Kick-starting on a fitness goal is easy but losing track in a few weeks is a very common problem. A goal is a non-starter until you actually put it down on paper and chart out a plan to achieve it.
Here’s taking a look at the most popular of all goals and how to see it through –
“I want to lose weight”. Plainly put, it is a vague & sketchy goal, pretty open ended.
Being specific is the key. To rework the above goal with more precision, it would go like this – I want to lose 6 kgs within the next 3 months. The goal is clearly defined, as is the time line.
This can then be broken down into a monthly average of a weight loss of 2 kgs per month and finally down to 0.5 kgs a week. 1 kg equals 7700 calories, so for 0.5 kg you would need to burn 3850 calories in the week. A day’s caloric burn would amount to 3850/7 =550 calories a day, 7 days of the week.
Do note that healthy weight loss is no more than 2.5 kilo’s a month.
To lose the 550 calories, you would need to either burn it off through exercise, or cut it off from your food intake; or a combination of the two. (PS: Eating healthy and getting regular exercise is the best for you in every way.) Here’s where you need to really think it through. It’s very easy to make changes for a couple of weeks, but difficult to follow long term. What are the changes that are easy for you to make? May be you forgo your 200 calorie chocolate and burn off 350 calories through exercise.
To ensure the 350 calorie burn, wearing a fitness tracker is your best option.
Does it work, or do you need to rework it?
Do remember this calculation is for 7 days a week. If you want 2 days off, the caloric burn per day would go higher to 770 calories a day; OR, you would reach your goal later. So, it also helps to work the other way and see how many calories a day you can realistically & willingly burn off. If 550 a day is just too much because you can’t give up the 200 calorie chocolate, but you can manage the exercise, burning 350 a day; you would lose 0.3 kgs per week = 1.2 kgs a month; reaching your goal of 6 kgs in 5 months.
The same pattern of planning would follow for other goals like toning up, improving your core strength or posture, or preparing for a race, or wanting to improve an aspect of your sports game like speed or power. These are broad, general goals. Narrow it down to the specifics. Quantifying the goal makes it precise. Chart out a time-table down from months down to days. Fine tune and rework it if necessary. It has to be realistic, healthy & doable.
Be prepared for set backs for reasons like travel, illness & injury. This will stretch the time frame further.