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How to Set a Fat Loss SMART Goal


calendar-iconApril 10, 2021

Fat Loss

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Heads up! This article is connected to our Fat Loss Journey page. For the complete picture on how to lose fat using our evidence-based system, check it out here!

If you’re just getting started on your fat loss journey, setting the right goal is an important first step.  

The right fat loss goal can create a foundation that you can act on and succeed with. With the wrong fat loss goal can leave you despondent, deflated, and potentially even worse off than where you began! 

With that said, you’ll want to make sure you set a fat loss goal that sets you up for success. A great way to do that is using the SMART goal structure. 

A SMART goal is a goal that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Specific. 

In this post, we’ll break down each variable of a fat loss SMART goal, letter by letter, and then give you an example of a fat loss SMART goal so you’re totally equipped to make your own.

S Stands for Specific

The letter S in SMART stands for “specific”. 

In the simplest terms, this means choosing how many pounds of fat you want to burn, or choosing what body fat percentage you want to achieve.

Typically fat loss is measured in pounds, so ask yourself: “How many pounds of fat do I want to lose?”

Our Ultimate Fat Loss Nutrition Guide tells us that you should aim to lose 4-8 pounds per month (this amount may vary depending on your starting body fat percentage). With that said, we recommend picking a target of 5-10 pounds of fat loss to start!

Answering specifically how much fat you want to lose is the first step in setting your fat loss SMART goal.

M Stands for Measurable

The M in SMART stands for “measurable”. 

As long as your SMART goal focuses on fat loss, it should satisfy the M in SMART. 

You may be wondering how to measure fat loss progress. We’ve got that all covered in our guide to Measuring Fat Loss Progress. 

In this initial step in your journey, though, just make sure your SMART goal is focused entirely on fat loss to ensure your goal is measurable.

A Stands for Attainable

The A in SMART goals stands for “attainable”. 

Attainable means that your fat loss goal should be challenging, but also realistic and achievable. 

As we mentioned before, our Ultimate Fat Loss Nutrition Guide tells us that you can expect to lose 4-8 pounds of fat per month with proper nutrition and training.

With that said, you want to avoid setting a goal like “I want to lose 100 pounds of fat”. 

While there is nothing wrong with aiming for something like this over a longer period of time, 50 pounds of fat could take months (or even years) to lose, so you may be wiser to break that goal up into more achievable, smaller SMART goals, at least to start off.

So, when creating your goal, make sure the amount of fat you want to lose is attainable and realistic.  

R Stand for Relevant 

Next, the R in SMART stands for “relevant”. 

When setting fat loss goals, you want to ensure your goal is relevant to you and your personal values. 

NASM points out that goals that are relevant are important to you and align with your other fitness-related aspirations.

Elly McGuiness also highlights that taking the time to choose a relevant goal provides you with the opportunity to pin down about what’s really important to you in your life.

For example, if you know you want to slim down in time for your summer birthday party, include that event in your SMART goal. 

In essence, you just want to make sure your goal is relevant to you, your lifestyle, and your personal goals.

T Stands for Time-Specific

Lastly, T stands for “time-specific”. 

Every goal should set a specific time that your goal must be completed by. This will help you keep on track and make your goal a priority.  

Jumpstart states that putting a deadline on your fitness goal will make you more committed and likely to achieve your goal.

With that said, put a deadline within your SMART goal. Fat loss is a gradual process, so be sure to give yourself at least a month to achieve significant results. 

An Example Muscle Growth SMART Goal

If you followed all of the letters in SMART while creating your fat loss goal, you’ll end up with something like this example:

“I want to lose 5 pounds of fat in the next month in time for my summer birthday party.”

This is an example of a fantastic fat loss SMART goal because it meets all 5 rules that we went over in this article:

  • It is Specific- It specifies how much fat you want to lose.
  • It is Measurable- It focuses on fat loss, which is measurable
  • It is Attainable- 5 pounds of fat is very attainable with the right training and nutrition plan
  • It is Relevant- It mentions a summer birthday party, making the goal more personally relevant
  • It is TimeSpecific- It specifies 1 month, giving a specific deadline for when the goal needs to be achieved.

With a SMART fat loss goal that satisfies all the criteria like this example, you are setting yourself up for a successful fat loss journey.


Making sure your muscle growth goal is SMART creates the foundation for a successful fat loss journey. An appropriate fat loss SMART goal will:

  • Be specific about the amount of fat you want to lose
  • Be measurable
  • Be attainable (while challenging) 
  • Be relevant to you, your lifestyle, and your priorities
  • Be time specific and give you a deadline

So, before you leap into yourl muscle growth journey, take the time to make sure your fat loss goal satisfies the SMART requirements!

Heads up! This article is connected to our Fat Loss Journey page. For the complete picture on how to lose fat using our evidence-based system, check it out here!

References and Useful Research:

Date Created: April 10, 2021

Last Updated: April 15, 2021

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