The big picture.

At work, at home – in life – we’re encouraged to try and take a step back and see the big picture: the overview that sums up the beginning, middle and end of a project, process or endeavor. It’s a fine idea.

Most of the time.

We’d argue that weight loss is a little different.

Having long-term goals are great. They’re necessary. But getting too caught up in the big picture may cost you the little victories that you need – and deserve – to reach your ultimate goal. Losing 30 pounds by beach season is a brilliant idea. But it’s a terrible goal.

Here’s a quick comparison of a few realistic versus unrealistic goals.

Unrealistic Goals

Realistic Goals

I want to lose weight

I aim to lose 2 pounds per month until I and my doctor feel comfortable with my weight.

I will exercise 3 times per week

I will walk 20 minutes per day (Mon, Wed, Fri) and on Thursdays will take a Zumba class

I will eat less calories per day

I will reduce my calorie intake to 1500 calories per day and will use an online or smartphone food journal to keep track of the foods and drinks I consume.

I will follow a diet until I lose those extra pounds

My ideal weight is 135lbs., so I need to lose 17 pounds by following a 1200 calorie diet.


The differences are pretty clear when you look at them in black and white.

But particularly as you begin your weight loss plan, it can be tempting to fall into a “big picture” mentality and think broadly in terms of bigger, long-range goals at the expense of clearly-defined short term goals.

Look, it’s okay to have an idea of your destination. You and a member of the Mediplan team will certainly discuss what is a healthy weight range for you and what it might take to get you there.

However, if you focus on clear, specific and smaller goals that allow you to celebrate little victories on your journey, your destination will feel much easier to attain.