How to Start Your Weight Loss Plan and Track Your Progress

Photo by Jukan Tateisi on Unsplash

A Journey of a Thousand Miles…

Once you have figured out your process-focused goals and designed your calorie deficit, you can now put your weight loss plan into motion. Just like learning to ride bike, starting a new weight loss plan will feel foreign and daunting at first. You might make mistakes and fall short of your anticipated progress. Try and look at your first several weeks as a skill-building exercise.  Allow yourself some space to build up your habits into a solid routine. Changing your lifestyle can be one of the biggest challenges you will ever face. Don’t try to do too much, too soon. Instead, focus on building up no more than five habits at a time and only incorporate more changes after you have mastered the previous. Your daily habits are the foundation of your health. If you focus your efforts on building healthy habits into your daily life, you will be able to reach your long term weight loss and health improvement goals.

Track Your Process-Focused Goals Daily

Process-focused goals are the drivers of your progress. These goals help you reinforce the habits you will need to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle. You should track your adherence to these habits every day. You can even use a printable habit tracker to monitor your progress. Another option would be using a habit tracking mobile app such as Momentum or Streaks to track your progress. It may feel like a pain to log your habits at first, but over time it will become second nature. Consistency is a skill built over time. Tracking your habits helps you to measure that consistency and identify areas in need of improvement.  

Reflect on Your Progress Weekly

Once you have started tracking your habits, you should review your progress in building these habits every week. If you see you are struggling to become consistent in one habit, you can quickly change course and make changes as necessary. If you don’t track your habits, trouble-shooting where you are going wrong becomes a guessing game. Often times we overestimate how well we are doing and have no clue why we’re not getting results. Don’t fall into the trap of uncertainty! Give yourself the opportunity pinpoint where you are going wrong as quickly as possible.

Track Your Body Measurements Less Frequently

You should definitely take body measurements during your weight loss journey, but don’t overdo it! Weighing yourself daily is not necessary. I would recommend weighing yourself weekly or even monthly depending on your own personal preference. You should also make it a habit to measure your waist circumference and body fat on a regular basis as well. If you rely on the scale alone, you may not be getting the full picture of your progress. You might not lose any weight in a week but you have lost an inch off your waist. Body fat percentage and waist circumference are highly correlated with cardiovascular health and risk of developing diabetes. Monitoring these measurements, in addition to weight, will help you get a better idea of how your health is improving as you go.  

If Something Isn’t Working, Make Adjustments

As you track your progress in building new habits and improving your biometrics, you may notice that you are struggling in some areas. Please don’t fall into dismay! After all, you’re only getting started and nobody is perfect in the beginning. If you are not consistently completing a habit every day, you will need to figure out why. Taking the time to reflect on your progress every week will help you to stop and think about your efforts. Are your goals feasible? Do you need to reprioritize your schedule to better squeeze in your habits? Now is the time to get brutally honest with yourself, admit where you need to change course, and give yourself the flexibility to adjust your methods as you work to improve your health.

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Remember, always be kind to yourself and keep moving forward!

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