Goal Setting for Effective Weight Loss

Weight Loss Goals
Do you have weight loss goals? Setting goals is a great way to keep motivated in your weight loss journey

Goal setting is an important part of any effective weight loss programme and it’s usually one of the first things we talk about with our clients. Developing a clear set of weight loss targets will really help you to stay motivated and lose weight efficiently.

Developing a Weight Loss Target

When we first meet clients, we measure their weight and height, which allows us to determine a sensible healthy weight for that individual. We then work backwards to work out the monthly weight loss targets necessary to achieve the final goal.

For most people, we recommend a healthy weight loss of 0.5 kg per week – a rate of weight loss that is achievable with some effort. So if your goal is to lose 15 kg, we develop weight targets based on weight-loss of 0.5 kg per week, achieving the target weight after 30 weeks.

This means that instead of having a long-term (and difficult) target of losing 15 kg, you have an immediate target of losing 2 kg in one month. This will look more achievable to you, and will help to keep you motivated. The longest journey begins with a single step – so the monthly weight loss targets help you to progress towards your target weight one step at a time.

The monthly targets depend on how committed the individual is. Many of our clients have very aspirational weekly weight loss targets, and healthy weight loss of up to 1 kg (2.2 lb) per week is possible. On our body transformation programmes, clients often have a very clear end-point in mind – possibly a holiday or an important event like a wedding – which motivates them to maximise their weekly weight loss. With careful attention to diet and exercise, it is possible to lose up to 8 kg (just over one stone) in six weeks – though not easy!

Widen Your Goals: It’s Not Just About Weight Loss!

While it helps to have a sensible weight loss targets, your weight-loss goals are usually about much more than simple weight loss. To stay motivated, it helps to expand your goals as much as possible. You need to think about why you want to lose weight – how you will feel and act when you are slimmer. If you have clear goals you are much more likely to stick to your weight loss plan. Some suggested personal goals might be:

  • To be able to wear certain clothes
  • To be able to run a 5 k race
  • To be competitive with your kids
  • To look and feel better
  • To feel healthier, with more energy
  • To have healthier habits, with a reduced risk for disease (e.g. cancer, heart disease, etc.)

Setting and frequently visualising a range of goals that are linked to healthy weight loss will help you reach your weight loss target.

Don’t just Think It – Ink It

Think about your goals and write them down – what weight you will reach, and when you will reach it. Write down all the things that this will mean for you – how you’ll feel, what you’ll wear, what people will say. Expand your goals beyond simple weight loss, and share your goals with important people in your life. Writing your goals down makes them more real – they become a tangible statement of intent. Write your goals in a diary or a journal and keep them somewhere safe. Refer to them frequently, especially when you’re feeling tempted to give up on your weight loss journey.

Keep a Goal Journal

Some people find it useful to keep a goal-journal. Use your journal to write down each day:

  • Things you have done that help you progress towards your goal (e.g. “I stuck to my diet today, even though I was tempted”)
  • Things you have done that work against your goal (e.g. “I ate biscuits at tea break”)

Read your journal at least once per week. You can also write your goals in your journal, along with a visualisation of how you will look, act & feel when you achieve your goals.

Imagine Your Weight Loss

Visualise how you’ll look, feel and act when your goals are achieved. Share your goals with others, to help motivate you. Visualise how you will feel & act when you reach your target weight. Think about what others will say, things you’ll be able to do that you can’t do now. Imagine how you will feel, look and act when you reach your target weight. Think of this in the present tense e.g. “I am a healthy weight and I feel fit & healthy and I look great…”

Get a Goal Image

Find a picture or object that represents what you will feel & act like when you reach your ultimate target weight. You could use:

  • A dress or outfit that you’d like to wear
  • A picture of a certain activity (running, playing etc.)
  • An image of fit & active people

Display this picture or object prominently. Use it as your phone/iPad/computer screensaver. Print the image and stick it on the wall or in your car. Keep a small version in your wallet. Is your goal to fit into a certain dress? Take a picture of the dress and use it as a screensaver or print it and use it as a poster.

Use Your Goal Image!

When you are tempted by unhealthy food, look at your “goal image”. This will remind you of what you’re going to achieve – and will help you stay on track. Surround yourself with your goal image. Print a picture for your wallet, stick it on the dashboard of your car, put a picture on the fridge/food cupboard, use the image as a screensaver on your computer and your phone.

If you feel a craving for unhealthy food, look at your goal image. Activate your phone and briefly look at your goal image on your screensaver, or open your wallet and look at your goal image. Focusing on your goal in this way will help you to stay on track.

Above all else, stay positive and you will achieve your weight loss goals! If you need help with weight loss, give us a ring on 087 930 7575 or contact us.

Sitting is Bad for Your Health!

Sitting all day is bad for your health
Sitting all day is bad for you and contributes to weight-gain – stand up for your health!

Do you sit all day? Sitting all day makes us more likely to gain weight – but recent studies show that sitting is linked to a range of serious illnesses. In fact, sitting all day appears to increase your risk of premature death, and recent research has found that women who stay seated for long periods of time every day are more prone to developing type 2 diabetes. Gulp!

