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Weight Loss After Pregnancy - The Importance Of Setting Goals

One of the best things you can do is set some goals for yourself. Goal setting is an important aspect of any successful weight loss strategy. The type of goals you set will depend on the amount of weight you have to lose and your personal fitness goals and desires.

It is important that you set goals that are SMART. What are smart goals? They are goals that are:

- Specific

- Measurable

- Acceptable

- Realistic

- Tangible

You want to set 'specific' goals rather than abstract ones. What is an example? "I want to lose 1 pound per week" is an example of a specific goal. "I want to lose some weight" is not very specific, and won't set the stage for a successful weight loss program.

You also want to set goals that are measurable. You can for example, monitor your progress at weight loss or monitor the amount of food you put into your body every day.

You also must choose goals that are acceptable for you and your particular situation. Losing weight because someone else wants you to is not an acceptable reason to lose weight... in fact it is a terrible reason to start a weight loss program! You have to make a conscious decision to lose weight for yourself, for your health and for your well being.

It is vital that you also set goals that are realistic. Wanting to lose all the weight you gained one week after delivery is not a realistic goal. In fact, most women will take up to a year or more to lose all the weight they gained during pregnancy (not all though!). It is important that you remember that your body is recovering from the Herculean task of birthing a baby. That said you should take things one day at a time, and set goals that are attainable and realistic.

Tangible goals are goals that you can actually reach. If you have a large bone structure for example and are five feet nine inches, trying to get down to ninety eight pounds is not a real tangible (or smart or safe) goal. When setting tangible goals you should also determine a time frame for completing your goals. This will depend on how much weight you gained and how much time you can allocate to an exercise program.

Setting a timeframe for reaching your goals will help them become more tangible, and will help you stick with your fitness and exercise program.

Consider setting one or two short term goals, one or two mid term goals and one long term goal. Your short term goals are things that you can accomplish in less than a month. Your mid term goals should be goals that you would like to accomplish within a six month time frame and your long term goal should be something you aspire to in a year or more.

Article by Beverley Brooke, author of "Ensure a healthy safe pregnancy for you and your baby", visit for more on weight loss after pregnancy

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