Setting A Weight Loss Goal

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Setting A Weight Loss Goal

10% weight loss can dramatically improve a persons health. Whilst it may seem like a small amount, it can produce significant health improvements. More importantly its achievable and sustainable, after all the goal should be sustained weight loss, not quick and short term.

Setting a weight loss goal? Aim for 5% – 10%


Research has shown that when setting a weight loss goal, 10% weight loss can dramatically improve a persons health. Whilst it may seem like a small amount, it can produce significant health improvements including improved lipoproteins, hypertension and insulin resistance, risk for osteoarthritis and its symptoms, risk for selected cancers, and other risk factors for chronic diseases (reference).  Here’s how it works.

10% weight loss is small but significant

A typical problem with diets is goals being too big leading to stress, anxiety and ultimately failure. However, it’s less stressful when goals are broken down into more manageable smaller steps. Aiming to lose 10% of body weight, is a more approachable amount of weight to lose.

On average 10% weight loss works out at around 0.5 to 1 pound per week. A person who weighs 200 pounds would look to lose 20 pounds, reducing their weight to 180 pounds. This amount has health benefits even thought 180 pounds is still classified as overweight or obese according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Losing amounts of weight greater than 5% can help in reaching an overall goal, more successfully and more gradually. This gradual weight loss is then more likely to be kept off which has long term health benefits.

”Lifestyle changes that include healthier diets, regular physical activity, and weight loss of 7%-10% have shown phenomenal health benefits that can be more effective than medications,” says David Katz, MD, MPH, director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center and of the Yale Preventive Medicine Center.

Whilst it may seem like shedding 10% is an easy target, research on the most popular commercial diets shows that after 5 years few diets achieve 5% sustained weight loss. Setting a long term goal and dropping the target to a more manageable percentage such as 5% or 10% gives a much greater chance of sustaining the weight loss long term. This significant amount has been show to have huge health benefits, is manageable and more importantly is very achievable.

”We have seen a consistent pattern in our weight loss studies that when patients lose 5%-10% of their body weight, they lower blood pressure, reduce LDL [“bad”] cholesterol, improve glucose tolerance, and in general, lower the risk for cardiovascular disease,” says Catherine Champagne

10% weight loss is achievable

By concentrating on losing 10%, more time is available to properly examine the reasons why the weight was initially gained. Whether bad eating habits, insufficient exercise or bad diet, these can be changed slowly over time. Establishing this long term view with a lower goal makes such weight loss practical, sustainable and achievable.

”Losing weight the healthy way means not only will you look and feel better, but you will have more energy,” says Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, of Northwestern Memorial Hospital Wellness Institute.

Key benefits of 10% weight loss

  1. Keeps your heart healthy, by lowering your cholesterol (reference)
  2. Helps to balance your blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes
  3. Improves your blood pressure
  4. Reduces the pressure on your joints, lessening the pain linked with arthritis
  5. Boosts your energy levels, and lifts your mood
  6. Helps reduce your risk of developing cancer
  7. Increases your feelings of happiness, and self-esteem
  8. Sets a great example to family and friends, inspiring them to try it to

Research is increasingly finding that losing as little as 5 to 10 percent of body weight can have significantly positive effects on long term health. Losing as little as 10% of body weight is additionally less daunting and more realistic. It’s more likely to be sustainable and reduce the stress and pressure associated with weight loss.

So if you’re about to start losing weight, setting a weight loss goal of between 5-10 percent should be your aim. Slow, steady and sustainable weight loss is proven to be the most successful way to lose and keep weight off long term. It’s a clear pattern that seems to be emerging, start small, be consistent and try to aim for up to 10% within a realistic period of time.

Be healthy, eat well and lose weight safely.

Where To Next

If you are only starting out, have a look at our FREE online programs below. These will help you to get started and we will personally give you the support, advice and knowledge to eat, cook and live healthier. No nonsense diets, just healthy living! Give us a try.

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The benefits of cooking with kids are huge, better self-esteem, trying new foods, contributing to the family and importantly, quality time together. Children by nature are expressive and cooking with them lets them explore a whole new world of pleasure. This program shows you tips and tricks with some great family recipes to get you started.

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Weight Loss Goals

By Pilar Cereto | FREE Health Programs | Blog