involves:

Take your goal weight and break it down into many small goals.

For example, if you have 100 pounds to lose and you weigh 310 pounds, then you will want to set a goal to reach various goals all along the way. In this example, your first goal is to reach 300 pounds (or better yet, 299, because nothing is more thrilling than to see that scale drop down to the next century of pounds! It was that way for me going from the 400s to the 300s and then the 300s to the 200s. Just once, I'd love to be in the 100s again, even if it's just 199. I'm getting there!).

Okay, so once you reach 300, your next goal would be 290, then 280, 270, forth and so on. Breaking up your 100-pound weight loss goal into 10-pound increments will allow you to focus on a much smaller weight loss rather than having a huge number stare you in the face all the time. That makes a lot of sense, doesn't it?

Had I known when I started livin' la vida low-carb on January 1, 2004 that I would go on to lose 180 pounds in one year and I tried to lose all 180 pounds in one swell foop, then I do believe I would have had a mental breakdown in the process. But having a series of smaller weight loss goals enabled me to live in the present and enjoy the unbridled joy that comes with all those little victories along the way to my ultimate prize of a 180-pound weight loss.

I suppose you can say I had at least 18 winning moments during my journey from 410 down to 230 in 2004 and each one became more and more significant as the weight kept melting away and I got closer to my ultimate BIG goal. Hitting 299 was a special moment for me because it was after my 10-week weight loss stall in the midst of my weight loss and was the first time in a VERY long time that I was in the 200s again. Yeah! And I've not been out of the 200s ever since! WOO HOO!

So what is your weight loss goal? 200 pounds? 100 pounds? Regardless of how much you need to lose, I encourage you to break it up into bite-sized chunks that are well within your grasp. If all you need to lose is 20 pounds, then make it your first goal to lose 5 pounds. Once that is reached, begin on losing another 5 pounds. Before you know it, you'll lose that 20 pounds and feel the overwhelming sense of accomplishment for rewarding yourself with small weight loss goals along the way.

If you struggle with being overwhelmed by a large weight loss goal that stares you right between the eyeballs, then why don't you try my little trick for helping you bring about that weight loss slowly but surely? A 5-pound or 10-pound goal is easier to conceptualize than a 100-pound or 200-pound one, don't ya think?

Go ahead, start with that first small goal beginning RIGHT NOW and pat yourself on the back when you make it to that first goal. Then set another and another and another. Before you know it, you'll have that weight loss goal licked and you'll look and feel more fantastic than you have been in your entire life. YOU CAN DO IT!!!

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Blogger Newbirth said...

I initially set a high goal - to get back to 170, which is where I was before the meds made me gain weight, though 170 for me is defintely overweight. Once I got there I decided on 165, then 159, then 150, then 147, 142, 140...I just kept lowering my goal.

I got under 140 for 3 straight days and was a half pound from my goal and WHOOPS. I'm still not sure what happened but I somehow put on 10 pounds in less than 2 weeks and it won't come off now! :-p

8/23/2006 11:11 PM  
Blogger BillyHW said...

I have a definite long term goal in mind and for short term goals I thought 10 lbs increments were too small and meaningless so I set 10% increments as short term goals.

8/24/2006 8:08 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Newbirth, could it be those "few bites of doughnuts" I read in one your recent comments that have led to your weight gain? :)

As for your comments, BillyHW, I wouldn't say 10-pound increments are "meaningless" because they can give you a sense of accomplishment.

Now perhaps making larger goals like 300, 275, 250, etc. may work for you, but the key is to always be looking for some smaller goal to help you reach the bigger one.

THANKS for your comments!

8/24/2006 8:15 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

Above you say "but the key is to always be looking for some smaller goal to help you reach the bigger one".

While I agree in principle, I think the "larger" small goals is a better option. There is then less frequency of "rewards" each time you achieve a goal.

8/24/2006 10:50 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Steve, I think this is an individual choice and I did particularly well on the many small goals.

If someone else chooses to do less frequent medium goals and that gets them going, then WONDERFUL!

I disagree with the concept of not feeling like you should have many "rewards" along the way. The feeling of accomplishment that results from reaching each of these little goals propels you to the next and the next until you hit that BIG goal.

This is probably something an industrious psychologist should look into because it is an interesting concept to ponder.

THANKS for your comments.

8/24/2006 11:06 AM  
Blogger Patrick Ashley said...

You're absolutely right about the small goals point.

Hopefully soon, Amylin will be delivering a new, very promising weight loss drug, an offshoot of the diabetic drug, Byetta - which does some amazing things to the appetite. People lose quite a bit of weight on the Byetta - and we're talking diabetics here! Having it for non-diabetics would be real interesting. I explore this topic at my site,


8/24/2006 1:19 PM  
Blogger karishma said...

I agree with Jimmy here (and disagree a little bit with Steve).

I think frequent rewards are the best way to stay motivated on a long weightloss journey. If you celebrate every 5 pounds lost, then every couple of weeks you have a celebration to look forward to. I know I'd be less tempted to cheat if my next goal is right around the corner.

I do think rewards need to be scaled to the level of the goal though. A 5lb loss celebration would be me jumping up and down, posting on my blog and telling everybody I know. A 10 or 20 lb loss, I would probably reward with something more tangible. And important milestones, like 25% or 50%, or first time under Xlbs, I would make sure to give myself a big, wonderful reward. For me that would probably be something like a spa day, or new clothes, or new books from Barnes and Noble - things that I love but don't indulge in all that often.

I also think it's important that your rewards not be food - even low-carb food. I think 'cheat rewards' are especially counter-productive. Yay! I lost 25lbs, so I'm going to eat a piece of cake! Next thing you know, that piece has led to a carb-binge and you're back where you started and depressed to boot. But even low-carb food used as a reward can backfire, since the goal is to reduce some of the emotional associations, and just enjoy the food as noursihment.

I'm aware that I should put my money where my mouth is and follow this advice, and I'm working on it. Just having a little trouble getting started...

8/24/2006 2:14 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

I think the most salient fact (thanks karishma for explaining it better than me !!!) is if you are going to reward yourself, often or otherwise, make sure it isn't a food reward.

I'm a bit of a Bibliophile, so the B&N idea seems ideal.


8/24/2006 2:34 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

When I was referring to setting goals for the purpose of rewards. The only reward I needed was knowing I lost weight. I TOTALLY agree with you that food should not be a part of the victory party.

8/24/2006 2:58 PM  

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