Hello! It is lovely to see you here. We are thrilled that you decided to take your commitment to a healthier you seriously by deciding to log your progress with our weight loss journal. We’d first like to thank you and, secondly offer you a few tips on how to make it easier for you to stay committed.
One of our primary missions is to help you maximize your results while minimizing your efforts. There are so many more pleasant things in life you have to experience, so we are doing this the smart way with the phrase “Work smarter, not harder” in our minds, saving as much as possible of our time and energy for the pleasant moments life has to offer.
Oh … don’t miss the bonuses. They are listed among the instructions and tips.
Not to be too long with the intro, let’s dig in. Here’s how we are going to do this.
A few quick notes on coloring habit tracking cards
Advice on picking new habits and challenges to track …
There are about 10 categories, so you can easily find the right ones to fit your goals, dreams, and aspirations. Think about where you want to be in a year. Oh, and don’t forget about selecting your favorite colors for painting. We picked some colors for you for which you’ll need a standard 12 or 24 coloring pencil set.
Pick a habit
Check them below. Some are small, while others are a little more difficult. Pick one and track it for a month. Of course, you can do more than one in a month, but we advise you to select them with care. Too many might cause you to be overwhelmed, which may result in quitting. And we are not quitting here, are we?
There’s a rule of thumb that you have to do about 80 out of 100 percent to see results in life. That is about 25 days in our case. Show up for at least 25 days or repeat the challenge to make it stick.
After the month is done …
What comes next? After the month is over, the habit you were tracking will probably become second nature to you. Keep it if it feels good, continue. If not – no questions asked, drop it.
Pick a habit. Any habit. And practice it every day for a month.
For some of them you’ll need a paper and pen (you’ll be creating a list), for some a phone and a little creativity.
- Take 30 minutes for yourself; do whatever you want.
- Enjoy a 30-minute relaxing bath.
- Aim for 8 hours of sleep.
- Create a sleep schedule (e.g., go to bed at 22:00, wake up at 6:00).
- Meditate for 5 minutes or more per day.
- Practice breathing exercises before bedtime.
- Practice breathing exercises three times per day.
- Practice gratitude: Write down one thing you love in your life each day.
- Practice reflection: Write about your day.
- Practice reflection: Write down what burdened you and reflect on how it could be prevented.
- Practice reflection: Write down what was good about your day.
- Treat yourself to something sweet and comforting, something you don’t usually allow yourself.
- Avoid negative self-talk; replace it with positive affirmations.
- Take a power nap.
- Enjoy a glass of wine (or juice).
- Engage in 10 minutes of self-reflection.
Finances and budgeting
- 30-day savings challenge: set aside a specific amount per day.
- Coco Chanel savings challenge: Put back the last item you placed in your shopping cart.
- Change jar savings: place all your daily change into a piggy bank.
- Emergency fund building: save $10 per day.
- Buy a cheaper lunch.
- No eating out.
- Use cash only, no credit cards.
- 10 minutes of reading for financial education or budgeting per day.
- 15 minutes per day to explore how can you earn extra money.
- 15 minutes a day to explore how to get a raise.
Crate a list
Write down one list item per day.
- My favorite music
- My favorite movies
- My favorite foods
- My favorite restaurants
- My favorite books
- My favorite articles
- My favorite drinks
- My favorite places
- My favorite arts and paintings
Have some fun
- Call a friend.
- Read a joke.
- Write down one fun thing you’d love to do.
- Write down a funny memory.
- Find a photo you love and add it to an album.
- Have a movie night every day.
- Write an anecdote from school.
- Dance like no one is watching.
- Place a funny sticker in an unexpected or inappropriate location.
- Listen to some ridiculous music.
- Say no; don’t let them twist your arm into saying yes.
- Do something that you’d normally want to avoid.
- Ask for ridiculous things to get used to rejection.
- Figure out what scares you – write down one thing per day.
- Go solo for date night and movies.
- Practice difficult conversations with a friend.
Travel and vacationing.
- Write down one place you’d love to visit each day.
- Spend 10 minutes planning your next trip or vacation.
- Spin a globe and write down every place it lands on.
- Ask one person for a travel recommendation every day.
- Explore the internet for the best vacation stories.
- Start your day an hour earlier than usual.
- Get up within 5 seconds of waking up.
- No procrastination.
