Oddly enough, I get a number of questions each month about how I go about charting my weight loss and the best way to keep track of progress.
The questions about my weight loss charting seems a little fundamental to me, especially because I have been having my clients use a success journal as part of a motivation strategy over years when they call on me to help them lose weight.
But I understand that this concept is not obvious to people, as they focus much of their attention onto quick fixes and weight loss silver bullets.
Anyway, here’s one of the latest questions I have received:
Hey Susan, thanks for the great blueprint on the best way to lose weight. I was wondering though how you recommend me charting my weight loss? And should I be keeping track of other things such as workouts? I’m VERY motivated to succeed this time!
Thanks in advance for your time!
Hey Bonnie, great question. And the answer is one that I feel like a broken record talking about.
Charting My Weight Loss….
Charting or logging your weight loss is, in my opinion, one of the most necessary and important actions you can do while trying to lose weight.
It helps hold you accountable for your actions and helps point out areas where you may need to work harder on or even areas that are working really well for you.
If you miss a workout, it’s right there in front of you. If your diet is sabotaging your weight loss, then you won’t be asking yourself, “Why Can’t I lose Weight?”.
Just like in school, your kids get report cards to let you know how they are progressing in each subject, feedback from logging weight loss can have a profound affect on your weight loss success.
What Should You Be Charting….
The second part to your question above asks about what aspects of the weight loss process you should be charting or logging to have the absolute best chances for success.
In the last 15 years, I have worked with hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people who are trying to lose weight.
My most successful clients were those that logged as many details as possible.
It borders on anal or even OCD, but you are more likely to achieve your weight loss goals if you give it this attention.
First, map out your workout routines and activity for each day. It is best to plan it out for the month ahead of time, but at the very least simply record what you did for each day.
Second, log your meal plan for each day. Again, it would be cool if you were able to plan things ahead of time to make sure you are prepared for each day, but unless you are really dedicated, most won’t take the time to do it.
Make sure you record what foods you ate, how much of it you consumed, and even time of day you ate it.
It isn’t always enough to just eat a certain amount of food, sometimes you need to strategically time your meals relative to exercise. You can read more about this in this post here.
Also, if you are taking any of the natural supplements for weight loss I recommend, you will want to record when and what you take.
But getting these points down each day and then relating it to the amount of weight you lose will provide you with amazing information.
Third, you should be tracking your weight loss progress.
Again, it borders on obsessive/compulsive, but really when you know you have to get on the scale each morning you are less likely to have that late night ice cream binge.
Go ahead and weight yourself every day. If that is too frustrating for you then back off to every other day. Just make sure you write down in your training log your results each time.
You could also grab a tape measure in addition to or instead of the scale and take a few measurements with it. Chest, waist, belly button, hips, and thigh seem to be the best indicator of progress, irrespective of water loss.
You could track all of these things in a special, dedicated notebook or journal. Or maybe even on a daily calendar/day timer.
You could even set up a spreadsheet on your computer if you prefer to do things high tech.
In my home workout fat loss program, Ultimate Home Workouts (offered for free here), I provide people with a Success Journal with spaces to record what foods they eat, what activity they do, and anything else they feel the need to keep track of. It’s that important.
In the end, it really doesn’t matter how you do it, as long as you just do it.
Experiment with a few different methods and see what works best for you.
Your Weight Loss Coach,
Susan Campbell, MS