What's a healthy goal weight for me?

chronic weight gain diet culture weight loss tool

The most sustainable weight loss comes from a process of discovery, not a focus on a particular number. Starting with a goal weight is a slippery slope into an unsustainable diet.

Goal weights are an invention of diet companies. They are an unnecessary ‘motivator’ and do more harm than good. The more acute the distance between you and some magical number, the higher the likelihood you’ll agree to a plan with a 90% failure rate.

Goal weights allow diet companies to let you do the work of convincing yourself to accept unsustainable schemes. No carbs? Sure. Eat all your food in a 6-hour window, why not? Guzzle celery juice? Ok!

Every idea becomes reasonable in the face of that glittering number.

I lost 50 pounds without ever having a goal weight.
I started writing about my process because my experience (and long-term success) ran contrary to diet culture. Once you’ve tackled this issue sustainably, the holes, lies, and misinformation are glaring.

The reason I never used goal weights was accidental. I’d failed so miserably at every diet I tried, I wondered if losing weight was still possible, and if so, how much? At the time I was thinking maybe it would be ten or twenty, but I really didn’t know.

I made the conscious decision to focus on my day-to-day and let the number fall to the right place naturally.

The magic of that approach is that it kept me from employing extreme behavior. I wasn’t facing down 50 pounds, but thinking incrementally.

“What if? I wonder? Let’s try this” became my mantras. I gave myself permission to explore and treat myself gently. That led to building lifelong, sustainable habits I use to this day.

Goal weights distract you from what will work.
My weight loss is durable because the focus is on my life, and by extension, each day. A question I teach my members is, “what can I do on this day to support my healthy weight?” I purposely want them out of ruminating on the future perfect and facing themselves at the moment.

Goal weights encourage striving which primes you for extreme behavior you have little chance of keeping up the rest of your life.

That’s good for the diet business, bad for you.


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