12 Weight Loss Milestones To Set And Celebrate

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Seeing your weight go down can be motivating. There are however other inspiring weight loss milestones you can set and celebrate.

Setting a goal weight is a great start but only having one big target can feel overwhelming. On top of that experiencing positive emotions along the journey can be very helpful for sticking with your plan.

That’s why dividing up your big goal into smaller weight loss milestones can be a game changer.

Achieving these milestones can feel like a reward in itself but you can also literally reward yourself with something. Check out these 80 reward ideas if you want some inspiration.

One thing you want to keep in mind is to mainly reward yourself for following your plan. Your weight loss will vary for reasons that have nothing to do with fat loss. You did a good job if you followed your plan. The next step is to adapt your plan if you don’t see the results you desire.

Another important principle when talking about weight loss milestones is initially focusing on many small ones and making them bigger from there. Your first five workout sessions will very likely feel harder than the next five. By making your milestones more and more challenging you keep pushing yourself.

Setting and celebrating these 12 weight loss milestones can be a powerful way to keep yourself motivated.

1. Starting

This first weight loss milestone may sound a bit soft to a lot of people but often starting is a real challenge. Here is a quote to emphasize this point:

“Tomorrow is the most busy day of the week.”

In this case the subject is weight loss but people do this in other areas too. It’s easy to say “I’ll do it later” so starting is definitely a milestone you can celebrate.

2. The first week of healthy eating

In most situations to hit a weight loss goal some things will need to change in the food you eat or, sometimes even more important, in the food you stop eating.

The human brain is generally wired to go after the foods with the most calories. That can make staying away from high-calorie foods, which are usually not very helpful for weight loss, and eating healthier feel like a challenge.

Being able to outsmart those primal urges for a certain amount of time is definitely a milestone worth celebrating.

A week is just an example. After a while these healthier eating habits become stronger. In that case challenging yourself by going for longer time periods can be a good idea.

If this milestone is a challenge for you, you may want to stick to a non-food reward to avoid going down a slippery slide of reverting back to old habits.

Eating salad as weight loss milestone

3. A week of sticking to your workout plan

While working out is less essential than the eating aspect of weight loss, you can still greatly improve your progress and healthy by exercising.

For most people sticking to a workout plan can feel even more of a challenge than healthy eating. One reason for this is that you will eat anyway, you just have to make the smarter choices. Working out on the other hand often requires setting aside some extra time.

Since exercising is such a helpful habit it may be a good idea to set milestones in this area. For many people, something like running 3 miles a day is an achievable yet challenging goal.

No matter what workout plan you decide on, you can start with focusing on sticking to it the first week as your initial goal. And again challenging yourself with longer periods of time once it starts to be a real habit.

4. Specific muscles or body parts start to reappear

This next weight loss milestone is one that comes very unexpected for a lot of people. When gaining some weight certain muscles and body parts start to disappear.

Depending on how much you have to lose this can go from abs to collar bones to elbows.

5. First ten pounds lost

You don’t want to get too focused on the number on the scale but in the end it does give you signs on how much progress you are making.

For that reason you may want to make losing specific amounts of weight specific milestones. You can again start with something small like 5 pounds and work up your way from there.

6. Tightening your belt

Another more unexpected yet very satisfying source of milestones is your belt. There is just something rewarding about taking a look at your belt and seeing three notches up worn out while you are rocking three notches smaller.

You can have a mini celebration with every notch but seeing something like that can be a celebration on its own too.

Pairing this weight loss milestone with the reward of buying some new clothes can be a great idea.


7. First few weigh-ins

It’s not entirely essential to weigh yourself during your weight loss journey but it is a very convenient way to measure progress.

These first few weigh-ins can be scary and exciting at the same time. On one hand, you want to feel the positive feelings, on the other hand, you don’t want the feeling of your efforts not paying out as much as you expected.

Over time you want to stop having these kinds of emotions when you step on the scale. Making those first few weigh-ins a milestone in itself can help you get into the habit of measuring regularly.

8. First compliment on your progress

While it is likely not your most important reason for losing weight, who does not enjoy getting a compliment or two? People around you might notice the progress you are making and compliment you for it.

Not the case but you know you are getting awesome results? No worries, some people are just not comfortable complimenting others, it doesn’t mean the changes are not visible.

9. Overcome a plateau of a few weeks

Your progress will very likely go up and down from day to day. You will also probably hit a weight loss plateau during your weight loss journey.

A weight loss plateau is when you don’t see weight loss progress over the span of more than a week or two. When you lose weight the number of calories you burn often goes down so you will have to make some adjustments in your routine.

In the first place you want to avoid weight loss plateaus but overcoming one when you encounter it is definitely a great weight loss milestone. It shows yourself that you have the power to overcome obstacles that come your way.

10. First time stepping in the gym or sports club

Some people are hesitant to join a gym or sports club. There are many reasons you can feel this way but in the end, the important part is getting over it.

By making this one a weight loss milestone you can feel more motivated to take the step. And the more you take that step the easier it becomes. You may even find yourself having a lot of fun in this new place

11. Fitting in one of your favorite old clothes

An unfortunate part of gaining weight is that you have to say goodbye (temporarily) to certain clothes even if you really like them.

You probably have a certain wardrobe item in mind. Being able to wear it again can be a very motivating milestone.

12. Achieving a specific athletic feat

When you keep hitting the “follow your workout plan” milestone and you keep pushing your boundaries you will notice that you can do more than before.

To make this boundary pushing more specific you can set out to achieve a specific athletic feat. Some examples are running a 5k, hitting new weight lifting personal bests, or completing that one hike you’ve always dreamed of.

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Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.