To lose weight, set short-term goals

Special to The HeraldJanuary 29, 2013 

Dear Lacy:

Where do I start when it comes to losing weight for the New Year? - Resolved

Dear “Resolved:”

The first step is to make an achievable, detailed goal. Instead of saying, “ I will lose weight,” or “I will eat less,” say something like “I will only eat fruit instead of chips for my afternoon snack.”

Your goal should also include a short time frame as well as a longer time frame, but you should put most of your focus on the short time frame. For example, decide that you will follow the plan for the next two weeks or until an upcoming event, like a Valentine’s party. Then when your time frame arrives, pick another time frame to work toward.

Most people can make themselves stick with something for a short time frame. A short time frame allows you the ability to say to yourself, “I only have two more weeks until the event (Valentine’s party).” The Valentine’s party can keep you motivated.

Develop only two to three detailed goals. If you try to change too much, you will have a harder time sticking with it. Two to three small changes can make a huge difference in your weight.

So one detailed goal would look like this: “I will eat fruit instead of chips or any sweets for my afternoon snack until the Valentine’s party on Feb 14.

As the weight comes off, you can gradually add more goals to prevent a plateau.

Remember to include physical activity as a goal, but instead of saying something detailed like, “I will work out more,” say “I will do jumping jacks during the commercials of a one hour show every night for the next two weeks.”

Make these detailed, achievable goals, and you will be on your way to fulfilling your New Year’s resolution.

Lacy Ngo is a licensed dietitian and nutrition instructor at Winthrop University. Contact her at

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