to my lovely surprise, the betteru program this week was all about the importance of logging! hello – enter fitbook! things like this just make me giddy because it’s just further proof that the fitbook serves a good purpose out there in the world by helping people reach their goals. if you haven’t already joined the betteru program (which you should - click here) here’s what the american heart association has to say about logging this week (along with my 2 cents added in red):
Start with the Facts – The more you choose to keep track the higher your chances for success
Study after study show that women who keep track of their eating and physical activity habits are very successful at improving them. Why? Tracking allows you to see the choices you make. At the end of the day you can add up your minutes of physical activity, fat grams or cups of fruit and determine whether you met your goals. This way you can also spot what got in the way of achieving your goals. You can also discover new ways to make healthier choices. For instance, if your food log consistently shows a high-fat snack in the afternoon, you may decide to set a goal to eat fruit or low-fat yogurt when you get hungry next time.
Think tracking is too tedious? These tips will help you out.
Tip 1: Find a food and physical activity logging system that works for you. Think about these things:
- Format – paper or electronic? Paper logs may take less time than logging online. But, an online log can be easier to organize and more motivating. (ahem – get fitbook, personally my FAVE! don’t just take my word for it -check out what fans of fitbook have to say)
- Size – big or small? Some people prefer a small spiral-bound notebook that they can keep in their purse. Others use a large calendar at home or work. of course we recommend one that’s small so you can keep it with you at all times, whether it’s with you in your desk at work, in the kitchen at home, and toss it in your gym bag so you have your workouts with you too!
Tip 2: Focus on the behaviors you are trying to change.
If you are already eating a low-fat diet, don’t waste time tracking your fat grams. Track calories or cups of fruits and vegetables instead. Likewise, if you eat a healthy breakfast every day, but find yourself eating less healthy foods at dinner and lunch, don’t bother logging your breakfast. Track your food intake in the afternoon and evening, instead. I personally log everything and while I don’t track calories, I do track what time I eat and then my corresponding emotions (using the cute little smiley/frowney faces) so I am aware of why and when I’m eating!
Tip 3: Make the time for logging.
Don’t wait until the end of the day to record your foods and physical activities. Determining what and how much can be difficult when it happened hours before. Even if you only have half a minute, jot down your foods and physical activities immediately after you eat or complete them. At night, you can re-write or type these things into your log and add the details – like calories, minutes, or distance. I spend each Sunday night planning out the week ahead – I plan workouts so they are scheduled into my week, I prep food so I have a supply ready of grilled chicken, brown rice, and veggies prepped, and I also spend time reflecting on the past week and what I want to improve in the coming week. It takes 20m tops and gets me focused for the week ahead!
ok so that’s what the betteru program had to say…pretty sweet huh? so my goals for the week are to lift 5 days and do cardio 6 and go to spin class. you might be wondering if i made it to yoga last week… ommmmmm….not so much. here’s what i realized. when i make it to you yoga, i enjoy it…but i don’t love it so much that on days where i’m seriously not wanting to see the inside of gym that i can drag myself there. so while my goal was to go on friday, after going to the gym 4 days in a row i needed to do something outside so i went for a run. i didn’t run at all while i trained for the competition so i really have missed it and i never have really started again. it’s amazing the wonderful things my brain accomplishes while running – i come up (with what i think are) great ideas, solve problems, and all while pounding the pavement on my 3 mile run. so while i didn’t make it to yoga – i realized just how much i love (and miss) running…so i’m working it back into my workout schedule at least once a week!
for my nutrition goals – i did great last week so i’m going to continue on this tea-at-nine-pm habit because it gets me in great frame of mind and prepares the bod ready for bed. one thing i didn’t do so well: my water. do a search on my blog and find how many times i raved about “wow – drinking all this water makes me feel amazing and my skin looks so good and i’m not as hungry when i drink water!” yadda yadda yadda. then how come it’s so darn hard to drink my water when i know that it’s good for me and i’ll feel better if ido? well – it’s the same as exercise and if i had the answer to this questions well then i’d be a millionaire. we’re crazy little beings. how can something that is good for you sometimes be exactly what takes so much discipline? intriguing. anyway – i’m going to bribe myself to drink my water this week…i have to earn my meals
so i have to down my 1L of water before i can eat lunch, then i have to down my 2nd liter of water before i earn my afternoon snack (and i love my afternoon snack!), and then i have to down my 3rd liter before i can eat dinner. it’s pretty simple really: drink your water or you go hungry. kinda like when you were a kid ya know? ”sit there and eat all your corn before you can get up!” so i’m prepared to make myself sit there and chug away until i finish my water just so i can eat my meals. sound like torture? yeah kinda. but i guarantee if/when i do it i’ll feel amazing! my favorite thing about the betteru program: the short-term rewards! my reward this week for reaching my goals is two-fold: 1) i’m going to download one new song on itunes for each day i reach my goals and 2) i’m going to take myself shopping on saturday afternoon with my gift cards STILL leftover from christmas and my birthday! i never find time to get to the mall – but now i’ll earn that time and it will be that much more enjoyable!
ok off to brew my tea and hit the hay! working out bright and early tomorrow to kick off what will be a fabulous week. i will be writing later this week about one of my running epiphanies…stay tuned – it’s a good one!