What can you do if you sit all day at work? For a start, you could take regular standing breaks. See our article on being active in the workplace for more ideas.

You could also minimise the time you spend sitting while you are doing other activities. For example, if you’re talking on the phone or watching your kids in the park, stand up – you’ll burn double the number of calories and keep yourself a little bit healthier. Because your muscles have to work to hold you upright, standing increases your metabolic rate – which helps you manage your weight.

After all this reading about the dangers of sitting, I think I’ll take a well-earned standing break!

How to Beat Cravings

Take control of Cravings
Take control - don't be a slave to your cravings!

Cravings are an intense longing for a certain food – some of our clients report that they can actually smell, see and even taste the food that they crave.

Cravings are completely normal, with at least 60% of the population experiencing cravings at some point. However giving in to your cravings can seriously undermine your weight-loss programme. All the good work you’ve done with exercise and healthy eating could literally be undone in one craving-fuelled eating session.

We understand it’s hard to deal with cravings – so we’ve put together some coping strategies for when that overwhelming need for chocolate hits you.

Smash that Craving – Literally!

If you find a packet of biscuits in your hand – get mad and literally pound them into dust before you chuck them in the bin. Get angry at the food you crave!

You may worry about making a mess, but eating those biscuits will mess up your weight-loss plan. Smashing the food you crave puts you back in control – you are no longer a slave to the food you crave.

Have Something Else Instead

Do you find yourself wanting a sugary snack or a bar of chocolate? Have something else instead –  a nice cup of tea or coffee (without sugar of course), a drink of water, some fruit salad or a handful of trail mix.

Meditate your cravings away

If your cravings are linked to stressful moments in your life, you need to manage your stress levels without resorting to food. If something is bothering you, you need to deal with it – not feed it! If you crave junk food when you are sad or stressed, you need to an alternative response to these situations. When something stressful happens, try calling a friend, writing an email or posting a Facebook status update instead of automatically reaching for food.

Try meditating once a day. Choose a quiet place to sit comfortably, focus on your breathing and try to clear your mind of all negative thoughts. Concentrate on your weight loss goals – how you will feel and act when you’ve reached your target weight.


Exercise is a great stress buster and can help you beat your cravings. Get your shoes on and go for a power walk, put some loud music on and dance, or do a few dumbbell presses. Anything that gets your blood flowing and your heart beating faster is guaranteed to lift your mood. You could even do a few simple exercises whilst waiting for the kettle to boil to take your mind off your craving.

Get a Reality Check

Does the food you crave really taste that good? Does it really satisfy you? No. It doesn’t – it’s just your imagination. Usually, after we eat a food that we have craved we feel worse, not better. You might feel bloated, and guilty that you have not stuck to your good intentions.

The expectation that the food you crave tastes great is probably just your imagination – combined with the expectation of a quick sugar hit. Give yourself a reality check – focus on how you felt AFTER you gave in to a craving (bloated, disappointed in yourself etc.) and the craving may pass.

Distract Yourself

Most cravings only last for 20 minutes. If you can distract yourself by doing something positive during that time, the craving will pass. Clean out that drawer, do a crossword, send an email, phone a friend or go for a brisk walk. Before you realise it, the craving will have passed and you will be one step nearer your weight loss target.

Need more help with your cravings? Our Body Transformation Programmes include a text message service that can help you beat cravings. Contact us for more information – or just give us a call on 087 930 7575.

Mindful Eating

healthy eating & weight loss
Do you feel the need to clear your plate at every meal? Do you eat your food quickly? These habits can lead to over-eating and weight gain

Most of us are programmed to finish the food that is on our plate. We’ve been brainwashed since childhood into a fear of wasting food, and the meal isn’t over until the plate is clean. To make matters worse, most of us eat too quickly – we bolt our food down as if it’s our last meal and we eat “on the go”- too busy to sit and eat properly.

These habits lead to over-eating and weight-gain. Our body tells us that we’re full, but we don’t notice because our brain is saying “clear the plate!”, or we’re too busy concentrating on something other than the food in front of us.

Luckily you can take simple measures to help you eat more mindfully. If you pay attention to what you are eating, rather than just mindlessly ploughing through your food, you’ll be less likely to over-eat.

Before Eating

Only start eating WHEN YOU ARE HUNGRY. This may sound simplistic, but many of us eat out of habit, or at the slightest feeling of hunger. Hunger is not something to be feared – it is a natural feeling, and you shouldn’t seek food every time you are hungry. On the other hand, don’t wait until you are over-hungry – as you’ll be more likely to overeat.

