Have you ever kept a journal, and then suddenly stopped updating it at some point? Chances are that you have — and that’s because keeping one can be a real chore. But keeping a journal doesn’t need to look like a math assignment. It can be the difference between success and failure when it comes to continuing that healthy lifestyle you’ve been working so hard on.
When first starting off, keep it simple. For the first week, I’d recommend focusing on getting into the habit of taking it out, writing in it and staying consistent. Once this becomes more of a habit and less of a nuisance, then you can start getting technical. During that first week, jot down only these three things:
- Everything you eat and drink (even if it’s only two bites or a big gulp – these add up)
- How much was consumed (estimated)
- The time of consumption
After about one week, start really weighing and portioning everything out. Pick up some snack bags, Tupperware, a small kitchen scale, measuring cups, and whatever it will take for you to plan out your meals smoother, quicker and easier. I absolutely love planning ahead! In the morning or the night before, I’ll plan out my whole day – this acts as a road map for me. I can’t slip off the track and end up down Snickers Street this way if I tried to. I already know what I’m eating and when. Life gets a little hectic and some days won’t go as planned, but this ensures that in the event that you weren’t able to eat at your scheduled time, you have that meal ready for you when the opportunity arises and are less likely to pick up a quick fix.
As far as your workouts go, write down which muscle group you did and how much cardio you got in and on which days. Don’t worry too much about keeping track of every part of your exercise. You should, however, keep track of what you do every day and make sure you give each muscle group at least two days to recover.
I find planning ahead of time what you’re going to do, sticking to it, and always switching things up is the best way to stay motivated and not lose interest. Keeping a journal should be fun – and it will be once you’re able to look back and see how far you’ve come over the last week, month or even year.
Do you already keep a food and exercise journal? If not, I’d love to know if this helped motivate you to start one. Let me know and comment below!