How to set realistic goals and achieve them during a pandemic
Everyone has the desire to get back down to the weight and physique they had in high school, but is this really practical? I would say not and this is why. As we get older there is a natural, progressive, decline in our resting metabolic rate or the number of calories we burn at rest. There is also a noticeable change in the hormones we produce as we age, especially women who are premenopausal or going through menopause. Both factors contribute to us adding a few extra pounds of fat each year. However, there are ways to slow the progression of the aging process including, but not limited to, daily exercise and eating healthy. So, we already have this natural aging process that we have to fight to lose weight AND NOW on top of all this, the pandemic has hit and our stress levels are off the charts. Most people don't realize the damage that stress can do to our bodies both mentally and physically including anxiety, depression, lethargy, weight gain, and so much more. Stress is not our friend when we are on a mission to lose weight because it increases our production of cortisol, a hormone that is known to promote the storage of fat, increase blood pressure, increase blood glucose levels, and increase your resting heart rate. With all this being said, how are we supposed to set realistic goals and achieve them during this unprecedented time?
The first thing I'd suggest is find out a way to reduce your stress levels whether it be through meditation, yoga, reading a book, having “quiet time”, going on a hike, or exercising. Now implement this in your normal weekly, possibly daily, routine. This will help to put that pesky cortisol at bay and you won’t feel as if you're fighting your own body to lose weight.
The second thing you need to do is carry out some research on what your weight, BMI, and body fat % should be at for your age and height. A calculator online that I use for this is at https://www.active.com/fitness/calculators/weight. If you are an athlete this calculator may be a little off for you, but in general it is a good source. Now, compare this source to that of a few other reliable sources and make a good conclusion based on this information. It is not realistic to set a weight loss goal that does not match up with your findings after doing this research.
The third thing you should do is take your realistic weight goal and calculate how much weight you want or need to lose in total. Then divide this number by 2. This is the total amount of weeks that you should give yourself to achieve your long-term goals. The reason I say divide it by 2 is because losing 2-5 lbs a week is a healthy weight loss. Sure, if you are morbidly obese then you may lose more than that, but for most it is UNREALISTIC to think you will lose more than 2-5 lbs a week without starving yourself and dramatically changing your lifestyle right out the gate. I am a fitness expert and realist that will never support starving yourself or other fad diets that are unsustainable and potentially detrimental to your health. I do however support changing your lifestyle little by little by exercising regularly and eating more frequent, healthy meals.
Next, I want you to set a short-term goal for weight loss. Short term goals are those in which can be obtained in a short period of time, such as a month. Based on what I just told you in the previous paragraph a good short-term goal would be losing 8-10 lbs in a month or 20 lbs in 2 months. Another great short-term goal, if you happen to drink sodas excessively, would be something like cutting my soda intake down by 2 sodas a week until I am only drinking 2 sodas a week in total. Not all short-term goals have to be based on a number either. It could be something like fitting into my skinny jeans from 5 years ago in 2 months. Too many people are caught up on numbers, when they should really base their success on how they feel on the inside and how they feel about the way they look in the mirror.
Lastly, I would say find yourself a good accountability partner which could be a family member, friend, and/or a personal trainer like me. Having an accountability partner that will keep you motivated and honest makes a huge difference in your success rate. It’s much easier to make excuses when you're alone compared to making excuses in front of someone you care about or someone who truly cares about you.
SO, what can we conclude from all this?
1.Stress is not our friend and a huge barrier to weight loss, so learning to manage it is very important.
2.Research is important when trying to set realistic goals.
3.A healthy weight loss is about 2-5 lbs a week.
4.It’s important to set long term and short-term goals.
5.Goals don't have to all be based on weight or other numerical values.
6.Finding an accountability partner allows you a higher chance of success.
7.EVEN YOU, YES YOU, CAN LOSE WEIGHT AND ACCOMPLISH YOUR GOALS DURING TOUGH TIMES LIKE NOW!
If you need an accountability partner or some extra guidance, we would love to help you here at Fit therapy of Texas. We can guarantee results and lifestyle changes that will stick with you for the rest of your life. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us by phone at 210-495-3131 if you're ready to take your health and happiness back into your own hands.