  • Never eat while standing up – always sit down to eat
  • Allow yourself at least 30 minutes to eat your main meals – set that time aside and do not rush
  • Put your food on a plate – do not eat food from the pan or straight from the worktop or the toaster
  • Do not over-fill your plate – leave 10% of your food off your plate and your stomach won’t even notice
  • Always have a glass of water with your meal
  • For main meals, set the table (knife, fork and glass of water)
  • Before you start eating, sit and take a few deep breaths
  • Take a sip from a glass or bottle of water before eating

While You Are Eating

  • Decide which bit of your meal looks the best, and eat that food first – don’t save it for last as you will be more likely to mindlessly plough through your food and eat more than you need.
  • Don’t slouch – sit up straight while you are eating
  • When you put food into your mouth, put your fork down and concentrate on the food in your mouth
  • Chew your food carefully before swallowing – enjoy the taste and texture of the food
  • Chew every mouthful of food
  • Swallow slowly – don’t gulp air with your food
  • Don’t talk whilst eating
  • Halfway through your meal, take a break for at least 2 minutes – sip water, and try to work out how much more food you will need to be full
  • If you start to feel full, STOP EATING
  • You DO NOT have to clear your plate – if you are full, stop eating

After Eating

When you are finished your meal, push your plate away immediately. Throw the remaining food away or carefully store it out of sight – ready for your next meal. Remember that you can eat again when you are hungry.

General Rules

Don’t be distracted while eating as you’ll be more likely to over-eat.

  • Never eat whilst watching TV
  • Don’t eat whilst driving
  • Don’t eat whilst talking or texting on the phone
  • Don’t eat whilst walking


  • Get ready to eat mindfully: Only eat when hungry, take a few deep breaths before eating, allow enough time to eat your meal and always sit down to eat
  • Eat Mindfully: Chew every mouthful, eat the tastiest looking food first, take breaks during your meal, sip water during your meal and stop eating when you are full
  • After your meal: Throw away or store any excess food, take some deep breaths and notice how full you feel
  • Remember that you can eat again when you are hungry

If you’re in the Shannon area and need help with weight loss, find out more about our services: contact us or give us a call on 087 930 7575.

Roast Salmon with Veggies

healthy meals for weight loss
Weight-loss diets shouldn't be boring! Fill yourself up with our delicious and healthy salmon recipe

If you’re watching your weight, try this delicious salmon recipe. Salmon makes a perfect main meal that can be used as part of your TurnTrim weight-loss diet. You could even cook extra salmon – use it as a centrepiece for lunch on the following day.

Salmon is a great source of protein – it is also high in healthy fats called omega-3s. Serve with plenty of vegetables and a dressed green salad, and your meal becomes a powerhouse of beneficial antioxidants and healthy nutrients.


  • Frozen salmon fillets (MSC certified if possible)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Wholegrain mustard
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Red pepper


Add the frozen salmon to a roasting dish. Drizzle with oil. Rub wholegrain mustard into salmon fillet. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the top. Add lots of black pepper. Slice some red pepper and sprinkle over your salmon.

Roast at Gas Mark 5 (190 deg C) for 25 minutes.

Serve with boiled or steamed vegetables and a large green salad.

If you enjoyed this recipe, why not like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for regular healthy recipes and weight-loss tips. If you’re in Co. Clare, call us on 087 930 7575 to find out about our weight loss services.

Lose Pounds – Drink Water!

Switching to water can help you lose a substantial amount of weight - ditch your fizzy drink habit today!

Drinking water instead of fizzy drinks can help you lose 5% of your bodyweight (4 to 5 pounds), according to new research carried out at the University of North Carolina.

The research followed 318 people with a weight problem as they switched from fizzy drinks (like Coke, Fanta, Sprite and 7up) to sugar free alternatives and water. The study clearly showed that switching to water or diet soft drinks can be a simple way to lose weight.

Get Rid of Fizzy Drinks!

Switching to water had the greatest benefit and was linked to other important health improvements – like reduced blood sugar and better hydration levels. Reducing your blood sugar levels reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes – a dangerous illness that commonly affects people who are above a healthy weight. The study is published online and scheduled to appear in the March 2012 print issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Drink Water

Our advice is to totally avoid fizzy drinks – drink water instead! Fizzy drinks are full of sugar, and there is also evidence that they affect your bone health – some studies suggest that fizzy drink consumption increases your likelihood of getting brittle bones, or osteoporosis. Here are some quick tips to help make the change away from fizzy drinks:

  • Don’t buy fizzy drinks when you are doing your grocery shopping – if they’re not in the house, you’ll be less likely to drink them
  • Keep water easily available – on your desk at work, in a jug on your kitchen table, or in a bottle in the fridge
  • Does your tap water taste bad? Get a filter, or buy bottled water
  • Add some slices of lemon, lime or orange (or all three!) to give water an extra zing!
  • Be careful of fruit juices as even pure fruit juice is full of free sugar – dilute fruit juice with mineral water
  • Like the fizz? Use sparkling water and add a twist of lemon as a healthier alternative to fizzy drinks
  • If you are trying to lose weight, drink a glass of water before a meal, and drink water with your meal
  • Try switching to herbal teas – a great alternative to fizzy drinks

Stay Hydrated

A good way to check your hydration level is to keep an eye on your pee. It should be light coloured and relatively non-smelly. If it is dark coloured and strong smelling, drink more water.

The Bottom Line

If you’re watching your weight, fizzy drinks are a disaster! Switch to water & herbal teas today. It’ll help you shed pounds, and reduce your risk for some really nasty illnesses. You’ll also save yourself a fortune.

If you’re in the Shannon area and need help with weight loss, find out more about our services: contact us or give us a call on 087 930 7575.