How to Properly Track Your Progress
If you have been around here for awhile, you know that Meal Prep on Fleek is a website for those who have a goal to be in better shape-inside and out. For most of us, that includes a fitness program. Though there are different reasons, there is one thing that we are betting we all have in common:
We all hate to waste time, and we all want to see progress in whatever we endeavor.
So, you may be asking yourself, why should you track your progress?
Reason #1– You should track your progress because by doing so, you will see if you have moved forward in your goals. No one wants to expend hard work to remain stagnant.
Reason #2– You should track your progress so that you have a record of what you have done. You can adjust things if you find something amiss in your efforts to accomplish the goal that you have set for yourself. (Note: If you have not set a goal, do that first!!)
If you don’t track your progress, something similar to this scenario can happen and we probably all can relate (be honest!):
- You decide that you want to be healthier and finally get fit
- You do a workout and meal prep every day for several days
- Every day you step on the scale and see your number go down and your motivation coming up. You are elated!!
- The weekend has the International Food Festival coming to town and you can’t miss that! You step on the scale before work on Monday morning only to find your weight is higher than the day you started
- You are deflated; you can’t believe you ever even tried. You wolf down a pizza single handedly
In the above scenario, if you were tracking your progress, you would know that an occasional “going off the rails” happens when someone is looking to change their lifestyle (emphasis on the word LIFESTYLE!)
This it the key when tracking your fitness progress;
Don’t Stalk Your Scale! Instead, use your bathroom scale as a tool to help you, not a hammer to bash all of your efforts.
The following are some Tools & Tactics To Track Your Fitness Progress. These tricks will allow you to monitor your new lifestyle almost effortlessly;
Food & Exercise
Track what you have been eating each day. Log each thing you put in your mouth. Especially don’t forget the mindless handfuls of things that you don’t usually notice. For example, the handful of M&M’s that you grabbed from the reception desk candy dish on the way to the copier room. Yes, even those. This track record of food will be a great asset to see which foods and which food arrangements have worked best for you. You can then adjust as you evaluate. And you can see how much your nutritional habits have changed; very motivating!
Similarly, do this for your exercise routine. What exercises you do? How many calories did you burn? If you are into weight training, how many pounds did you lift? Write it down so that you have a record of what you want to beat next time.
You can use a notebook and pen for this, but might I suggest one of the many apps that are out there that you can put on your phone to make it easy and convenient? There are two I might suggest: Lose It! and MyFitnessPal. All three track calories, exercise, and food intake. They also have a barcode nutrition scanner. MyFitnessPal even has a recipe importer which is nice. You can import all the delicious recipes that you find right here on Meal Prep On Fleek!!
Weight & Measurements
At the risk of sounding obvious, you are going to want to track your weight and girth. This sounds almost unnoteworthy, but this is actually what trips people up the most, derailing many a great intention. Our bodies are very complex things, and there are so many variables that can go into weight and measurement. For example, females may be more “puffy” certain times of the month. Men can find inaccurate weight measurements if they are gaining muscle; muscle weighs more than fat. Because of these things, tracking should not be done daily, but rather monthly to help keep you the most motivated.
Again, the tools used might seem obvious, but there are some rules that you should follow in using them to help you get a more consistent reading. Make sure you use your scale (or tape measure) on the same day each month and at the same time. Wear the same clothes and use the same bathroom scale. Track your progress in your app or notebook.
Finally, probably the best way to see your progress in living color, is to use the camera on your phone to take a picture each month to really see how you did. The camera doesn’t lie! Visual progress seems to be the most motivating (or convicting-but let’s not go there…)for most people. Again, consistency will be your key, so here are your steps to take to keep a great photo journal:
- Take your photo on the same day of the month at the same time of day
- Use workout clothes that will show your midriff or underwear to take your photo
- Keep your feet together and your arms loosely to your side
- Take a front view and a side view
- Make a specific folder on your phone to import your monthly photos
- Set your calendar to remind you of your next photo “appointment” and keep it!
- Though you might be tempted, DO NOT DELETE any photos. Remember that this will be your greatest motivation.
We hope you found some good information here to keep you motivated and organized as you work to accomplish your particular body goals!
Comment below and let us know what’s working for you!