Tracking your results during your weight loss journey is something that you’re used to doing. But to get the most out of the actions you’re taking, you actually need to track your actions too. There are many reasons why you should do this, but I’m going to share the four most compelling reasons why and they can be summed up in the fact that tracking your actions can save you time and struggle on your weight loss journey.
Let’s dive into each one.
#1 Tracking your actions will help you identify what’s working
When you’re losing weight, there are a lot of possible strategies you can try and a lot of possible paths you can choose to take. You can choose to try CrossFit as your workout system or decide on the more accessible Zumba. Both of these things can work for you depending on what your goal is. And tracking these strategies you’re using, even as you track your results, can help you figure out what’s working.
It usually takes about 3 – 4 weeks for your body to respond to any one strategy and if you’re tracking how your body is responding (your results) to what you’re actually doing (your actions), you’ll be able to know what moves the needle for you and what doesn’t.
This takes some of the guesswork out of the weight loss process and allows you to weed out ineffective strategies early on.
#2 Tracking your actions will help you identify what you can get away with
The conventional wisdom around weight loss is that the harder the better. If you’re not cutting out all junk or working out for hours a day, you’re not doing it right. But this doesn’t have to be true except you’re preparing for a figure competition.
Instead, what’s true is that you need to eat differently than you already do in the direction of a healthier eating pattern. And you need to workout consistently. And tracking your actions is the best way to help you decide what your journey will look like.
The truth is, to get and stay lean you only need to eat to a healthy eating pattern about 90% of the time. And if you just want to get a little healthier or start losing weight, that adherence number is more like 75% – 80%. But how do you know what your number is if you don’t track? And how do you know the balance of “junk food” that you eat in the 10% time and still lose weight? Well you’ve gotta track.
The same goes for exercise. Your focus with your workouts should be to push your comfort zone to burn calories and build muscle, but you don’t need to workout for hours a day to achieve this. It can be as simple as 3 times a week doing bodyweight circuit workouts, but you won’t know what works for you if you don’t track.
P.S. Your tracker doesn’t need to be complicated. You just need to ask the right questions. Click here to grab a copy of The Simplest Workout Tracker Ever to get an example of how simple it can be. Plus it’s the same workout tracker that I use with my Smash Fit Club Members, and you can get it by clicking here.
#3 Tracking your actions will help you decide what actions to take when you hit a plateau
A plateau happens when the actions that you’re taking no longer put your body in a negative energy balance. This means that you’re stuck at equilibrium and you have to do something that’ll shake things up to get you back on track.
Having a log of what you’ve done so far will help you choose what your next action should be because you can look through what you’ve done and try a different strategy. It’ll also help you eliminate any strategies that you’ve tried in the past that didn’t work. It’s a huge time and energy saver because you’ll spend less time spinning your wheels and more time taking actions that will get you closer to your goals.
#4 Tracking your actions will help you feel confident that you can lose the weight again
There are some instances where you gain weight because of your life’s path or life realities. For example, if you get pregnant or if you find yourself on a work assignment in a really unhealthy environment.
They’re not the same, but they have a similar effect on your waistline and one of the biggest worries you probably have is whether you’ll be able to get back on track when things get back to normal. Well having a log of what you did before and how it worked for you can give you the confidence that you can do it again.
It’s like your own personal story of what works for you to lose weight. And you can use your tried and true strategies instead spending time and money on brand new strategies with no guarantees. This way you can start with your old faithfuls to begin your journey to lose the weight after situations that are not fully in your control.
It’s time to take action.
I know tracking is a tricky thing. There’s the idea that it takes a lot of time and it’s like someone is looking over your shoulder, but it helps you more than it “hurts” you.
Think of the time you spend tracking as time spent in service of your own self-care. You’re saving yourself from wasting time on ineffective strategies, and you’re writing a personal log that you can use to get back to you if something happens that makes you gain weight.
See it as an exercise that’ll help you ease the burden of your weight loss journey over time.
And as for someone looking over your shoulder? Well you did make a commitment to yourself take action to shed the extra weight right? So you’re just holding yourself accountable to the promise you made to yourself, and isn’t that all part of being a grown up filled with integrity?
So today, I want you to choose one reason why your new habit of tracking and holding yourself accountable will help further your goal. It might be something I shared in one of the four points above, or something brand new that you just thought of for yourself. And use that to remind yourself why you’re committed to tracking your actions.
P.P.S. Don’t forget to grab your copy of The Simplest Workout Tracker Ever! It’s in Google Forms format, but you can adapt the gist of it to whatever format works best for you.
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