Friday, July 2, 2010

Tips For Staying Accountable With Weight Loss and Healthy Living

It can be difficult to stay on track when trying to lose weight or fight chronic disease. Sometimes it can take people decades to find a method that works for them and that they can stick to. Hopefully everyone who is reading this has already found their method, or will find it very soon! Here are just a few ideas that may be right for you. Remember that everyone is different and sometimes you have to assimilate many ideas to find just the right fit.

Keep a food journal. You don’t have to share this with anyone, but it may keep you from eating a larger portion or from eating a certain food all together. It is a lot less appealing to see a list of non-nutritious food on your journal than to actually eat them. Food journals can also be eye opening to see what you really ate all day and be helpful in determining weight loss blunders.

Take a picture of everything you eat. That’s right, in this crazy, technologically advanced world; most of us have a camera with us at all times. Do they even make cell phones that don’t contain a camera anymore? A lot of people have found success in this because they take the picture of what they will eat, and then it keeps them from eating more because they don’t want to take a picture of more food after finishing their meal. Also, it’s a quick way to have a “picture food journal”.

See a dietitian regularly.
Of course I promote this because I am a Registered Dietitian and feel that it can be a great learning experience. However, this can be an expensive option. You may be able to get a “packaged deal” where you pay a lower rate for a certain number of visits. This will often allow you the option of checking-in with email too. Remember that this option can be equal to, or cheaper than a personal trainer.

Stay accountable to a friend. This could be very helpful or disastrous. The results of this really just depend on the dynamics of the friendship. Sometimes ill feelings may surface if one friend is doing better than the other with weight loss, or one friend may be an enabler to break the rules and go back to old eating habits. If the dynamics are favorable, this just may be the ticket for some people to stay on track with exercise and healthy diet.

Log everything you eat on a website that calculates nutrients. There are many websites and software that allow you to log everything you eat and give you a breakdown of all the nutrients that you are getting. I have mixed feelings about this approach, but wouldn’t count it out if it might be your key to success. Look for a post in the near future about the pros and cons to this approach. Also, many of the sites allow you to log your exercise as well. Here are a few to check out if you are interested:

Calorie King
Spark People this one is FREE
My Food Diary
My Calorie Counter
Fit Day contains some FREE services
Weight Watchers

1 comment:

  1. I'm using because it is free and the tools are very extensive and helpful. Journaling is the ONLY way I can lose weight. My sister and I (and now my husband too) are keeping each other accountable, and when we see my sister again at the end of Sept, we will all be thinner. This is a very good post, and I think more people should take advantage of the wealth of information they could get from a dietitian. It is an investment in your health!!!