I give clients a lot of tips during our training sessions, but the advice that keeps on giving is to keep a food journal and setting realistic fitness goals for success.
Since food is what derails most weight loss goals, even with exercise. Let’s start here. You need to not only chart what you eat, but write out your feelings about how what you eat makes you feel. Whether you use an application like the free ap MyFitnesspal or just write out consumption and the related calories, it’s important to become more aware of how you are feeling before and after meals, snacks, the end of the day, etc. There are many reasons why.
It is important to see how food and beverage choices contribute to cravings. For example, many clients who are new to eating right experience increased sugar and salt cravings. Often the best means to combat these cravings is to become more aware of how, when, and what they eat not only impacts their daily weight but provides an overall feeling of well-being.
Journaling can also help you identify and answer questions like ” What’s my body trying to tell me?” Healthy people pay attention to their body’s signals and notice when they feel good and when their body is telling them something isn’t right. Tuning in to these signals and adjusting food choices in such a way will work with your body and not against it. Paying close attention to hunger and fullness signals and noticing you feel better when you stay balanced—not too hungry and not too full—is the journaling secret.
What you can do now to control eating now: Notice which foods make you feel good after eating them and which ones make you feel irritable, tired, or that upset your stomach and write it down for reflection. Start researching the calorie counts and nutrition value of your favorite foods. You may be seriously surprised especially about how high the sugar and fat intake are beyond the calories.
What you can do to get fitter now: Fit people MOVE! The thought of walking to get somewhere is not foreign or averse. Being fit means daily activities and chores are less taxing and fit people revel in being able to do these things easily. For example, instead of avoiding grocery shopping, house cleaning, laundry, etc. fit women look at chores as an opportunity to lift, squat, walk, lunge, twist, pull…you get the picture! Why wait until our workouts together at JKFY? Pick an errand or task around the house that could be a “miniworkout”. As you do it, think about the similarities to some of the movements you do with me. What skills and strengths that you’ve built with me at JKFY are you now using in everyday life? How has yoga breathing and flexibility positively impacted your abilities? How about strength training and our other forms of exercise? Then, jot it down in your journal as well as feelings regarding food and feel much smarter—You Are!
When it comes to making changes, remember:
Goals are essentially efforts to achieve some bit of change or newness in our lives. With the onset of T-shirts, shorts and spring break swimsuits looming, it’s important to remember that true change is a gradual up and down process, not something that we can make happen simply because we’re seeing the grass again more frequently and longer days. If you really want to see changes happen in your life, you must expect some degree of failure. But don’t let your missteps become failure to perservere. It’s impossible to go from one type of behavior to another without some slip ups. Let’s say you resolve to eat healthier. The first week you’re doing well and feeling great; nothing can stop you. But then you have a tough day at work and you come home tired and there’s nothing in the fridge and your family suggests pizza and you overindulge and think, “it’s all over.” Or you have a bad knee and think, “well I can’t workout without hurting myself.” Try instead to think of true change as a day to day, minute to minute endeavor.
If you have made a poor choice that evening, it doesn’t mean you should dive into a bucket of ice cream tomorrow. Just because you have a bad knee doesn’t mean you should sacrifice working out and strengthening the muscles that you can. After all, even those getting knee replacements need strong arms, backs and shoulders so they can help themselves out of chairs during recuperation!
Instead, be positive about the changes you can make. If you blow your diet, get back on the right path and begin again. The path towards a healthier diet is not going to be all brown rice and
grains, fruit and tofu. There will be some unhealthy blemishes on your diet resolution; what matters is that there is a balance. So break the cycle. Quit resolving and start evolving. This means you keep coming back to your goals after slip ups, but that you also have compassion for yourself and resist the urge to judge your failures.
If you have an injury, you don’t have to let it define you. With the right technique you can not only heal but really come back stronger and more aware of what it takes to stay that way.
Don’t miss my latest Wall of Famer testimonial, Cindy Peterson. She found that she could heal a nagging psoas injury and lose twice as much as she anticipated with a combination of total body fitness and proper food journaling.
It’s important that everyone recognizes there will be days when you go back to the old habits, and in the beginning, those days may outnumber the days where you act in the “new” way. But if you spend those difficult old habit days chastising yourself, you’re sure to give up the quest for evolution altogether.
THE SAME HOLDS TRUE FOR FITNESS AS WELL AS DIETING. We sometimes get out of the habit of exercising, forget how good it it feels to stretch and feel strong or how those endorphins make us feel good and alive when we get our heart really pumping. One way to stay on track with fitness is the weekly motivation of a scheduled session where you can really see how you are making headway on your goals, like I offer at JKFY. It’s amazing how a scheduled appointment and weekly weigh-in can help keep up motivation. It also helps to talk through those goals and work to change old behaviors.
The path to change can be difficult. Even in the best weeks there can be a set-back. But it the way you train your body, mind and spirit to deal with what detours you that will get you at your destination. Get a roadmap to success with a get-real journal for your food, fitness and feelings and ll help you stay on course. If and when you have a set-back, we’ll simply pick up where you left off! You’ll be there in no time!