Food & Diet > Eating Right > Tips for Achieving Weight Loss Goals

Tips for Achieving Weight Loss Goals

These tips for achieving weight loss goals will help you slim down and keep the weight off! Amy Hendel is a health expert and author of Fat Families, Thin Families. Here, she shares how people lose weight for good, with success strategies from real people.

First, a great quotation from actress Valerie Bertinelli:

“I’ve come to the realization that once you lose the weight, you don’t all of a sudden get happy,” says Bertinelli in People magazine. “Sure it’s easier to put on clothes, but I’ve lost the weight so many times thinking ‘Oh, if I just weighed this much I’d be so much happier.’ I know now that I still have to work on that other stuff that has nothing to do with weight.”

Losing weight won’t solve all your problems…in fact, weight loss can create new ones (such as jealous friends, partners who don’t want you to change, etc). But, it’s important to achieve your weight loss goals and slim down – and keep it off – which is why I’m featuring Hendel’s tips for achieving your weight loss goals. Click on the book cover for more info about Fat Families, Thin Families, and read on for her tips….

Tips for Achieving Your Weight Loss Goals

“If you read most of the People magazine ‘loser stories’ then you’ll see that most of these women and men have a ‘reality moment’,” says Hendel. “Then, they begin sensible eating programs and daily exercise.”

Here are some of her tips for achieving weight loss goals and slimming down:

1. Strategize to deal with different situations so that you control the food – and it doesn’t control you. Try smaller plates, flavored waters, always bringing a salad (veggie or fruit) or healthy dish to a party so you know there will be something you can comfortably eat. Call restaurants ahead of time to hear a menu so you’re not surprised and order food a certain way (eg, salad with dressing on the side, grilled with sauce on the side, berries and some sorbet for dessert)

2. Use a buddy or support system – many people who keep weight off do it as couples or a family, or even enlist co-workers to join in the effort. A support system can be a great way to achieve your weight loss goals and slim down for good.

3. Lose the word diet. Instead, adopt the words “lifestyle change.” This is not a temporary change – it’s a final decision to “change for good.”

4. Plan ahead. Think about what you’re eating in a given day in terms of calories and “the right fit of food.” Planning ahead can be an effective way to achieve your weight loss goals and slim down for good because it keeps you in the “lose” phase or the “staying off” phase.

5. Eat more high-volume foods. Vegetables are high in fiber and water, and low in calories. Also, fulfill your daily value of fruit servings even if it means drinking 100% orange juice during your meals (OJ isn’t just for breakfast!).

6. Use a scale. To achieve your weight loss goals and slim down for good, weigh yourself on a regular basis. Also, use body measurements and clothing size as guidelines of achievement.

7. Don’t be easily derailed. People who slim down for good don’t let one bad choice or one bad day de-rail their efforts. For most “chronic dieters”, letting one day’s transgressions snowball into a “total dietary break out” is the death toll.

8. Subscribe to health or fitness magazines or blogs. Reading about how to achieve your weight loss goals and slim down for good can increase your motivation. Also, consider buying books on weight loss – people who lose weight and keep it off keeping educating themselves!

9. Exercise daily. Increase your daily activity as much as possible (this should go without saying, but so many of us don’t exercise at all!).

10. Lose the emotional pull of food as a primary way to relieve anxiety/stress. An effective way to achieve your weight loss goals and slim down for good is to replace food with other behaviors and rewards.

11. Focus on your health. Losing weight for health reasons seems to be a huge motivation. Vanity seems to be secondary. Also, losing weight for your kids is a strong motivation to achieve your weight loss goals.

12. Take it one day at a time – but pre-plan. Time your meals and include treats, but remember that they’re meant to be occasional pleasurable moments – not daily habits (this is something I’m struggling with right now! I’ve been eating my double chocolate chunk cookies every night for the past two weeks…and my jeans aren’t happy).

13. Journal. Many people who achieve their weight loss goals and slim down for good chart their daily meals, exercise routines, and feelings. This keeps their motivation high.

Do you have any tips for achieving weight loss goals? Please comment below; I love to hear what works – and doesn’t work – for people!

Amy Hendel is a health expert who trains and counsels patients with her own unique blend of nutrition, fitness and psychology. Visit her at

Need encouragement? Get my free weekly "Echoes of Joy"!

* indicates required

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

1 thought on “Tips for Achieving Weight Loss Goals”

  1. A photo of a smiling face on your refrigerator door doesn’t just remind you of the good old days – it can actually help you lose weight!

    Surrounding yourself with happy photos, memorabilia, and cartoons encourages a positive mood, which allows you to step back emotionally and understand the big picture. Researchers Aparna A. Labroo from the University of Chicago and Vanessa M. Patrick from the University of Georgia write, “A positive mood enhances efforts to attain future well-being, encourages broader and flexible thinking, and increases openness to thinking.”

    In this study, participants described either the happiest or unhappiest days of their lives, which induced positive or negative moods. They then filled out questionnaires that measured levels of abstract versus concrete thinking. The researchers found that participants in good moods engaged in more abstract thinking, which influences goals and motivation.

    Labroo and Patrick explain that people in positive moods not only adopt higher-order future goals, they also work harder to achieve them.

    When it comes to eating and weight loss, feeling good can motivate you to make healthier food choices (apples and low-fat cheddar instead of brownies and ice cream!). So if you’re serious about a healthy lifestyle, decorate your kitchen with things that make you smile.

    This research was published in the November, 2008 issue of Journal of Consumer Research.

    Source: Press Release, University of Chicago Press Journals, “Put On A Happy Face: It Helps You See The Big Picture” November 10, 2008.