You may have thought that I’ve gone CRAZY! But I’m dead serious. Your goal should not be to lose [x] amount of lbs in [x] time frame.
Now this may go against what you have learned previously. I used to have weight loss goals like this as well.
The problem with having such a goal such as “I want to lose 10lb in 12 weeks” is that it is a results based goal. The real problem is that how much weight you can lose in that time frame is not as in your control as you think.
If you work your butt off at the gym and eat the right amount of calories, etc., but you still don’t reach that goal in 12 weeks, how frustrating is that?
Personally I can tell you from experience that it is heart-breaking.
Here’s what you do instead
Make your goals something that is completely in your control. So instead of having the goal “I want to lose 10lb in 12 weeks”, have goals that revolve around how you are actually going to lose the weight.
So in the above example, assuming you have a good workout and nutrition plan, make daily goals.
A typical exercise program will involve a combination of cardio and resistance exercise. You may work out 5 days a week. So write down each workout that you are going to do on those days and make sure you actually do them.
Then with your eating plan, every day, make sure you are eating the right number of calories with the right ratio of macronutrients. While eating as much of that from whole, nutritious foods.
Do this for those 12 weeks and see what happens.
What if you lost less that 10lbs? Did you stick to the diet and the workouts religiously for those 12 weeks?
Did you skip some workouts? Did you eat pizza when you shouldn’t have?
If you stuck to the workouts exactly, and if you stuck to the diet precisely and you didn’t reach you realistic goal of 10lbs in 12 weeks. What then?
Reassess the workouts and the diet plan!
Is documenting exactly what workouts you did, what you ate, and how many calories from which macronutrient ratios you ate a lot of work? It is a ridiculous amount of work.
But if you are serious about losing weight, improving your health and looking sexy, then it is worth the extra effort. This is how you can determine whether or not what you are doing is working.
If it isn’t working then try something different.
Assess that new program after the 12 weeks, or whatever time frame you choose.
Often the problem isn’t the workouts or the diet. It is usually sticking to them! So find a program that you CAN stick to. Eg., gross diets like the cabbage soup diet and other diets that completely eliminate foods groups are very hard to stick to.
The key to losing weight is measuring what your doing and checking the results. Otherwise you are just HOPING to lose weight.
You could continue to do random workouts and eat whatever you want and just hope you’ll lose 10lbs in 12 weeks. OR you can actually MEASURE what you’re doing, record it, and assess the results.
It’s way harder, but it helps you understand why you haven’t lost weight. When you understand why you haven’t lost weight, you can try again and correct your mistakes.