How about a WORKOUT JOURNAL?
Professional bodybuilders, personal trainers, fitness gurus and even the bodybuilding magazines are unanimous in their recommendation to keep a work out journal. They all espouse planning your work out in advance, writing or printing it out to take to the gym, writing down your results, and then keeping the results for future reference. The main benefits include:
- Accurate tracking of progress through logging work out variables (exercises, sets, weights, reps, times, energy levels, etc.)
- Effective and precise planning of future work outs (knowing how you performed previously will eliminate guesswork).
- Heightened motivation and intensity - striving to beat previous bests.
- Increased focus and efficiency - having a clear, written plan.
Some tips on what to keep track of:
- Muscles trained.
- Exercises used.
- Weights used.
- Number of sets.
- Rest time between sets.
- Time to complete a set and/or work out.
- Additionally you could keep track of:
- Workout tempo.
- Energy levels.
- Place and time of day.
- Intensity levels.
- A food journal allows you to monitor your caloric intake. Losing weight is a simple equation: take in fewer calories than you expend. Monitoring your caloric intake is the first step in lowering it.
- Encourages you to focus on your food choices. More often than not we overeat because we are focusing on something other than what we are eating. Writing down what you eat in a food diary forces you to focus on what you are doing.
- Provides a record you can share with your health care provider. Your health care provider can look at your food diary and provide insight and information on what you can do to eat healthier. Also, what you are eating may be impacting your health in other ways.
- Helps you control the urge to binge. Knowing you are going to have to write down what you eat can stop you from reaching for the second helping of potato chips.
- Allows you to track your progress. A food diary can serve as evidence of how far you have come in this journey. It also feels great to look back and see you are eating better today than you did days, weeks or years ago.
- Encourages mindful eating. Writing down what you eat encourages you to think about what you are eating. The more you think, the less and better you eat.
- Creates a means of evaluating the connection between what you eat and how you feel. You can use a food diary to examine the circumstances and feelings which trigger overeating. Once you identify the causes you can begin doing something about them.
- Helps you be sure you are getting enough of each food group. It is important to eat a balanced diet. A food diary can provide clues as to what foods you have been neglecting and need to add to your diet.
- Assists you in acknowledging the reality of how much you eat. Keeping a food diary will help you confront the truth about how much you eat. Once you stop kidding yourself about how much you eat, you can begin making the necessary changes.
- Reinforces your commitment to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. Each time you make an entry in your food diary you are expressing your intention and desire to do what needs to be done in order to live well.
I don't know how I feel about this one but it does work for some women. Hanging up a piece of clothing that you want to fit into is also a good idea for some people but again, it will not work for everybody. Generally, whatever makes you want to lose weight, stick to that and you will keep your motivation with you.
WRITING THE REASONS WHY
Try writing down what losing the weight would mean to you. For example, would it make you happier? How would it improve your life? Would you feel healthier maybe? By writing down what losing weight means to you, you will remind yourself just how important it is and whenever you have a bad day you can look at it and give yourself the motivation that you need to carry on. People who lose weight do tend to say that they feel a lot more energetic and more confident too.
And don't forget, Summer is right around the corner. I always loved training thru the winter all covered up. When Spring came it was such a great feeling to finally see the fruits of your labor firm and ripe!