Eight Strategies to Stay Accountable for Weight Loss
Most people have heard the stories of New Year’s fitness resolutions that disintegrate by February 1. No matter how well-intended the resolution, weight loss and fitness regimens often take a backseat when life, work, and obligations get in the way.
However, it is important to note that the issue is not laziness, weakness, or lack of willpower. Like any successful feat or goal, reaching a healthy fitness level often requires strategy.
With the right plan in place, anyone who makes a commitment to fitness can have a concrete blueprint for achieving weight loss goals. A look at the eight best strategies for staying accountable in a fitness regimen can provide insight on how to stay on track from start to finish.
1. Set Attainable Goals (and Write Them Down)
From competitive sports ancient warfare, most strategies start with a game plan or action plan. This is not simply a one-time “to do” list. Instead, this game plan is a schedule of your fitness initiatives starting at the beginning of each week.
Every Sunday, make a concrete plan for workouts and meals for each day. For example, you might plan when and where you will exercise (e.g. jogging in the park for 30 minutes, using the elliptical for 45 minutes, etc). If possible, use a smartphone or desktop calendar app to schedule your appointments and set up alarms and appointments to ensure remaining with the program. Those who take health supplements can also use the scheduling tool to ensure taking them on a timely basis each day.
According to the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition, it can take up to six weeks to effectuate change and reap the results of a new fitness regimen. Therefore, you should have at least six lists that outline your fitness scheduling. You can then compare the results to ensure that you have followed through with the regimen.
2. Start With a Mini-Cleanse
Cleansing the body does not mean starving oneself or experimenting with crash diets (such as the potentially dangerous “cayenne pepper, lemon juice and maple syrup” starvation diet). Instead, scientists have found that the most effective detox diets may come from antioxidants that help the body’s cells perform at an optimal rate.
Most of these antioxidants come from foods with vitamins and minerals that help fight free radicals on the cellular level. One example is the wild Alaskan blueberry. This fruit contains among the potent antioxidants on Earth due to the plant’s structural composition. Wild Alaskan blueberry plants developed an abundance of antioxidants to adapt to the harsh Alaskan wilderness. Once consumed, the human body can absorb these antioxidants in order to fight off free radicals.
Although it is not practical for many people to handpick blueberries in the Alaskan wilderness, you can easily reap the benefits of pure wild blueberries through holistic supplements like Kyani. With its three-tiered program (Kyani Sunrise, Kyani Sunset, and Kyani Nitro options), you can get a full range of nutrients to meet your needs throughout the day.
3. Establish a Workout Routine
A new workout routine has a lot to do with establishing new habits within your life. Successful workout routines should fit your personal style and should interest you enough to remain consistent.
For example, if you have always wanted to try yoga, consider joining the free 30 Days of Yoga challenge on YouTube. This allows you to quantify your workout challenge and provides a start date, end date, and baseline for measurable results. If you want interpersonal instruction but feel uncomfortable at the gym, consider using an app like Class Pass or LifeBooker to find fitness classes in your area.
4. Establish a “Milestones Metric”
Traditionally, dieters monitored progress by weighing themselves on bathroom scales. However, recent evaluations have shown that this approach may be counterproductive.
For one, focusing on numbers on a scale can lead to a short-lived preoccupation with pounds instead of a long-term lifestyle change. Second, using a scale may fail to account for muscle mass, water weight, or other variables that can make the number on the scale appear higher.
For example, a University of Connecticut study found that muscle weighs more but takes up less volume. This means that someone with lean muscle can look slimmer and healthier – even if the scale reports a higher number than expected.
Instead of stressing over the scale, establish a personal metric for your fitness milestones. This metric does not have to be complicated. For instance, you can write down goals for measurements (such as bust-line or pectorals, waistline, hips, thighs, and calves). After writing down your objectives, use body-measure tape to record your initial numbers and then track your progress. Similarly, you can try on a swimsuit you would like to fit into by this summer and measure your progress based on improvements in fitment.
Those who prefer more technical or quantifiable metrics can download an app that measures basal metabolic rate (BMR) or body mass index (BMI). Basal metabolic rate measures how many calories your body burns while at rest, and studies have shown that you can raise BMR through consistent exercise. Body mass index measures the body’s fat mass relative to height, and you can also achieve an appropriate BMI range through regular physical activity. Use a map to measure each and to track you progress.
5. Take Progress Photos
Along with personal metrics, progress photos are some of the best ways to visually monitor improvements. You can use photographs to keep yourself motivated and to cross-reference with your weekly workout schedule to determine which regimens worked the best. Some people also use photos for future blogging or testimonial for an effective fitness program. For inspiration, you can use an animated progress app to track your milestones from start to finish.
6. Put Technology to Work
According to AppsFlyer mobile analytics research, the average person uses nine apps a day and routinely uses over 30 apps each month. Why not use an app like these that improves your fitness level?
Apps like My Fitness Pal or My Marcos let you count calories or monitor weight-loss progress. You can also use apps like Strength Flight for weight training. Some applications also allow you to customize workouts as an alternative to hiring a personal trainer. In addition, a pocket-sized pedometer can encourage you to go the extra mile while walking, running, or cycling.
7. Get an Accountability Partner
One of the best ways to stay accountable is to find a fitness partner or gym buddy. Going to a dancing class or workout session with a friend can be a great bonding experience and make you feel less self-conscious about attending classes alone. After finishing a workout, you can also reward yourselves with a trip to the spa for a day of massaging or pampering. In addition to providing motivation, your muscles may particularly welcome this strategy after a day of intense exercise.
8. Keep a Food Diary or Journal
Many people underestimate the power of diet saboteurs like casual snacking, extra condiments, or nighttime eating. Keeping a food journal can help you identify hidden calories that may be the last frontier in losing the final few pounds. Specifically, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends recording items in food journal before you eat them to encourage responsible choices. In addition, a diet journal can help pinpoint potential nutritional deficits (such as lack of vitamin C). You can then use a potent supplement (like Kyani Sunrise or Sunset) to bring your vitamin intake up to the recommended level.
The Bottom Line
No matter how well-intended, weight loss regimens only work if a person remains consistent. With the right strategy, however, you can increase the odds of fitness success. By increasing nutrient intake, working out, and maintaining accountability, you can construct a solid game plan for results that withstand the test of time.