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Tough weight loss targets can help you lose fifth of body weight

Tough weight loss targets can help you lose fifth of body weight

It’s that time of year again when New Year’s Resolutions get drawn up, with top of the list for most people being a plan to lose weight.

If you are looking to shed the pounds in 2017, new research suggests setting tough targets is the way to get the best results.

A team of U.K. based researchers looked at more than 24,000 dieters who were part of weight loss group Slimming World. All the participants had a body mass index (BMI) of at least 30, meaning they were obese.

It was found that those who set a goal to lose less than 10 per cent of their body weight did generally achieve their weight goal. But those who set out to lose even more weight ended up losing twice as much overall, averagely losing 19 per cent of their body weight, which for someone weighing 16st works out at 3st 1lb.

Based on the new research, health experts may now want to encourage dieters to set harder goals, and not play it so safe with their weight targets.

“We know current advice around realistic weight loss targets is designed to protect slimmers from disappointment,” Professor Amanda Avery, a nutritionist at Nottingham University. “However, suggesting people place limits on their weight loss aims could stop people from seeing what they’re capable of. It's important that people have aspirations and can visualise themselves achieving success.

“This research shows that, when it comes to losing weight, it's best to inspire people to set the weight loss target they would personally really like to achieve. This will help with their motivation as, if it is really their dream weight, they'll be far more committed to achieving it.”

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