For long-term weight maintenance, setting a specific goal of “lose 5 pounds,” research shows, is a less effective strategy for continued pursuit of weight loss than giving yourself some leeway, such as “lose 3 to 8 pounds.” Researchers refer to this latter strategy as a high-low range goal, or one characterized by a range of possibilities for success, from easily attainable to challenging. Individuals pursuing high-low range goals “perceive those goals as being both attainable and challenging, which is needed for people to experience a sense of accomplishment,” says Maura Scott, Ph.D., an assistant professor of marketing at Florida State University. “It’s that feeling of accomplishment that emerges that makes people want to continue.”
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