Goal setting is often-overlooked, but it’s a critical part of any weight loss journey.
Setting specific goals helps identify overall objectives, increase focus and find milestones to celebrate along the way – even when it feels like phentermine stopped working.
To get the most out of your planning session, set SMART goals for weight loss that detail exactly how, when and with whom you will achieve your aims.
Phentermine Weight Loss Goals
Before we discuss SMART goals and how to make goal-setting more effective, it will be helpful for you to have a specific, personal weight loss goal in-mind. If your overall goal will take more than three months to accomplish, focus on smaller, monthly milestones to start.
So, here are some weight loss goal ideas for months 1-3 on phentermine:
- Drink 2 liters or more of water per day
- Eat at least 5 servings of non-starchy fruits and vegetables per day
- Stop drinking soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages
- Cut out caffeine sources (coffee, cola, energy drinks, caffeinated tea)
- Sleep 7-9 hours most nights
- Walk around the block 3 times per week; increase slowly as tolerated & permitted by doctor
- Write down all food and activity every day for one month
- Start exercising more frequently or at higher intensities, pending your doctor’s approval
- Learn a new, healthy recipe each week
- Eat out 3 or fewer times per week
- Forgive yourself for slip-ups and don’t go to extremes to recover
- Set non-scale goals (like walking up a flight of stairs or going down a size in clothes)
- Find an exercise you love and do it most days of the week
- Try a new workout that challenges different muscle groups
- Stick with your calorie goals, even as appetite increases
- Identify situations that trigger you to overeat and develop a coping strategy
- Establish a plan to maintain phentermine weight loss long-term
Continue to set non-scale goals and celebrate non-scale victories
Setting SMART Goals for Weight Loss
Research shows that people accomplish “SMART” goals more often than vague, less-defined goals (
Putting goals in a SMART format promotes accountability, helps identify tangible milestones, and encourages us to define a specific plan of action (2).
SMART goals are:
We’re more likely to finish a task when we know exactly what we need to do, and how to do it. The same holds true for weight loss.
So, start by asking yourself: who, what and how.
For example: change the generic “lose weight” to the specific: “I [who] will lose weight to decrease joint pain [why] by eating more vegetables and fewer sweets [how]”.
Willpower is important, but it eventually fades, so effective goals have a quantifiable performance target to keep you on-track.
For example: the general “work out more” can be transformed to a measurable goal of “work out 25 minutes per day”. You can quantify minutes of exercise per day with a clock.
By making the target measurable, it is simple to determine whether you are meeting it or not. No excuses allowed!
Identify a target that challenges you, but is still reasonably within your abilities.
If the goal is too challenging you may give up before you even start, while too easy of a goal will leave you feeling bored. As you achieve (and maintain) early goals you can gradually revise them to reach more ambitious goals and provide a continued challenge.
For example: modify “I will eat salad for every meal except breakfast” to start with a more attainable, “I will eat salad for lunch four times per week”.
Each individual goal should directly relate to larger, overarching aim.
For people taking phentermine, long-term objectives may include getting healthier, reducing the risk (or impact) of weight-related disease or acting as a positive role model for your kids.
If your overall goal is better health, for example, make sure that any individual phentermine weight loss goal directly relates to (and helps you achieve) improved health outcomes.
Do not give yourself unlimited time to reach a goal. If there is no time sensitivity associated with the change, motivation to prioritize it wears-off after the initial excitement fades.
Choose a target that you can reasonably achieve in about three months. If it will take more than 90 days to accomplish your ultimate goal, establish milestones along the way.
For example: update “lose 20 pounds” to “lose 20 pounds by October 1st“ to make it a stronger, time-limited goal.
SMART Goals for Weight Loss: An Example
Here’s a quick example of how to transform a vague weight loss goal into a SMART goal:
Original Goal: “Lose weight.”
Transformation into SMART Goal:
I…. want to lose weight.
I will eat and drink no more than 1600 calories a day, exercise 3 times per week and take phentermine every day.
|20 pounds. I can measure with a scale.|
|Yes, this is an achievable amount of weight loss with the help of phentermine.|
|Yes, losing 20 pounds is highly-relevant to my overall goal of getting healthier.|
|I want to achieve this goal in two months, starting today.|
Final SMART Goal: “I will lose 20 pounds in the next 2 months by reducing my intake to 1600 calories a day, going to the gym 3 times per week and taking phentermine.”
- Shaw, R. L., Pattison, H. M., Holland, C., & Cooke, R. (2015). Be SMART: Examining the experience of implementing the NHS Health Check in UK primary care. BMC Family Practice, 16(1), 1. doi:10.1186/s12875-014-0212-7
- Mind Tools Content Team. (n.d.). SMART Goals – How to Make Your Goals Achievable.