How to Set Yourself Up for Successful Weight-Loss

a woman with a backpack and arms outstretched runs along a stony path next to a canyon - how to set successful weight-loss goals
  1. Start with the end in mind: Set a goal that makes you really excited. Not just about weight-loss but what you’ll be able to do, achieve or wear when you get there. Put a motivational picture on your fridge.

  2. Follow a plan: There are some great ones around, whether you want to count calories, points, syns or carbs, using a good sensible methodology that allows flexibility and variety is great. Oh, and most of them have apps that make them super-easy to track what you are eating.

  3. Track your Progress: There’s nothing like seeing the numbers fall on a weekly basis to help you see how well you’re doing and remember why you’re doing this.

  4. Have a food amnesty: If there are any foods in your kitchen cupboards or fridge that will tempt you off plan - get rid of them, otherwise you WILL find yourself inhaling that packet of chocolate hob-nobs in a moment of weakness.

  5. Have some mini-goals: Set some milestones along the way so you can celebrate your progress and REWARD yourself - a new hairdo? That pair of shoes you really wanted? Taking yourself off for a spa treatment? Whatever feels ‘treaty’ to you: do it!

  6. Get support: Whether it’s a local group or a friend who wants to join in, you can spur each other on, be there for a motivational chat when you’re struggling with it AND celebrate your goals together.

  7. Move: Adding in exercise burns calories and helps you stay motivated towards your goal. Find something you love doing and do that. And if the idea of exercise doesn’t float your boat, it can help to combine your exercise with things that you do want to do, such as catching up on a favourite TV programme when you are at the gym, or listening to a podcast as you are walking.

  8. Be kind to yourself: If you fall off plan at some point, just notice what the trigger was that had you go off track, and pull out your goal and motivational photos to remind you why you want this and what it will enable you to do.

A crystal blue hotel swimming pool with two inviting sun loungers at the side - how to set a SMART goal for weight-loss
a woman in a pink top jogs along a country road with her little girl cycling alongside her - what does losing weight open up for you
a woman is wearing a pair of jeans that are too big for her - she holds the waistband out to show how much weight she has lost - what is your reason for wanting to lose weight

SMART Goal Setting

‘SMART’ goal setting is a great way to make sure you set a goal that genuinely inspires you, and motivates you to keep going until you get there

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed


Quantity: Be really clear about what your weight-loss goal is, whether in stones, pounds or kilos.

Quality: What will achieving your goal allow you to do? Run around after the kids? Do a 5k run? Be able to get into that pair of jeans that you love? Get really specific about what getting to this weight opens up for you.


How will you measure your progress? On your scales at home? At a supported weight-loss meeting? Weighing in once a week and charting your losses is a great way to see how far you have come. Many of the popular apps will do this for you.


What do you need in order to be able to achieve your goal? Great support from a friend? Being held accountable at a weekly meeting? Planning ahead to ensure you have great healthy meals available both in the house and when you are at work? A good clear out of the ‘naughty cupboard’ in the kitchen??! You know yourself best, so whatever it is that you need to put in place to ensure your success, just do it (you’re worth it!).


Whilst it would be lovely to think you could lose a stone in a fortnight, it’s just not realistic unfortunately. The average loss on a healthy plan is 1-2 pounds a week, so bear this in mind when you set your goal. It is so much more motivating to set a realistic goal and achieve it every week, than to set a goal that you just can’t keep up with.


I know this might sound obvious, but it’s really important to set a date by when you want to have achieved your goal. If you know the exact date that you want to be that exact weight, then it focuses the mind on how many weeks you have to achieve it and how much you therefore want to lose each week. And setting mini-goals on the way is really important too to help keep your motivation high. Maybe set your first goal as where you want to be in a month, and reward yourself when you achieve it with a treat!

and finally…

When you have set your SMART goal, write it down! Have a nice piece of paper where you write out what your goal is, what it allows you to do, when you will have achieved it by, what your mini-goals are and what you will reward yourself with when you get there. Put it up somewhere you will see it every day, alongside your inspirational photo. Good luck!

a woman stands on top of a mountain, arms raised above her head in victory-how set yourself up for successful weight loss