Low carb weight loss & goal setting

Setting goals is something I do to help me continue to lose weight.  And I set my goals based on time and desired results.

For example, if you were to just start a low carb diet with the idea that you will never ever eat carbs in your entire life ever again – that’s just not realistic.  Nor do I think that it’s all that helpful.  Forever is a long time.

So for me, I have 2 goals.  To get down to 220 lbs (I’m 6’6) or 14 – 16% body fat – which ever comes first.  That’s my primary long term goal.  I realize that it’s going to take time and that I’m not going to get there by tomorrow no matter how hard I try, but I want to head in that direction as quickly as possible.

My 2nd goal is based on time.  I actually plan to have time frames where I go off low carb.  And I eat whatever I want to intentionally for a couple of weeks.

For example, my current short term goal is to go from now until June 1, 2011 on low carb.  And i’ve estimated based on my current last 4 months average weight loss that I can reasonably lose another 50 – 60 lbs or more by then, which puts me at my primary long term goal.

Then the goal from there is based on setting a trailing stop, which is a stock market term.  It’s the idea of weighing in once a week and if my weight ever goes over say 235 or my body fat goes over 18%, then I lower my carbs again.  Never should I have gone over 250 in the first place.  But it’s insidious, weight can creep on you as you get older, if you are not keeping an eye on it.  And keeping a tight reign on it will only help in the future.

So I don’t tell myself that I am never going to eat carbs ever again.  Because for me, that’s just not realistic.  But I can certainly go 3 – 6 months on low carb stretches at a time and get down to my ideal weight eventually.

And really, just  exactly what am I giving up to do that?  A few carbs?  Some good meals?  The recipes I have developed myself over the last 4 months that are part of this website are far BETTER tasting than 99% of the crap I used to eat.  And they cause me to lose weight and feel better?  Yep.  Rough choice.  The other thing about setting a 90 – 180 goal time frame is that you are beginning to build a new habit.

Now, I’ll tell you the secret to low carb though.  Once I made it past the first couple weeks of low carb, I began to feel better and better and better.  My head cleared, my energy levels became more even, I slept better, and I starting losing significant weight.  And there in lies the conundrum.  When you start to feel better physically and emotionally on low carb, then that just creates an atmosphere of wanting to continue to eat low carb.

It’s all the resistance in the beginning that makes it challenging.  Your family and friends telling you that low carb is hard to do, or they can’t give up carbs, or they want to eat a bagel, or low carb is dangerous, or low carb doesn’t work, etc.  It’s all this bullshit bad hypnosis from well meaning friends (some of them) that you really have to be mindful of.  Listen to yourself first and foremost and follow your own path.  And if along the way, you find people that will support and encourage your efforts, then all the better.

You can absolutely do and succeed on a low carb plan.  Set some goals.  Set a short term goal, like I am going to do low carb starting today for the next 2 months.  And then do it and stick with it.  The results will speak for themselves and you’ll know deep down if low carb is right for you.  I certainly learned it’s right for me.

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