By Rudy Dewatine of BodyFatGenius
Trying to lose weight can be a grueling process of losses and gains. You may think you have your eating down and reached maintenance level, but then you suddenly start to see the inches on the waistline creeping back. What gives? One answer could be in the way you are monitoring your weight loss journey. Those who record their progress and what they eat throughout the day are more likely to keep off the pounds they are shedding.
The Importance of Monitoring
Food is everywhere in today’s society. You cannot walk through the mall without being tempted by the sight and scent of delectable food and drink. To believe that you can keep a mental note of everything you nibble and sip throughout the day is unrealistic, especially around the holidays or social events. For that reason, those who are trying to lose weight should not attempt to self-regulate. Simple tactics like accurate scales, handheld bio-impedance analysis (BIA), food and workout journals and the like are key to attaining your weight loss and wellness goals.
Tracking Is Not Just About Calories
Pounds lost and calories consumed are not the only two components. Sure, they are important, but they are just two pieces of the weight loss puzzle. There are various facets of health that you will be forgetting if you focus only on calories, for example. Let us say you decide that you are going to cut out processed carbohydrates and eat more vegetables. If you do not keep a food journal, you cannot accurately compare how well you are doing to the past.
The same goes for pounds. Rather than just saying you lost 3 in one week and 2 in the other is not going to work. You have to incorporate your training regimen. After all, the scale is going to fluctuate as you lose fat, build muscle, eat certain foods, or perspire. But the more you write down, the more of an understanding you have of your fitness level.
Knowing your health and fitness inside and out means you can continue losing weight for longer, without running into any snags. You will know how to change your diet accordingly. Plus, you can hold yourself accountable for everything you consume.
Make Monitoring a Routine
Like it or not, weight loss is a lifestyle change—not a monthly change. If you want to lose weight, you have to do what helps you lose weight consistently. Tracking your success is the beginning. Now, you have to work it into your daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly routine. Find smartphone apps that help you record and monitor your nutrition, take progress photos once a week, do hip-to-waist measurements every weekend, and routinely weigh yourself in the morning on an empty stomach.
The more you do these things, the less you are going to have to think about doing them in time. That is when “maintenance” becomes less of a burden, because you automatically know what has to be done to keep your health in check. Plus, how awesome is it going to be to chronicle your amazing weight loss journey?
Beginning the road to weight loss and better health is always a challenge. Whether you have fallen off the wagon or are starting anew, remember that monitoring your progress is going to make a difference in keeping those pounds off. Tracking your success keeps you accountable in all facets of your health, so put those fitness trackers, scales, and food journals to work! As you flip back through the pages of your logs and look at photos, you will be astounded by the changes.