Successful weight-loss is a journey. Losing weight and keeping it off means doing little things every day which will show results over time – not taking a magic pill and suddenly shedding fat.
Losing weight and keeping it off requires careful attention to your diet and exercise habits. Every day you need to make a conscious decision to eat healthy foods and be active. Losing weight is a lifestyle decision. Once you’ve made this decision to live your life a certain way and lose weight for good, you need to keep it up.
Sometimes it will be difficult to maintain your focus and discipline. There will be times when you will want to give in and go back to your old, unhealthy lifestyle. There will be days when you will forget about the progress you’ve made so far, and just want to revert to your old habits.
An accountability buddy is incredibly helpful for keeping your focus and staying healthy. But a friend is only human – there will be times when they won’t be able to stay in touch, they may face emergencies in their lives as well. Alongside an accountability partner, you need to keep a food and exercise journal.
A food and exercise journal will chronicle your daily dietary habits. Over time, it will serve as visible proof of how far you’ve come, and how much you’ve achieved. Whenever you want to give up, you will be able to pull out your journal and see all the milestones you’ve crossed.
A journal could be something physical like a scrapbook, or a virtual diary such as a Microsoft Word file. It should contain details of each day, as well as records of celebratory moments and unhappy moments. You may wish to add photos to the journal so that you have a more visual record of your progress.
Your journal should contain details of your eating habits. You may want to record approximate calories consumed, and the exact amount of food you’ve eaten each meal. However, don’t worry too much about accuracy – you can even mention approximate portion sizes, such as “one small bowl salad and one big bowl pasta”.
The important thing about journaling is to be as honest as possible. Never lie to yourself – otherwise, what’s the point of recording your journey?
When you review your journal you will be able to better understand your food habits, including any portion-sizing problems you may have. In addition, you should record details of the meals, such as how hungry you were before and after, how quickly or slowly you ate, etc. Remember to also record snacks that you eat. Mention whether you ate because you were hungry, or because you were feeling some other emotion. Also record whether you were doing any other activity while eating, such as watching television.
Record similar details for your exercise habits. Mention what time you exercised, what exercises you did, any equipment you used, how intensely you exercised, etc. You might also mention any activities that you would rather do to work out, so that you can try to incorporate those activities into future workouts.
Your journal will serve as a reminder and as an analysis. By looking over your journal, you can identify where you’re going wrong, and try to correct those habits. You can also understand what you’re doing right, and stay motivated in the long run.
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