Keeping a lifestyle diary
(aka a posh name for food
+ exercise log) is the most effective + simple step you can take to lose weight...and it is totally FREE
So why is it, that keeping a log of our food, drink and exercise is so difficult. Instead we neglect it in favour of investing our hard earned money (and time) in fake promises like fast shakes and fast "diet" food.
Perhaps it is simply that keeping a record of all that we eat and drink and the exercise we do or don't do is simply too confrontational? It gives us some accountability that we are trying to avoid?
As a personal trainer and weight loss coach the most successful and educational tool I can give you is to keep a lifestyle journal. That is it. No costly diet foods or powders or shakes, just listening to that beautiful body of yours, plain, simple and totally free.
If you are struggling with your weight loss, your energy levels, digestion, sleep and any other health ailment that is disrupting your life, then take this step and keep a lifestyle diary.
Keeping a lifestyle diary, forces you to face things. To be accountable and see in black and white the real reasons why you are not losing weight. It is bloody confronting. But if you really want to lose weight, then this is what you have to do.
Not only will keeping a realistic and honest food diary teach you how your body operates in terms of how your lose weight and store it, but it will also open the door to teaching you the specific foods, exercises and strategies that makes your body thrive or not.
And what's more, it is totally FREEEEE
I know as Mums we struggle for time, but making it part of your morning ritual and habits is key to making it actually work for you. You can read more on how to actually get to wake up early in the morning here.
Before you embark on any weight loss plan, invest the time and effort getting to know your body first, before you commit to a weight loss plan, and simply wing it and hope for the best.
This may seem like an exhaustive exercise, but it might be the most insightful task you do this year. You are simply affording yourself the time to listen to how your body responds to the food, exercise and habits you are giving it. You can then use this knowledge to map out your own personal weight loss plan for optimum success.
This is power.
Learning and listening to your body in this oh so simple way will help you make an informed decision when selecting a weight loss plan that works for you, or tweaking one as per your new knowledge. This is invaluable and can save you not only weeks of time putting in energy to diets that are not for you, but also some serious dollars.
So, what even is a lifestyle journal?
A lifestyle journal is a detailed and honest record of quite simply how you live your life. From what time you go to bed to how the type of exercise you do to how early you eat your breakfast after waking.
For the best results you then detail how these foods, exercises or behaviours make you feel. It could be good or bad things. ie juice may make you feel gassy or green tea might make you feel energetic. It is only when you write how you feel down, inline what you eat that you can start to make the connection.
Along with recording everything you expose your body to, you note the corresponding feelings when you eat such food or do such exercise.
And this is the magic.
This gives you a clear guide and reason why you may struggle with
- Weight loss,
- Joint Pain
What's more, it goes even deeper, helping you to realise the impact that food is have on your mind and mood.
One of the main culprits being refined sugars, however some vegetables and fruits that you consider healthy, may be giving you mood swings. Lentils are awful for me.
Examples of foods guilty of giving you mind swings included
- Breads and baked goods
- Soda drinks (diet included) cause mood swings
- Deli processed meats
- Salted peanuts
- Processed breakfast cereals
- Dried Fruit
This is NOT just a record of what you eat. Rather a record of your lifestyle.
This is an investment of time that will give you the biggest most valuable insight into your body.
Recording the duration and quality of your sleep is super significant when achieving your weight loss goals, yet it is often overlooked.
Keep a log of your sleep and the quality of your sleep. Find out what habits and routines work best for you to give you the best opportunity for sleep. Is going to bed before 10pm or reading a calming book before bed. These steps sound too simple to be true, but that is not the case.
One of the biggest struggles why Mothers do struggle to find their pre baby weight is because Motherhood comes with a massive side order of sleeplessness.
This sleeplessness can be so traumatic to our mental health, but it plays a signicicant role in our body's ability to recognise hunger and satiation, causing us to overeat and you've guessed it store fat. Your body is trying to survive the sleeplessness by laying down layers of fat.
As personal trainers we all have a go to for fat burning, but let's be realistic. Not everyone burns fat the same, nor is every body responsive or cooperative with different exercises.
High intensity interval training or fartlek training is awesome when it comes to weight loss, but that is only a general prescription. If you want to be atune to your body you must listen to how it feels when you do this, how it responds. Dont be half arse about it, simply listen. How does your body feel after this kind of training when done consistently, is it lean and energetic or achy and disjointed.
Just because your best friend responds well to body pump or yoga that does not mean your body will respond well to it to.
What you will get out of this
An understanding that food is both a medicine and a drug. It is responsible for your moods, your pains and your weight.
It can take you to pain or joy and the choice is yours.
The reality is you can only blame yourself, as could I when I was lamenting that I couldn't lose weight. I could, I just hadn't made it a priority.
Weight loss is not simple. It takes work. But by understanding your body and mind, you are developing yourself for now and the future. I want you to learn about you and once you start learning how amazing you are, you are the sky is the limit. But you must start.
I want you to get in touch with your body and listen to it, really listen. If you are experiencing indigestion or headaches or sinusiat, the first stop is to look at your diet and not in the medicine cabinet. Your body will thank you for it.
But you can only discover these trinkets of information once you have actually listened to your body's aches and pains and moans and connected.
To grab your free journal, just jump on the link below.
With love in wellness
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