Weight Loss Is Not the Most Important Goal
Weight loss is the reason many people exercise in the first place. But it's certainly not the sole benefit of an exercise program.
Bryant says the long-term goal of weight loss is sold too heavily to people starting fitness programs, and that can be discouraging. People have trouble sticking with something if they don't see results quickly.
"Really, they should think about the level of functioning in the activities of daily living," says Bryant. "That can serve as the motivation to keep them coming back for more."
So whatever weight loss goal you have when starting a fitness program, don't make it your only goal. Strive to feel better, to have more energy, to be less stressed. Notice the small things that exercise does for you quickly, rather than getting hung up on the narrow goal of the number on a scale.
"With a goal of losing weight and enhancing health, exercise has to become a part of a person's life, not an afterthought," Astorino says.