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S.M.A.R.T. Weight Loss & Your Fitness Device

Wouldn't it be nice if you knew exactly what to do to lose weight successfully? What you need is a fitness tracker and a smart goal! S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym to remind you how to set a goal that maps out exactly what you need to do. These goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

Don't just stack up data you get from a fitness device. Use the info you track, your calories burned, food eaten, and hours slept to shape S.M.A.R.T. goals for yourself.

Here's one example of how to do it. Look at your fitness device to see how many calories you burn a week by exercising. Let's say it's 1,000 calories.

Use that data to bump up your calorie burn. For example, a S.M.A.R.T. goal is “I will walk enough to burn at least 1,250 calories through exercise this week.”

Specific. Rather than simply saying, “I’m going to exercise more,” you’ve specified how many calories you’ll burn.

Measurable. Your device will track the calories you burn, so you’ll be able to clearly know when you succeed.

Attainable. Since you’re already burning 1,000 calories a week through exercise, bumping it up a bit should be manageable. To burn 1,250 calories, you’ll need to add about one extra workout.

Relevant. Exercise is totally relevant to weight loss! So exercising more fits into your larger weight loss plan.

Time-bound. This is your goal for this week. Period. You can choose to pursue this goal again next week, or you can set a new goal. It's easier to commit to a goal -- and be successful -- if you do it for a set amount of time.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD on November 14, 2013

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