Diet and Fitness: The Best Advice I Can Give You

This morning I read this article from Lifescript, titled, “Why Isn’t the Weight Coming Off?”:

You’ve gone to the gym regularly for the past month and have been watching what you eat. You’ve been trying harder than you’ve ever tried before, so why isn’t the extra weight budging? It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you’re working hard enough to lose weight solely based on the fact that you’re giving it your all. But if you kept track of your workouts and food intake, you just might be surprised at how much room for improvement there really is. 

When it’s in black and white, it’s much more difficult to “forget” about that workout you skipped last week, or those cupcakes you baked and ate twice daily for a week. The solution? Make yourself a training log. 

Use a calendar and write down your daily workouts in detail. Include the duration and intensity of effort you gave that day and how you were feeling (mood, emotions) before and after working out. This will help you recognize why you may have had a weak or particularly high-energy workout for no particular reason. 

To pump up the volume on your weight loss even more, keep a food diary. Put a lot of detail into your records and you’ll identify the many reasons why your diet could be sabotaging your efforts in the gym. Whether it’s exercise, diet or both, chart your progress and you’ll know without a doubt why the weight isn’t coming off.

Diet and Exercise Journal

You can be even more comprehensive by tracking your mood, energy level, hours of sleep, body measurements, and more in addition to your weight, food, and activity.

This is the greatest piece of advice I could possibly give you. In the past 10 months, I’ve lost 22 pounds using Weight Watchers. It’s very exciting, but most of all, it’s easy! And the reason it’s easy to follow is because I’m tracking all of my food and exercise; by making you highly aware of your input and output, you will learn which foods are healthier than others, which foods keep you full, and whether or not that splurge is worth the calories. The best part is that I don’t have to deny myself those splurge foods—so long as you portion for them, you can have whatever you’d like!

MyFitnessPal Smartphone App

MyFitnessPal Smartphone App – calorie-based tracking

The most important thing to note is that a diet is temporary; this is fine for weight loss, but if you don’t want to pack the pounds right back on once you’re finished, then what you need is a lifestyle change. Tracking your food and exercise can help you reshape the way you think about your health and make you more aware. That way, you’re not the only person who benefits; you can pass your healthy habits onto your family. How great would it be if your kids could learn healthy habits now and avoid struggling with being overweight or obese, like so many kids and young adults in our country? Not to mention, the healthier you and your significant other are, the longer you can be around for them.

Make the change now! You can start small. Weight Watchers is an excellent paid program, but MyFitnessPal is a free food and exercise tracker that works great as well. Both are incredibly convenient because they are available on all of your devices: smartphone, tablet, and computer. There are a plethora of other websites available as well. If you don’t have access to these, you can keep a handwritten journal. There are also many templates available online, if you like. As long as you’re observing your habits, it will be so much easier for you to improve upon them.

Weight Watchers Smartphone App

Weight Watchers Smartphone App – point-based tracking

Don’t forget to come back and let us know what you think about diet and fitness tracking!