What should my goal weight be?

Are you in the middle of a lifestyle change and wondering what your target weight should be? Read on to learn what a registered dietitian recommends.

You have made a decision to change your habits and decisions to improve your overall health and wellbeing. Congratulations!

Now you may be wondering what are you working towards, what your specific weight goal should be.

We know that setting and reviewing our goals is an integral part of changing habits and behavior, but it is just as important to ensure that we are setting the right goals with the best of intentions for our unique bodies. In this way we ensure that the goals we have achieved are not only measurable and achievable, but also sustainable.

So let’s talk about what your goal weight is and how you can prepare for success.

What’s your goal weight?

It is important to first define what a target weight is, or at least what most of us refer to as a “target weight”.

A goal weight is usually the number on the scale you want to go for for a variety of reasons – maybe this is your ideal number, you had that goal weight in high school and want to come back, or you think that if you get that goal achieve weight happiness will follow.

A goal weight is a number that is also used to measure the success of a diet or lifestyle change. In order to successfully improve your health and wellbeing, you need to hit this particular number.

A goal weight is usually created or calculated from an earlier version of ourselves, possibly at a time when they were about the weight they liked best, or they use a number they obtained online from an ideal weight calculator.

Does that sound right to you?

The problem with the target weight

A goal weight is just that, it just focuses on weight or our physical condition. It’s a numerical value that is simply the result of some attraction – it’s just a number.

The problem with that? It is disadvantageous to set a goal weight and use that as the only measure of success.

Let’s dive into the why.

5 reasons why we don’t recommend a target weight

Clinically, it is not a holistic health indicator.

Health is defined by a plethora of different components, from mental, emotional, spiritual and physical. Within each of these categories, we have numerous specific metrics and ways in which we can define “success” or progress toward a positive goal.

A goal weight doesn’t take these pillars of health into account as it is reduced to one number on the scale.

It does not reflect your complete anatomical health, such as your muscle mass, adipose tissue or bone mass, let alone the subjective and important pillars of health such as your relationship with food, your movement patterns, your daily practices or anything else that accurately reflects your general well-being.

This number doesn’t highlight and celebrate all of the hard work that you put into eating a more balanced diet on a daily basis. All tangible measures of success that you have experienced or will experience during your trip.

For example, how many meals you prepared this week, how often you cooked at home, what type of exercise you enjoyed, how many meals you ate for pure enjoyment, and how many more nutritious meals you ate, the quality of sleep that You had, and the list goes on.

A goal weight does not reflect your health, nor is it a complete snapshot of the habits you develop over time.

A target weight can encourage disturbed eating behavior.

A goal weight number doesn’t reflect the methods and methods you choose to get there, such as:

It makes you believe and think, “It doesn’t matter what I do or how I do it, as long as I get that number”.

This mentality can lead to a variety of impaired eating habits and behaviors, from restriction, binge eating, cleansing, and so many other impaired eating habits such as orthorexia.

You are never really satisfied, you could always lose more.

A goal weight glorifies the concept of loss and creates a state of less than – less is better, smaller is better, and lower is better.

In my experience as an RD and MNM coach working with hundreds of our Mindful Nutrition Method students, when people hit that set target number, they still don’t immediately feel satisfied, confident, or happy. In fact, they often feel more challenged, confused, and have difficulty understanding why they still “feel” the same despite reaching that weight goal.

This feeling of unfulfilledness is a great example of why reaching a set weight has little to do with your actual physical body and more to do with your mindset and relationship with food and your body.

In the vast majority of cases, clients still feel that they can lose more, keep the scale a little lower, and then finally be their best selves, their healthiest selves.

This leads to a lack of mindset in which you are never really happy or satisfied with yourself or your health.

It ignores the many phases and stages of your life.

Life is constantly changing and requires you to adjust your eating and living habits to find yourself where you are at this stage.

Just like your life, your body is not in a solid state, it requires change, adaptability, and growth in order to thrive, which is a beautiful thing.

The problem with fixating on a goal weight, which often uses strict diets or strict nutritional rules to get there, is that it doesn’t account for those ebb and flow of your life.

Your physical body and all the incredible things it can do with and for you should also change and grow with your life.

Now think back to different phases in your life. Was there a time when your physical body has changed to accommodate a lifestyle change like childhood, adulthood, pregnancy, etc.? If you yourself had a rule of reaching your goal weight at all of these stages, you would stick with that number and not worry about the unique needs of each stage of life.

A goal weight can promote a negative body image.

Most of the time, I find that goal weights are set and strived for in the presence of a negative body image.

When there is a lack of confidence and self-compassion, it can be easy to target a number that seems to fix the imperfections you think you have.

The problem with this is that without a positive body image, whether you get that number or not, there is always something wrong. There will always be adjustments that you want to make.

This can leave you feeling embarrassed, uncomfortable, and worthless. What we never want you to feel!

Target weight vs. balanced weight

You have learned why having a target weight is detrimental, how it can further unbalance your relationship with food, and create negative self-talk and body images. We call the better and more balanced alternative to the target weight balanced weight.

This is where your balanced weight comes in.

What is your balanced weight?

A balanced weight is not determined by the number on the scales – a balanced weight is much more than just weight.

Your weight balance is the physical state in which you embody balanced eating habits, a mindful approach to eating, and a positive relationship with food and your body – it can change depending on your individual stage in life.

In this balanced embodiment, you will be able to experience the joy of your food while giving priority to your body’s nutrition by consciously practicing balance in your food choices.

This is where you eat mindfully, listen, and take deliberate action regarding your hunger, satiety, and satisfaction signals.

Here you feel safe and comfortable in your own skin, where you can enjoy food and drinks with your friends and also really enjoy a Foundational Five food meal.

It means no stress when eating and endless confidence in yourself about your eating habits. It is when you are able to experience self-confidence and practice self-compassion while still making changes and changes to your current habits and routines.


Consciously connecting with your why in terms of your balanced eating habits, changes in your health, physical body, and lifestyle is key. The more closely you can be connected to your intention to be balanced in a sustainable way for a lifetime, the more your food choices will be geared towards the changes you desire for yourself.

Find your weight balanced with ease and confidence

This is exactly what we teach in the Mindful Nutrition Method. The Mindful Nutrition Method ™ is a transformative online live experience with live group coaching, training and course materials and a private community. Inside, we teach our students to develop balanced eating habits for life that will help them become free from eating and diet obsessions, maintain a balanced weight, have a positive relationship with food and your body, and ultimately enjoy them find to feed themselves.

McKel walks you through the steps to healing your relationship with food and shows you how to build a new relationship that will enable growth, stability, and support.

Do you feel stressed about the food?

Sign up today to see my free master class where you’ll learn more about the # 1 Habits Struggling with Your Weight and Your Relationship with Food – and how to get out of diet and food obsession right now can free.

You don’t have to get stressed and obsessed about eating. There is a better way and yes it is possible to have a positive relationship with food! Take this free balanced diet master class to learn how.

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