Reach Your Weight Loss Goal in 4 Steps

Do your goals involve weight loss, health, nutrition or being more active? These steps can guide you to achieve what you want.

1. Think about what you really want to achieve.

Your goal may include physical activity changes, such as running two miles without stopping or practicing yoga two mornings each week. Or, it may be altering your eating behaviors, such as preparing at least three healthy, balanced meals at home each week or eating one fresh fruit each day.

Notice that losing weight was not mentioned as a goal. Losing weight is always the result of making positive lifestyle changes; it is not the goal in itself.

2. Make a list of your goals by following these guidelines:

Goal must be specific and positively stated.

Good example: "I will eat a yogurt and piece of fruit within 30 minutes of working out five times a week."

Bad example: "I will not eat unhealthy food after working out."

Goal must be important to you.

Good example: "I want to do this."

Bad example: "I should do this."

Goal must be under your control.

Good example: "I will bring 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese and a banana to enjoy after I run on Monday and Wednesday each week."

3. Remember that losing weight is not a goal; it is a result.

Goals are the actions that you take to reach a result. Set short-term goals (about two to six weeks long) and take some time to create your list.

Make each goal as specific as possible, achievable, and something that you desire. In order to make your goals come true, the desire to achieve it has to come from you.

Have fun with this list. Give yourself a great reason to wake up and start each day.

4. Stay on top of your nutrition.

To help maintain your energy throughout the day, build balanced meals and snacks. For meals, combine at least three of the five food groups. This helps ensure that you take in all the nutrients your body requires each day, and enable you to feel satisfied after each meal.

Pair at least two food groups for snacks. A protein-rich food with a nutrient-rich carbohydrate choice is the best combination. Carbohydrates are the main energy source for your muscles and brain while protein provides the building blocks required to build and repair your muscles.

Get your nutrition on track right away and start with these easy breakfast ideas to reach your weight loss goals.

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