BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The first month of the year is officially over. But has your new year's resolution of losing weight and getting in shape lasted through January?
Not many of us can hang on past the first month of the year when it comes to our new year's resolutions. Especially the one about weight loss and eating right. Dr. Edith Mbagwu, Primary Care Physician at Ochsner Health Center- Denham Springs North, has a solution that could solve this goal crusher.
Dr. Mbagwe says SMART goal setting can help people set and keep realistic weight loss goals- "no matter how much or how little they're trying to lose."
SMART is an acronym that helps bring structure to what you are trying to accomplish. It stands for S-specific, M-measurable, A-attainable, R-realistic, T-time-based.
While the SMART structure can be applied to any goals, Dr. Mbagwu has a few ideas on how it can wrestle weight loss.
Specific: Make sure your goals are clearly defined. 'I will exercise more and eat better' is not specific enough.
Dr. Mbagwu says, "For example, decide how many days per week you will exercise, how many calories per day you will burn, what types of exercises you will do, and what types of foods you will eat."
Measurable: What assessments will you use to keep on track? Health and fitness assessments include weight, body, fat percentage, number of calories, size of clothes, and how much you can lift, etc.
"Some people find certain measurements more discouraging than helpful. There are plenty of different ways to track your progress. Find the ones that motivate you," says Dr. Mbagwu.
Attainable: Can you achieve your goal? If so, then how? If not, why?
Realistic: Is your goal manageable within the resources, knowledge and time you have available? If so, then how? If not, what can you do to make it realistic?
"It's also a good idea to reassess your goals every now and then to make certain they are realistic," says Dr. Mbagwu. "No one can lose 30 pounds in three days and stay healthy. Setting smaller goals along the way can make it easier to commit to a larger goal."
Dr. Mbagwu says, "if you want to lose 75 pounds, keep a goal of burning 500 calories per day, which equals 3,500 calories per week and translates to one pound of fat loss per week."
Motivation and prioritizing can be big issues when it comes to realistic weight loss added Dr. Mbagwu. "A lot of people want to lose weight, but they also want fried chicken, pasta, and cake. Some kind of motivation like training for a race, wanting to fit into certain clothes, or reaching a health target can help you stick to your program and hit your goals."
Time-based: Do you have enough time to work toward your goal daily, weekly or monthly? How can you rearrange your schedule to accommodate your goal? How can you make your health a priority?
To learn more about setting weight loss goals with the SMART tool visit www.ochsner.org/info or call 225-761-5200.