If you don't have a goal in mind, written down and memorised, you are going on a journey without a destination. In fact, the difference between a diet and strange eating habits is whether you know what the weight you are aiming for.
How to choose your ideal weight?
There are plenty of calculators or methods to choose from as a starting point. I like the Halls.md page because it gives you a choice of several. Body Mass Index, Medical recommendation, "People's Choice".
Guess what? They all give out similar readings. So do the math, check out all the options and then PICK ONE as your target. It actually doesn't really matter what you pick, whatever you choose will be right for you.
You don't have to pick a weight measurement, but you must pick a measurable measurement. Huh? That means, pick something you can measure consistently over time, like your waist circumference, or neck measurement or your BMI or percentage body fat. Don't choose something vague "I want to be thinner" or "I want to look good naked". They are vision, not targets. You need a target to work towards it. At the end of your diet, then check yourself out naked. If you don't like what you see, you may need to set a new target.
Once you've picked a target weight that's not the end of the story.
Using your target weight to lose weight.
- Select your target / ideal weight.
- Write it down somewhere you'll remember.
- Select a date to achieve that goal. The date you pick is really dependent on how much you currently weigh and how aggressively you plan to diet. As a simple rule of thumb, add a week for every pound of weight you hope to lose. So 10 pounds, pick a date 10 weeks in the future. Easy.
- Write the date down next to your target weight.
- Track your actual weight every day versus your target weight. I've previously blogged about the benefits of using a graph or spreadsheet to do this.
- Do your diet!
In a Nutshell - Pick a Target Weight and Track Towards It.