Train With Intention: Goal Setting

By Jenna Bathgate
QubeCore Sports & Rehab Nutritionist and Kinesiologist

With our society increasingly prioritizing health and wellness, the health and fitness industry has witnessed a significant surge in growth.

Through the media, we are constantly being bombarded with new information; quick fixes, exercise routines to shred your core in 4 weeks, and fad diets that promise to trim inches off your waist in just 21 days. These programs promise outcomes by including compelling pictures of people’s results.

In reality, have you EVER met someone who endorsed that 21-day fix? Or who agreed that after those 4 weeks their abs looked like they never had before? Probably not.

If you’ve invested time in adhering to a fitness program and have failed to observe significant results…It’s time to start being more intentional not only with your workouts, but also HOW you’re executing them.

Let’s first talk about intentions. An Intention refers to “the act or instance of determining mentally upon some action or result” or “the end or object intended; purpose”.

The first step to being more intentional with your health and fitness is by setting a goal, and being determined to reach that goal.

Most people set mundane goals, such as wanting to lose weight, wanting to feel healthier or becoming more fit. Although these are great goals, it is important to create incremental outcome goals, by clearly outlining the goal in a reasonable time frame. This way, you make it easier to follow and reach the desired outcome.

Being more intentional with your health requires you to set SMART goals. SMART is an acronym standing for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Reasonable and Time specific.

Here’s an example of a general goal lacking in intention: Martina wants to lose weight before the wedding she’s attending next month.

Martina’s goal is just okay, but not great. She has set a time constraint but fails to specify how much weight she hopes to lose, which does not help us determine if it’s attainable. Here’s a better goal set made with the help of a practitioner, using the SMART guidelines:

Martina is currently 160 pounds (68kg) and 5’6 (168 cm). Her BMI is 25.8 which her doctor has told her is considered to be “overweight”. Martina wants to lose 5 pounds in the next 4 weeks, to attain a BMI of 25 before the wedding.

Now, here’s the mathematical reality of trying to lose weight:
There are 3500 calories in every pound.
5 pounds x 3500 calories per pound
= 17,500 calories

Therefore, Martina needs to be in a total deficit of 17,500 calories. If we want to lose that amount of weight over the next 4 weeks, we need to divide that down into smaller, daily goals.

4 weeks x 7 days per week = 28 days
17,500 calories / 28 days = 625 calories per day

Martina needs to achieve a total deficit of 17,500 calories over 28 days, which is equal to a deficit of 625 calories per day. Next, we need to figure out how we can change her current behaviours to yield that result.

While talking to Martina about her daily habits, she communicates to me that she drinks a lot of sugar-sweetened or high calorie beverages. She currently starts her day with a glass of orange juice, gets a coffee from her local coffee shop for lunch and has 1-2 cans of regular soda when she gets home at night.

Martina will reduce her calorie consumption by 300 calories per day by decreasing the number of sugary beverages she drinks and swapping in water instead.

1 250 mL cup orange juice = 115 calories
1 can regular coca cola = 140 calories
1 medium iced brown sugar oat shaken espresso = 120 calories

Martina will also increase her calorie expenditure by 250 calories per day by going to her local gym and training for an hour, three times per week and going on an hour long walk with her dog on the remaining days.

These goals are clearly defined. With the help of a fitness professional, we were able to take her end goal and create actionable steps that will lead to the desired outcome. Now, all you must do is trust that the actions outlined in the process goals WILL yield the outcome – if executed with intention.

Intentional goal-setting applies to all facets of health and fitness. If you want to achieve a goal, it is essential to be intentional about the desired outcome and how you plan on achieving it.

QubeCore Sports & Rehab offers Kinesiology and Nutrition Counselling services in North Vancouver for a wide range of conditions. To book your appointment with Jenna Bathgate, call 604.210.2274 or simply book online by clicking HERE.

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