Skip to Content

How to Set SMART Weight Loss Goals

Do you know how to set realistic weight loss goals? Here’s how, by using the SMART method, you can create attainable goals to help you lose weight!

Losing weight is hard. Can I get an amen?

When we finally realize that enough is enough and it’s time to make a change, suddenly everything seems overwhelming. We have NO idea where to begin and even if it’s going to work.

I’ve been there! In 2015 I lost 20 pounds in 8 months; and at the beginning I was clueless. But I knew I had to have some set goals in place; otherwise I’d just be spinning my wheels.

Most of you may have heard of the term “SMART goals”, and it applies to every goal- not just weight loss. It’s an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. These are 5 keys that will give you the foundation for finally hitting your weight loss goal.

Let me break it down for you in regards to weight loss:

How to set SMART weight loss goals


There is a huge difference between saying, “I want to lose weight” and “I want to lose 20 pounds”. One is just a wish, and the other is a first step to success.

When you make weight loss goals, you have to be VERY specific. Before I got serious about losing weight, way before Allison, I always casually complained about wanting to lose weight and even tried a few random things- throwing spaghetti at the wall, if you will. But nothing worked.

Use a weight loss calculator like this one to determine a safe goal, and write that down before you do anything else. Now you have a starting point.


How will you know you’ve hit this goal? With weight loss, the most obvious form of measurement is that number on the scale.

That’s not always the case for others, though. Maybe it’s fitting into a certain pant size, or bringing your cholesterol levels down to a certain number. Find what works for you.

This can also be about the amount of steps you take per day, like hitting your 10,000 steps on your Fitbit. I talk about this in my post about using Fitbit and MyFitnessPal to lose weight.


So you’ve set your weight loss goal. Now- is it actually doable?

Some people get overly zealous and say, “I’m going to lose 50 pounds in 2 months!” And that, unfortunately, just isn’t feasible or safe.

A typical “safe” weight loss is between 1-2 pounds per week. So if your goal is to lose 50 pounds, you’re looking at almost a year- which is more reasonable, safer, and still completely awesome!


Sometimes right now just isn’t a good time to start weight loss. If you’ve just had a baby or lost your job, you’re probably under a lot of stress. And the last thing you need is to worry about shedding some pounds.

It was about 6 months after I had Allison that I attempted my first round of losing weight. And by “attempted”, I mean it was pitiful. I still wasn’t in the right frame of mind, was still adjusting to having a baby at home. It wasn’t until she was 18 months old that I was finally ready to make a change.


Like I said above, we can get excited sometimes and set unreasonable goals. But here we actually make a date and make it happen.

My goal back in 2015 was to lose 20 pounds. Since that wasn’t a lot, I expected to lose a pound a week- which would put me at right around a 5-month goal.

Setting an exact date for yourself can really help motivate you to push hard. But I also want to mention that you won’t “fail” if you don’t hit your exact goal weight by that date. Did you do your best? Did you work hard and still lose some weight? Then you still won!

Keeping these 5 things in mind when setting a weight loss goal will make everything seem attainable and motivating! I used these 5 steps when I lost my baby weight; and let me tell you, having that structure in place was the key to my success.

Need help setting up your weight loss goals? As a Nutrition Coach, I help women safely lose weight by setting up positive behaviors and breaking them down into tiny steps to help them achieve their goal. Schedule a FREE Weight Loss Discovery Call with me below!

This post may contain affiliate links. Please refer to my disclosure policy for more information.