Self-Monitoring for Weight Loss Success
Our clients are finding self-monitoring one of the most helpful tools in their weight loss journey.
By keeping track of your calorie intake, you are becoming more accountable for what you are eating.
Accountability is paramount to breaking a food addiction, as you need a strong sense of personal responsibility. But habits are often subconscious and we tend to overeat without thinking about it.
You need to bring this unconscious behaviour to conscious awareness and talk yourself out of it.
By becoming more aware of exactly how much you are eating, and when you are likely to overeat, you can gain more control over these patterns and begin to change them.
Self-monitoring also allows for a greater sense of control over your eating, which is ultimately what clients want ... to feel in control again.
When you know how many calories you have available in your calorie budget for the day, you get to choose how you spend them.
It becomes more of a choice and personal decision “I’m not going to have this today because I don’t have the calories to spend on it”, rather than “I can’t have it”.
Telling yourself you can’t have it makes you want it even more and leaves you feeling resentful, deprived and likely to rebel.
Choosing to wait until the next day when you can budget for the item gives you a better sense of control.
You need to enjoy a small treat every day so that you do not end up feeling deprived.
Make sure it is within your calorie budget and you will feel better knowing you can enjoy it as long as you do not eat more than you had planned for.
This reduces feelings of deprivation and resentment which can lead to people giving up. Also, allow yourself one big treat per week so that you can look forward to this and enjoy it without feeling guilty.
People can choose to monitor their eating using a food diary, but it can be tricky to work out the calorie content for many items.
It is worth mentioning that there are a variety of self-monitoring Apps available to assist with logging your calorie intake, and most will include exercise so you can establish how many calories your workout “bought” you.
It goes without saying - exercise is a very important component in a lifestyle change that aims to bring about weight loss.
Examples of these Apps include, but are by no means limited to,
It really depends on your own preference but the advantages are that monitoring is quick and provides a visual indication of one’s achievement for the day, thereby keeping you motivated and accountable.
Clients are noticing changes using these types of Apps. It is so worth doing it conscientiously because you are more likely to reap the rewards if you are honest and consistent in logging your calories.
It is also good to not label foods as good vs bad. A food item with more calories is not “naughty” but rather it is “expensive” so you would need to budget accordingly for it by including lower-calorie items for the rest of the day.