Have you decided that you’re ready to lose weight? If you’re like us, you probably prepare for your new healthy lifestyle by adding workouts to your calendar, stocking your fridge with veggies and targeting a start date—all while hoping this time will be different and you’ll drop the weight.
We’ll let you in a little secret: After working with hundreds of clients, we’ve learned that keeping a food and fitness journal is a sure-fire way for you to be healthier and lose body fat. Ask anyone who has lost a significant amount of weight through any program and odds are he or she kept a fitness journal. Why? Because it’s a simple, low-cost and effective way to meet and maintain your weight loss goal.
So, stop hoping this time will be different and make it different by keeping a fitness journal so you can lose the write way!
Why a Fitness Journal Will Help You Lose Weight
- Accountability: Keeping an honest written record of your daily fitness and diet regimen is a real eye-opener as to why you are or are not losing weight. You may discover that a snack you thought was low calorie contains 30 grams of sugar per serving—or even worse, contains zero calories but plenty of artificial sweeteners.
- Motivation: Monitoring your progress and reflecting on your success will help you build momentum and keep moving toward your weight loss goal. Writing down even your smallest accomplishments will raise your self image and reinforce the healthy choices you make on a daily basis.
- Awareness: Identifying what’s contributing to your success and failure on the scale is critical, and it’s just easier to analyze what’s working (or not working) when you write stuff down. Rather than trying a diet or fitness regimen designed for the masses, you can create one that really works for YOU.
What to Track in Your Fitness Journal
- Food and Calories: Record everything you put in your mouth and keep a running tally of the calories and nutritional value (protein, carbs, sugar, etc.) of the foods you consume each day. It’s fun, educational and—thanks to your smartphone—easy to see what’s in the foods you eat (whether you’re using a fitness/calorie tracking app or just Googling the calories in your apple.
- Exercise and Calories Burned: Track your exercise (reps, weights, routines, classes) and, if you’re using a monitor (Fitbit, heart rate monitor), your calories burned. You’ll get a real sense of accomplishment when you review your daily, weekly and monthly totals.
- Hydration: Set a daily goal and track how much water you drink. If you workout, you need at least 80 ounces of fluids per day. (Coffee and other caffeinated bevvies don’t count. Sorry!)
- Supplements and Vitamins: Note what you take and how many.
- Daily Activity: Jot down all physical activity (walking, gardening, etc.).
- Emotions: Note how you’re feeling when you eat, exercise, feel hungry, etc., along with the time of day. You may be surprised to learn it’s not about what you’re eating, it’s about what’s eating you!
- Physical Changes: Record and track your measurements and weight but also note fitness improvements (being able to hold a plank for 30 seconds, adding five pounds to your bench press weight, increasing flexibility, etc.) and any other physical changes (like your skin clearing up).
- Gratitude: Find something you like about your body and give thanks about it on a daily basis (how strong your legs are becoming, that you are healthy enough to workout, etc.)
- Goals: Break your big goal (lose 50 pounds) into smaller, more attainable weekly goals (lose two pounds) and give yourself a big pat on the back when you meet each one.
Knowledge You’ll Gain With a Fitness Journal
By consistently keeping a fitness journal, you’ll learn how to maximize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses because you’ll figure out what does and doesn’t work for you:
- You’ll have a record of every workout—especially those designed by trainers—to use as a resource for the future. You’ll be able to note what exercises you like or don’t like, and track any injuries, aches or pains as well as how you recovered.
- Over time, you’ll build a collection of recipes that are enjoyable, easy to prepare and support your healthy lifestyle.
- You’ll begin to view the scale as your friend rather than a source of stress because you’ll understand why your weight fluctuates and how to deal with it.
- You’ll even figure out how to enjoy happy hour or dinner out with minimal impact on your body. After all, you still have a life to live!
Ready to lose weight the write way? Sign up for a free consultation to discuss your fitness plan and get the professional guidance and support you need to implement, achieve and maintain the healthy lifestyle you want.