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Monday, July 4, 2011

What If I Told You the Secret to Weight Loss Has Nothing to Do With Working Out

What if I was to tell you that the secret to successful weight loss had nothing to do with working out, would you believe me? Well, it is true and in this article I am going to expose you to probably the single most important step to achieving long term success in achieving weight loss.

Now, I wish I could tell you that this is a scientific study that I conducted over the years, but I would be lying to you if I said that. However, I can honestly tell you that the clients that I have worked with over the years who saw the best results with long term weight loss and lifestyle change all did one thing. That one thing is, they set goals! Not, just any old goal, but what we call S.M.A.R.T goals. S.M.A.R.T stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and timely. Don't worry by the time you finish reading this you will have an example and a full grasp of how to set up your own S.M.A.R.T goals.

So, what makes S.M.A.R.T goals so powerful? Well, let's take a look at an example and show you. The example I want to share with you comes from a client of mine who had a baby and gained over 60 lbs from the pregnancy. When she came to me, three months after giving birth, she told me that she had tried to lose the weight initially, but was still struggling with getting the weight off. This is when I had asked her had she set any goals. Her response was, "yes, I want to lose the 60 lbs I put on during pregnancy." I said okay that is a start but you need to set it up as a S.M.A.R.T goal. She asked what that meant and I told her. Once, she understood what it meant we then preceded to rest her goal using this technique by me asking her a few questions. Here is what I then asked her to complete the S.M.A.R.T goal.

Okay, we have you wanting to lose 60 lbs, but what else? Obviously, I know you want to get back to the weight you were before pregnancy, but are there any other reasons you want to lose the 60 lbs? She said, "yes, my sister is getting married in 10 months and I am in the wedding and I do not want to look this big." I said perfect, we now have a little more specific goal that we can map out. Once I had this information we set the goal and it looked like this:

Goal - Lose 60 lbs in 10 months for sister's wedding.

This is a perfectly designed S.M.A.R.T goal and here is why. First, it is very specific in terms of wanting to lose 60 lbs. The second reason it is a perfect S.M.A.R.T goal is because we can measure it weekly, monthly, and at the end, which is 10 months. Also, it is attainable and realistic because it would require her to lose about a pound and a half a week, which is inline with what doctors and nutritionists would recommend. So, having her just add a little bit more to her initial goal made this into a S.M.A.R.T goal.

Okay, I know what you are thinking, did she lose the weight. Well, she lost almost all the weight. When we re-assessed 10 months later she had lost 54 lbs. Not quite all the weight she wanted, But wait, she lost only 54 lbs on the scale. What I failed to mention was I also took her body fat % and monitored that for the 10 months. When we reassessed her body fat % it was lower than what she had been before she was pregnant. Don't let the scale weight fool you because you may have heard the saying, "muscle weighs more than fat." Well, that is absolutely correct. I know I am going off on a little tangent here but it is important to remember when it comes to weight loss it is not just a simple scale measurement that you need to focus in on. Don't worry I will have an article on the blog about that in the near future, but for now, let's get back to setting up S.M.A.R.T goals.

Here are the steps to take to get your S.M.A.R.T goal set up.
Ask yourself what exactly do you want to do? Do you want to lose weight? Well, how much? Do you want to run a marathon or maybe climb a mountain? Whatever it is make it as specific as possible.
Can you measure it? For instance, running a marathon you know you have to run 26 miles. If it is weight loss you can measure it by scale or by body fat %. You have to have some way to measure your results.
It has to be attainable and realistic. Sometimes people have great ambitions, but the goal they have is not attainable or realistic. Trust me, I have had people tell me they need to lose 20 lbs in 2 weeks. Could that happen, yes, but it is unrealistic to think that you could lose 20 lbs in two weeks and maintain that weight loss. Plus, it just is not healthy to do that. Make sure you set goals that are attainable and realistic.
Finally, your goal needs to have a timetable and be completed in a timely manner. If a goal is too far into the future it is harder to stay motivated on a daily basis. Plus, the longer the time period the more holidays and other life obstacles get you off track. My rule of thumb is to set goals that are 90 days out. This way you have enough time to reach them and you can also overcome any setback you have because of a holiday.

I honestly believe that setting up S.M.A.R.T goals makes a huge difference in results. Take some time this week and write down some goals. Start with some general goals and then go back and make them into S.M.A.R.T goals. Once you have your goals set I will be back to tell you how to make sure you succeed at reaching them.

Make it a great week!

In Health,

Coach Dave

David Mcgarry is the creator of Working Mom Workouts He has been in the health and fitness industry for more than a dozen years. Working Mom Workouts are fitness programs specifically designed to meet the busy life of a working mom while at the same time providing maximal fat loss. If you are looking for a great resource that focuses on health and fitness tips you can read more at the blog

Article Source:

David McGarry - EzineArticles Expert Author

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