If there was one essential skill I would want everyone looking to take weight off, improve their health and keep that success for life to have is the ability to track what they do. Seriously I know it doesn’t sound like much and in reality it is amazingly simple to do but so many people don’t utilize it and suffer because of it.
Tracking is easy. All you really need to do is write down what you eat and what you drink when you eat and drink it. Then calculate the calories per meal and add up the total calories in a day. Then track when you exercise and what you do (simply writing weights or cardio will do) and write down the results every time you get on the scale. If you do these simple things you will be able to see if you are on track to reach your goals and if you are not you will easily see why.
Now most of the above is simple but the one thing that people seem to struggle with is writing down their calorie consumption. Let me tell you this doesn’t have to require a complicated spread sheet or mobile application or a fancy book. I track myself on a dollar note book from Wal-Mart. All I do is write the date on top and then write down what I eat, what time I eat it and an estimate on the calories and keep a rolling total as the day progresses. For my liquid consumption I make write Coffee, Hot Tea, Water, Soda and Tea across the top and put a slash when I have one of them. It really is that simple. This way I have an easy to see record of what I did the past weeks and if I find myself not having the success I expect I know right where to look. I used this exact method to take off all that weight and to quit smoking. For my weight and exercise I use a basic wall calendar and write down what I did and all my scale results.
Why does this work? Well when you are forced to be accountable for what you do you think about what you do. Writing down what you eat every day will hold you accountable to the diet you want to be on. Now this doesn’t have to be laser precise, I ballpark every day and doing so hasn’t hurt me at all. Now when I say ballpark I mean be in the ballpark, don’t eat half a pizza and guess it had 300 calories. You have to be realistic so that if you aren’t having the success you want you can easily go back over the past few days and see why. So be honest with yourself about what you are eating, if you go out for dinner write down what you ate, go online and look up to see if the restaurant has a calorie guide posted if not look up the contents and increase the total by twenty percent to cover the things restaurants tend to do to food.
Some people are surprised about how simply I keep track of my workouts. Here is the thing I have a busy life and if I am going to dedicate thirty to sixty minutes to working out I am going to get the most of out it, so I don’t need to overcomplicate my tracking of it. The key is to keep your tracking simple so you can keep doing it.
Tracking can be your greatest asset when you fighting the weight loss battle, so make sure you use it and make sure your method is easy enough to be quickly done throughout your busy day.