The National Weight Control Registry‘s research tells us that successful weight maintenance stems from “frequent self-monitoring of…food intake and high levels of regular physical activity” (Wing RR & Hill JO. (2001). Successful weight loss maintenance. Annual Review of Nutrition, 21, 323-341). So, tracking food intake and physical activity can be your key to success. You can keep record of these and then observe your choices and behaviors. With these observations, you’ll be able to see where changes need to occur.
There are many ways to track your physical activity and food intake. This WeeklyFoodIntakeLog and this WeeklyActivityLog allow you to view your trends in a concise format. Apps like MyFitnessPal are great tools as well. Regardless of your method, track both your physical activity and food intake each week.
As you review your worksheets, take note of any trends appearing with your activity and food. Ask yourself questions like these:
- What food choices am I making on a regular basis?
- What is my go-to food choice and is it a healthy one?
- Am I lacking in fruits, vegetables, lean protein, legumes, healthy fats?
- How many minutes of activity am I engaging in each week?
- Am I varying my activity?
- Am I active most days of the week?
Through reviewing your records, you can recognize areas that need improvement. Once you create healthy habits to address these areas, you’ll be on your way to successful weight maintenance!
Additional reading material: