Specific or vague: which weight loss goals are best?


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I spotted an article in the Daily mail that attracted my attention. It states that

being specific about a weight loss goal makes dieters LESS successful

This statement on its own, I have no problem with. However it went on to say

those who have a weight loss range are more likely to repeat the diet

This second quote is meant to indicate success. They state that repeating the diet is a measure of success, is a good thing.

Here’s what I think.

Specific or vague goals?

Weight loss goals are great, but if you state that you want to simply ‘lose weight’ then that is perhaps too wide a goal. There are also issue in the wording of that, as you more specifically would like to lose body fat not weight. Equally, if you state that you want to ‘lose 2 stone’ then that, by its narrow aim, sets you up to consider any fat loss that is less than that is a failure. If you consider yourself a failure, you are much less likely persist with your goal. You have effectively, given yourself a get out clause, which won’t help you get to that goal.

Repeating a diet?

Think about the words here. ‘Repeat a DIET’. this by the nature of its wording implies

  • A diet starts and ends
  • A diet will not work first time
  • Being on a diet is the only way to lose and maintain weight loss

Now, if you have red this blog before you will know how I feel about the word ‘diet’. This nasty word has a long list of connotations.

  • pain
  • start and end
  • always hungry
  • long list of things I cannot eat any more

And many more things besides. How about we try something very different, how about we go for HEALTHY EATING?

If these commercial ‘diets’ were to teach us how to work out the balance of food in to energy out, what food does what, what carbs are, why veg is important, how to change our diets depending on our changing lifestyle to name a few, then perhaps these ‘diets’ would disappear, we would all understand what’s going on, how to stay healthy and have a good balance of body fat, then we perhaps wouldn’t feel the need to attend ever lasting fat clubs, pay someone to reduce our daily diet to an unrealistic in maintainable long list of points and rules.

Want to see how the Ryding2Health way of looking at it turns out? Take a look at our success stories and feedback pages.

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