Happy New Year, and welcome to 2017! You could be anywhere in the world right now, but you’re here with me, reading this post. I appreciate that, and I want to do everything I can to help you achieve your health, fitness, and/or weight loss goals this year. That’s why I decided to kick off my new year with a series of articles that I’m calling The ABC’s of Weight Loss. Since so many people set weight loss goals this time of year, I want to make sure you do so safely, intelligently, and in a way that helps you keep that weight off for life!
Starting with the letter “A”, our first topic of discussion is Accountability. You may have already decided on your meal plan and fitness goals, but even those with the strongest willpower can benefit from a buddy system or a routine “check-in” process to help stay on track. Because, let’s face it – weight loss is hard. But you don’t have to do it alone, and you shouldn’t! So check out these 5 tips to help you stay on track during your weight loss journey, and pick what works best for you!
5 Accountability Hacks for Weight Loss Success
1. Be Social – Grab a friend (or friends) with similar goals, and agree to have a weekly check-in with one another to discuss your progress as well as your challenges. If you’d rather not share this type of information within your social circle, look for weight loss groups in your neighborhood. MeetUp.com, Weight Watchers, and most fitness centers/gyms have some type of group weight loss class or support group these days – even in small towns!
2. Document Both Food & Fitness – Research continues to demonstrate that those who regularly track their food & beverage intake, as well as their physical activity, lose more weight and keep it off longer than those who don’t track these behaviors. So whether you prefer to write everything down in a notebook or in a fitness app such as My Fitness Pal, just do it!
3. Weigh Weekly or Daily* – Research has also shown that regular weigh-ins at home are also a great accountability tactic for weight loss and weight maintenance. As a dietitian, I typically recommend a weekly weigh in for my clients, but I have some clients who prefer to do so daily. Daily is fine as long as you weigh at the same time of day each day under similar circumstances (ex: first thing in the morning, after first trip to the bathroom). *However, for those with a history of eating disorders, please follow your primary healthcare provider’s recommendations for weight monitoring. It may be better for you to avoid weight monitoring at home.
4. Go Digital – One of my favorite things about being a dietitian right now is the access to new techie fitness toys that make achieving your goals streamlined and fun! I personally can’t leave the house without my new Fitbit Charge 2 (no sponsorship, just my preference) to track my steps and physical activity. It automatically logs activity, so only food intake needs to be logged manually (in journal or in an app). And if you really want to streamline your documentation, look for digital scales that can track your weight and automatically send your updated weight to your fitness apps. Scales such as Fitbit Aria and Withings (I use Withings – no sponsorship, just my preference) wirelessly transmit your latest weight to your smartphone for tracking.
5. Personalize Your Experience – If you are D-O-N-E with fad diets, and you are ready for a customized meal plan and daily accountability with a registered dietitian, I (ahem) know one who provides such services. To learn more about how we can work together, regardless of where you live in the United States, check out my new Virtual Nutrition Counseling page!
It is time to show 2017 who is BOSS! Best of luck to you on your weight loss and/or fitness journey!