Like most of you I have been working hard the last few weeks trying to lose weight and get in shape. I have lost 7 inches and 5 lbs. so far so I know my plan is working. I attribute my success partly to the fact that I am exercising a couple times a week and eating a healthy diet. However, because I am a big foodie I have to eat my meals and not drink them in a “healthy shake” and I do tend to cheat now and then. I especially love to cheat with chocolate, ice cream and candy. So, how have I managed to lose inches and pounds and still cheat occasionally? Well, I have a secret weapon that I like to call my ‘best fitness buddy’. No, it is not my BFF (best friend forever). My ‘best fitness buddy’ is simply a fitness journal. A fitness journal is a notebook or computer program that is used to record your daily food intake, physical activities and other fitness related data that can help you keep on track with your fitness goals and be successful.
I have been using fitness journals for years both electronic form or pen and notebook type. I have found for me that they are my best tool to help me to achieve my fitness goals hence why I call my journal my ‘best fitness buddy’ A fitness journal can be the best tool or best friend a dieter can have to win the battle of weight loss. I know that if I am honest in my journal I will quickly see if I am eating too much, gaining weight, not exercising enough or not getting enough vitamins in my diet. The key to using a fitness journal is simple – you just have to be totally honest. Write down everything you eat including the portion size and do not leave anything out and figure out the amount of calories you have eaten. Next, write down all the physical activity you do so you can keep track of the amount of calories you burned off. If by the end of the week you have burned off more calories than you have eaten you will lose weight. Please note you have to burn off 3500 calories to lose 1 pound. I know that is a lot of work and a lot of math so to make it easy to do and a lot less frustrating and time consuming I recommend you use an electronic journal program that does all the math for you including calculating calorie count for all your foods and activities!
I use my journal every day to keep track of all the calories I eat, calories I burn doing activities and workouts, to record my weight and body measurements, mood and fitness goals all in one place. It only takes a few minutes a day and pays off in a big way. Because I took the time to record everything if I have a cheat day or feel like maybe I am not getting anywhere I can open the program and instantly see how the amount of calories I have eaten compares with the amount I have burned off which tells me how I am doing. The program has an overview feature that I find very helpful because I can look back on the week, month or year and see if I am making progress and how much. After a bad cheat day being able to look back on a good week can give you the ammunition you need to recover from the cheat. Simply repeat the food choices and activities from the best week and you will be back on track in not time!
So this is my life my life lesson #8: get yourself a ‘best fitness buddy’ journal today and start being more successful in your weight loss plan! Good luck!