Another year, another intention to get fit and stay fit. In my industry, this is the busiest time of the year. It’s exciting to see so many more exercisers in January hitting the sidewalks here in Brentwood, TN or visiting the gyms, yet just as disappointing to see them drop off by Spring. So, what’s the key to starting an exercise routine, sticking to it and seeing results that motivate you to continue long after we have rung in the New Year? In a two-part series, this month and next, I will share with you two of the most important strategies for looking and feeling your best this year!
I hear it all the time, “But I eat really well and I still haven’t lost any weight.” That’s their viewpoint until they start actually documenting everything they eat. As the day goes by you may be eating mindlessly or even eating more than you thought. Our metabolisms change over time and what worked for us in our 20’s and 30’s doesn’t necessarily work in our 40’s and beyond. Improper portion sizes are the biggest setback I find when evaluating journals. Even I had a hard time shedding the pregnancy pounds last summer until I actually starting keeping a food journal with an online program!
Recently, studies have shown what I have been telling clients for years — those that keep a diet and exercise journal lose two times as much weight as those that don’t! This is good news for anyone keeping a journal whether you goal is to lose weight, run a marathon or even just tone up. While you might be one to complain about the hassle of keeping a journal, wouldn’t you agree that it’s much better than not fitting into your clothes, or worse, having medical issues due to your size or lack of physical fitness?
Make the Change
It’s never too late to change your fitness level and lifestyle. Simply pick up a small notebook at the store and update it two-three times a day with exactly what you did that day to get healthier. Include everything you ate and any exercise you did. The more information you provide in your journal the better. Chances are, you already know what you should be eating to achieve your goals — the journal will just provide additional discipline and accountability!
Now, if you enjoy the convenience of the computer or you need some guidance in the nutrition department there are many online programs that allow you set up an account and enter in the food you eat. Some even have technology to give you a snapshot regarding how well you doing by providing charts, graphs or “report cards” and some provide meal planning.
Just remember, keeping a journal does not have to be forever. Once you reach your goals and get used to writing down everything you eat and learning how to balance out your meals, you won’t need the journal. And if you get off track, you can always just pick up the pen and paper (or mouse) once again!
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