- Do your least favourite chores or work first thing in the morning.
- Focus on one task at a time; no multitasking.
- Use multitasking to save time – combine tasks for efficiency.
- Work in short bursts of fully focused work followed by a 10-minute rest.
Bad mood fixing.
- Avoid dwelling on negative events.
- Refrain from feeling sorry for yourself.
- No jealousy; be happy for others or avoid triggers.
- Stay away from toxic people.
- No worrying; if you must worry, schedule exclusive time for it.
- Engage in problem-solving journaling: Write down your problems and their solutions.
- No negative thoughts about daily must-do tasks.
- No gossiping.
Write down one list item per day.
- Travel bucket list.
- Restaurants I will visit in the next year.
- Before I die.
- Before I turn 20 / 30 / 40 … 100.
- Cars I want to drive before I die.
- Things to explore this summer.
- Things to experience with a friend or family.
- Career goals bucket list.
- Concerts to see.
- Fears to overcome.
- Drinks to try.
- Foods to try.
- Sports to try.
- Books to read.
I failed … What now?
First of all – it is not the end of the world. You ate too much a couple of days, you were too lazy or too busy to exercise for a week. So what. You are will be here on this earth for a long time and what is that little failure compared to your lifetime? It doesn’t even matter.
The truth is that you need to be committed to your weight loss journey about 80% of the time to make it work. Therefore if you did good 8 days out of 10, girl you’ve got this, you’re on the right path, good job!
If not … You know you have it in you to try a little harder. Raise your calorie intake a bit if you are too hungry to be able to stick to your diet. Exercise a little less intense if you cannot do the planned tempo. Life happens, perfection is just a myth. Find a path that you’ll be able to follow 80% of the time.
And what to do when you fail? We mentioned this before, but we have to mention it again. You are you. Find a sport you’ll love to do, find food you’ll love to eat. Make it easy for yourself to follow your goals.
We asked around for some tips on how to endure, stay committed or get back to it when failed. We received this advice:
So … how do you lose weight?
One thing is certain – with caloric deficit. Hmm…. What is this? To lose weight, you must eat and drink fewer calories than you burn. If you take in less calories than you burn, then you will have a caloric deficit and you will lose weight. Unfortunately, there isn’t any other way around it.
There is no miracle diet that will allow you to eat *everything you want* and lose weight. Well… except if you love diet food, but you probably don’t right? But there’s a good news to it. You can eat as much milk chocolate or ice cream as you want as long as you’re maintaining a caloric deficit. Theoretically speaking: if you eat only chocolate the whole day, every day, but calories-wise you don’t exceed the calories needed for your body to simply live, you will keep or even lose weight. But, of course, don’t do that, your body needs nutrients, therefore do not only eat chocolate.
And how exactly do you lose weight the smart, healthy way and not the hard way?
First of all, as mentioned several times, you are you. You are not your coworker, not your sister, not your best friend, not a random skinny Instagram influencer. You are you. So, you have to figure out for yourself what works for you and what doesn’t. How do you do that? By trying out different things.
Losing weight is a marathon, not a sprint race. You will have to take it step by step, to make it stick. But, we are absolutely sure, you can do this and you will do this.
We cannot stress enough how important it is to make this journey as pleasant as possible. This is the only way that you will be able to stay committed in the long run. Therefore it is crucial that despite the sacrifices you’ll have to make, find delicious low-calorie alternatives to your favourite high-calorie snacks, find a way on how to cut calories without feeling deprived, and find movement or exercises you’ll enjoy. Work smarter, not harder!
But how do you know how many calories you need to consume to lose weight? Here is a complicated answer to a simple question. You have fairly straightforward options, but first, let’s clarify the BMR or Basal Metabolic Rate. BMR is the number of calories you burn as your body performs basic, daily functions such as breathing, digesting, moving around (not exercising), etc. You figure the BMR out in two ways:
1. Test it:
Simply log everything you eat with your favorite calorie-counting app for a week or two. No dieting, no changes, simply stick to your regular eating habits (small snacks count too!). This will give you a rough estimate of what you eat. Calculate the average value by combining the calories consumed over that period. Now divide the result by the number of days you were logging your food intake. This is the estimate of your BMR if you are not losing or gaining weight with this food intake.
