Blog > Eat | November 18, 2021 DITCH YOUR SCALE: HOW TO SET REALISTIC AND EFFICIENT GOALS | By Hubert Cormier Presented by: Many companies that offer diets or lifestyles to help you lose weight profit directly from the numbers you see on the scale. To avoid falling into this trap, you need to remember that your end goal isn’t your weight. Here’s how to set real, efficient goals for healthy, lasting dietary changes! ⚖ “BUT IT WORKS FOR ME!” In reality, more than 90% of people who start a diet to lose weight regain the lost pounds within the next couple of years. According to a study, after only 5 years, more than 75% of the weight lost is regained! Obviously, aiming for weight loss is NOT a long-term solution. ⚖ WHY SHOULD I FORGET THE NUMBERS ON THE SCALE? First, it is important to understand why “losing 5 pounds in 30 days” is not a very efficient goal. According to Obesity Canada, there are many factors that affect what appears on the scale. These are grouped into 4 categories. First, there are metabolic issues (what you eat, your genetic differences, etc.), mechanical issues (physical activity), social issues (socio-economic level, environment, education, etc.) and mental health issues (stress level, emotions, etc.). According to the organization’s experts, obesity is far from being related solely to lifestyle habits. Your weight is the result of many factors and setting a goal of losing 5 pounds means trying to control all these factors at the same time! You don’t have complete control over your weight, so it’s a poor indicator of success. Obsessing over reaching a specific number on the scale can also lead to developing eating disorder-like behaviours. ⚖ AIM TO CHANGE YOUR BEHAVIOUR! What you should aim for as your main goal or indicator of success is to change your eating behaviour in a way that contributes to your well-being. This can be, for example, exercising 30 minutes a day, increasing your intake of fruit and vegetables, listening more to your satiety signals, or cooking more. Also, it has to be positive behaviour. Never create restrictions! Have fun! For instance, rather than aiming to stop eating refined sugars, look to increase your fruit intake alongside your dessert or to eat more raw vegetables at snack time. Keep in mind that your lifestyle habits are not the only cause of possible health problems, let alone your weight. If necessary, consult a health care professional to help you with the process. ⚖ SET SMART GOALS! In food, SMART goals allow you to set sustainable and more achievable goals. A SMART goal has 5 features: Specific: INCREASE my fruit and vegetable intake. Measurable: Eat at least 5 fruits or vegetables (or the equivalent) EACH DAY. Achievable: PLAN your grocery list accordingly and PRE-CUT FRUITS AND VEGETABLES to make them easier to eat. Realistic: ADD 2 portions of fruit and vegetables compared to what you’re eating right now. Timed: Timeline: Give yourself 2 MONTHS to achieve your goal, for example. Your final goal thus becomes: Within 2 months, I want to increase my fruit and vegetable intake by eating at least 5 fruits or vegetables every day. In short, focusing on dietary changes rather than your weight will go a long way to helping you feel good about yourself and, most importantly, improving your quality of life. It’s not a good idea to beat yourself up over reaching your goals, especially when you want them to last your whole life. You have to be able to go with flow and be patient and flexible! Follow Hubert Cormier on social media 💬 💬 READ OTHER ARTICLES BY HUBERT: 🍴 TIPS AND SOLUTIONS TO EATING WHAT YOU WANT, WHEN YOU WANT 🤔 FAT BURNERS: MYTH OR REALITY? 🍬 SHOULD WE FEAR SUGAR?