When you're trying to lose weight, the first thing you need to do is set a goal. Most people think they've already done this, but oftentimes, weight loss goals are too nebulous to be useful. For example, many people only go into their health and fitness journey deciding they want to "lose some weight." Or worse: They decide they want to "look good in a swimsuit" or "be healthier" without defining what that actually means. 

The problem with these kinds of goals is that they are too intangible. You can't quantify looking good in a swimsuit or figure out how long it will take to be "healthier." That's why it's better to set concrete, attainable goals that you can easily mark your progress toward. 

Determining your goals

The first thing you should do when trying to figure out your weight-loss goals is talk to your doctor. He or she will be able to help you determine your healthy weight range and let you know how to safely build up your fitness and exercise habits. Once you've talked to your doctor, try to come up with specific weight-loss goals. 

Instead of saying, "I want to lose some weight," say, "I want to lose 20 pounds." This way, you know exactly what you want to do, and you can start working toward how you're going to do it. 

It may help to write your goals down, so you can come back to them for motivation. It may help to write your goals down so you can come back to them for motivation.

Set goalposts

Your weight loss isn't going to happen all at once. If you've got a lot of weight to lose, that fact alone can be discouraging. Instead of looking at the whole number, try to break it down into smaller chunks. For example, if you're trying to lose 50 pounds, think of it as losing 10 pounds at a time. This way, you can celebrate each goalpost you hit along the way. Don't break the goal up too much: If you're focused on small changes, you could get discouraged by normal weight fluctuations. Try not to have mini-goals closer than 5 pounds apart. 

Not all of your goalposts need to be about the number on the scale, either. There are a number of different ways to keep track of your progress, so it may be helpful to think of different achievements for each. You can have goals regarding losing inches around your waist or being able to run further during your workouts. Just like weight-loss goals, these should be specific. You can't diminish your own progress when you've done exactly what you set out to do.

Reward yourself

When you reach your goalposts, you're probably going to feel proud of yourself. You should! You've put in a lot of hard work and effort to get where you are. That's why some people find it motivating (and fun) to reward themselves when they reach one of their goals. If you hit one of your goal weights, treat yourself to something special. Do something fun and exciting that you don't normally get to do to celebrate your achievements. 

Avoid making your rewards food-related. Since healthy weight loss doesn't include restricting certain foods, there shouldn't be any foods you think of as "rewards" to begin with. Treating food as a celebration only perpetuates unhealthy food attitudes that may ultimately lead to more weight gain down the road. 

This health and weight-loss information has been brought to you by Provida Life Sciences. To learn more about setting goals and to get started on your weight-loss journey, check out The Food Lovers Fat Loss System

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