That's a good question now isn't it? But what exactly do I mean by it? There's a saying that goes, "those who fail to prepare are preparing to fail!" This statement is no more evident than in the realm of weight loss. Most people will tell those around them that they are on a diet but when questioned on their weight loss goals or even what they're planning on eating most people simply don't have the answers. If you don't know the answers for the test you're about to take, what would you expect the results to be? Unfortunately, although many of us feel we're having an honest go at out diets we come to battle without any reinforcements.
First and foremost you will need to make yourself a log! I don't know how much I can stress this point! This log will be your bible on your journey to a slimmer healthier you. I like to break my logs into three different categories. The 1st category is your measurements. Would any of us leave for a trip without any way of marking our progress? I know I wouldn't, but it seems most of us blindly jump into a weight loss program without any indication of where we're at or where we're going. I want you to take measurements of your waist, stomach, thighs and arms. In addition to those measurements you need to record your current weight (yes that means using a scale) and body fat percentage using standard calipers. Why the need for all of this? The point is its not enough to use just the scales as an indicator, there will be some weeks where the scale won't move but because you have been keeping track of both your measurements in inches and your body fat percentage, you'll notice a change in body composition. You need to know whether you current routine is working or not and there's no better way of monitoring your successes and strifes then with numbers. In order to fine tune your diet for success you will need to take measurements at least monthly but bi-weekly would be the most ideal scenario.
The second category is your diet log. You'll need to write down each and every meal you eat on a daily basis. (Yes that includes the snacks you picked at between meals) The purpose of this is to not only be able to track where you may have gone astray but to also pre plan the meals you intend to eat during the next day or even week. Listen carefully to what I'm about to say. I have never met anyone who has been successful on a diet who hasn't prepared their meals a day in advance. It is crucial for you to know what you are putting in your body in advance.
The last category is your workout routine. Before you even start your diet you need to pick both a form of cardio (running, cycling, walking, dancing) and a form of strength training. (Body weight exercises or weight lifting) For the cardiovascular workout you'll need to partake in it every single day! The strength training can be done at minimum at least twice per week. In the log you will pre-determine which days you partake in each activity and when you complete the exercise you will record the duration and give yourself a score on your effort. Be brutally honest, we're human and we may not be able to give 100% everyday! The best part of this section is the satisfaction you get when you look back at all the exercises you did for a particular month and are in disbelief that you were able to complete them all.
By planning your diet with the use of your log you will be able to not only find the shortcomings of your plan but also motivate yourself and take pride in your accomplishments. The battle of weight loss will be a lot easier when you know you're coming fully armed and ready.
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