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Weight Loss Information -- Setting Effective Goals

Weight loss information is often confusing and misleading. The more specific we are in discussing weight loss information the better it is for everyone. Here's an example...realistic goals. What are realistic goals? I wrote an article not to long ago that defined "realistic" as a 5-10% reduction of your total body weight. The 5-10% reduction is all the weight you need to lose to show a health benefit or improvement.

But I think there is a more specific term that can be used when disseminating weight loss information, specifically dieting goals. How about Effective Goals. What are effective goals? Effective goals are:

1) Specific and measurable
2) Attainable
3) Forgiving

"Exercise more" is a great idea, but it's not specific. "Walk 1 hour everyday" is specific and measurable, but is it attainable? Maybe, maybe not. "Walk 1 hour 3 times per week" is a great goal. It's specific, measurable, attainable, and forgiving (leaves room to miss a day).

A behavioral technique, called shaping, utilizes this concept of effective goals, but makes it even better. It uses only small short-term goals that get closer and closer to the ultimate goal. It is based on the concept that "nothing succeeds like success." Shaping uses two important behavioral principles:

1) Consecutive goals that move you ahead in small steps are the best way to reach a distant point.

2) Consecutive rewards help to keep you motivated.

I am going to start using Effective Goals instead of "realistic ones." So, your weight loss information for the day...set effective goals and "shape" them.

To Healthy Living!

Michael A. Smith, MD
Weight Loss Professional

Dr. Smith is the primary physician and consultant for the Weight Loss Professional Website. His interests include preventative medicine, the genetic etiology of obesity, and several others too numerous to list. Please visit his Website at and let him know what you think.


Knoxville News Sentinel

Orbera: New weight-loss balloon now available in Knoxville
Knoxville News Sentinel
Barring any complications, she'll have it in for six months as part of a comprehensive weight-loss program that includes diet and exercise. She hopes to lose 30 to 40 pounds before it's taken out, and she'll keep meeting weekly with a nutritionist and ...


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Tech Insider (blog)

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More than a third of US adults are obese. But despite its increasing prevalence in America and around the world, obesity — and what actually causes weight gain and loss — is frequently misunderstood. Frustrated by rampant misinformation, a large ...

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Chippewa Herald

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Chippewa Herald
Weight management is a skill; and, like any skill, you need to practice it over and over again. You may be under the misunderstanding that you should be able to “just do it.” That would be like telling someone who wants to play the piano to “just do it ...

The Inquisitr

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But now with Kim's second pregnancy weight gain and Khoe's weight loss success that includes hours in the gym, as documented in her new book, Strong Looks Better Naked, have the Kardashian sisters swapped places, and could Kim be jealous?
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ABC News

5 Toxic Thoughts That Get in the Way of Weight Loss
ABC News
Many of the clients I work with have a pretty good handle on what they should be eating. They know which foods are the most nutritious, and they have the access and the resources to make good choices. What often gets in the way, however, is motivation; ...

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CBS News

Obesity in youth may harm health later in life, even after weight loss
CBS News
A new study finds that even if overweight or obese young women slim down later on, obesity-linked damage to the heart may linger for decades. The research shows that even formerly overweight women remain at heightened risk for sudden cardiac death ...
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New York Times (blog)

Well | Counting Your Bites for Weight Loss
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So recently he and his colleagues began to consider alternative ways to spur weight loss, he said, a quest that led them to bite counting. Bite counting for weight loss is not a new idea. Many weight-loss programs suggest that people chew slowly and ...

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Food World News

Weight Loss Must Try: Hibiscus Teas!
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Incorporating the national bloom of Haiti into a weight-loss diet is not that easy as putting the petals into a glass, a tea can be a good start. Natur Boutique, specialists in herbal teas, creates an Organic Diet Tea that's accessible in high-street ...

Google News


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