Formula for calculating average:
Average = (Sum of Observations) ÷ (Total Numbers of Observations)
Example: Jane ate 2304 kcal on Monday, 1300 kcal on Tuesday, 1795 kcal on Wednesday, 2103 kcal on Thursday, 1209 kcal on Friday, 2105 kcal on Saturday and 1993 kcal on Sunday.
Average = 7 days ÷ 12.809 kcal = 1829,8 kcal
Jane ate on average 1829 kcal per day in the week she was tracking her calorie intake.
2. Use an equation by Mifflin St. Jeor
BMR (for women, metric) = (10 × weight in kg) + (6.25 × height in cm) − (5 × age in years) − 161
BMR (for women, imperial) = (4.536 × weight in pounds) + (15.88 × height in inches) − (5 × age) − 161;
With this equation you’ll calculate the number of calories you need if you did nothing or if you were just lying around all day.
Next, we calculate the actual BMR by incorporating the activity factor:
- sedentary – 1.55,
- moderate – 1.85,
- active – 2.2/2.4.
Multiply the BMR value from the equation with the factor that best describes you and how active your lifestyle is.
BMR x activity factor = calories you need to maintain weight
Let’s see the example: Jane weighs 65kg and is 167 cm high, 28 years old and has sedentary lifestyle:
BMR (metric) = 10 x 65 + 6.25 x 167 – 5 x 28 – 161 = 650 + 1043,75 + 140 = 1672 kcal / day if she did nothing.
Because she doesn’t exercise and her job is sedentary, she doesn’t get much movement during the day, she will multiply her result with the sedentary factor which is 1.55:
1672 * 1.55 = 2592 kcal.
Jane calculated her BMR to be 2592 kcal. This is the calorie intake she has to consume to maintain her current weight.
A rule of thumb for losing weight is to subtract 200-300 kcal from your daily food intake, meaning you eat about that amount less. Of course, you can subtract more or less depending on your preferences but keep in mind, if you’ll tackle a high caloric deficit that will be too difficult to maintain, there is a good chance you will give up. or at least give in to an unhealthy binge eating session. The body doesn’t like being starved. It will rebel against you with a wild appetite for your favorite junk food. Take it slow. You have 50 weeks. In this time you will reach your goals slowly but surely.
There is no way to out-exercise a bad diet. Keep that in mind. Nonetheless, exercise is an important component of your weight loss journey. The exercise will keep your body strong and make it stronger, build your muscles, and keep you in good health. But you know that, right? So how many calories do you need to burn with exercise to aid your weight loss journey? A rough estimate is about 200-300 kcal. Realistically speaking, there will be a day when you’ll burn a little more and days when you’ll burn a little less. Do your best to be active whenever you can. More tips on how to do that later.
How much is 200-300 kcal? It, again, depends on you, your body composition, and your fitness level. But roughly 45 minutes of brisk walking, 30 minutes of dancing, 30 minutes of rope skipping, 30 minutes of hiking, 30 minutes of water aerobics, and more unconventional options: an hour of gardening, an hour of car washing and detailing, and an hour of cleaning the house. These are just a couple of ideas, that it is not that difficult to get moving. As it was mentioned before, we cannot stress this enough – find your sport, find your movement, and find an exercise regime that will easily fit into your everyday life that you’ll enjoy.
You’ve got that one covered with our weight loss tracking journal, hurray! As you are well aware by now, it will be a lot easier to stay committed to your weight loss progress when you log what you do daily. Also, it will give you an extra boost of motivation to see the results showing up in front of your eyes on a weekly basis.
A dress you wanted but you are not allowing yourself to buy it. A vacation maybe … Something else you are saying no to for quite some time now? Well … When you see the progress with your weight loss journey, you have to treat yourself a little. Celebrate the process, celebrate the small goals. Enjoy the fruits of your labor. You deserved it!
Yes, we all did. Many, many times. Falling off the wagon is almost mandatory. It will happen. But what counts the most is that you pick up where you left off and move on. Try again. It will help you tremendously if you review what got you to the point you didn’t stick to the plan or even gave up. Can you avoid it next time? What can you do to make it easier for yourself? Are you eating too little and it is difficult to stick to the diet? Are the workouts too hard? You don’t like your yoga instructor? Nothing to eat? Maybe you would benefit if you tried preparing meals in advance? Figure out what caused it and try again with something different. You can do it!