Maintaining a weight loss log is one of the best methods a person can use to aid them in the dieting and fitness process. It is also, regrettably, one of the least utilized tools out there. Weight loss is an exercise in accountability and discipline. Oftentimes it is a journey that a person has no choice but to make alone. When you are accountable to no one but yourself, falling off the bandwagon is incredibly easy.
This means that the first step to a successful weight loss endeavor is to build practices into your daily life that will help to hold you accountable.
There are really three factors that a good weight loss log should have.
First should be a statement of your goals. Goal setting, especially when they are written down and read every day, has long been considered one of the most critical factors to attaining success with any venture. A goal once enumerated creates a focal point for the mind to focus on. Do not be overly limiting in your goals. Express the amount of weight you would like to lose at the end of 1 year, 6 months, 3 months, 1 month, and the first week. This builds in both long term and short term goals for you to aim for, without making you a slave to your scale on a daily basis.
The log should also include a place for you to draft out a nutrition plan. This plan needs to specifically state the types of food you will be eating on a weekly basis. Each food type or meal needs to specify how many calories they contain. It is extremely difficult to lose weight without counting calories. When you eat anything, it needs to be listed in the log and tracked on a daily basis.
Exercise is the final factor that any good weight loss log must contain. Draft out an exercise plan that you will follow on a daily basis. The plan can be as simple as walking, jogging, push-ups and stretching. The main point is that you create a plan that you will actually follow. Many people try to start out with high intensity interval training. While this type of exercise can be great, it is a terrible place to start for a person who is out of shape. What typically happens when a person decides they will jump right into intense exercise is that they burn themselves out in the first week.
A plan you will not follow, is not a plan at all.
Ultimately the practice of keeping a log serves two purposes. It gives you a plan of action, a means of tracking your progress and efforts, while at the same time teaching you to be disciplined.
Weight loss is not easy and society can put a lot of pressure on people who are overweight. Losing that weight is incredibly important for your long term health. However it is a marathon, not a sprint.