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.
Instructions on how to properly fill out the weight loss journal
1. Where to put it
First of all, decide where you are going to stick to your weight loss Post-it journal every week. We suggest you put it where you will have to pass by each day:
- to the fridge to get food,
- on your bathroom mirror to see it when you are putting on your makeup,
next to your toothbrush,
- next to your to-do lists could also be a good place
The goal here is that you put it somewhere visible, so it always reminds you of your commitment to track your weight loss journey.
2. Week & date
Write down a consecutive week’s number you are following a diet and exercise regime. You can start with number 1, and as the weeks progress the number progresses with them despite missing a week or two due to … Well, life in general. The other option is that you start with one every time you “fall off the wagon” and restart. We are not going to be kidding ourselves here – there will be times when it will be difficult for you to stick to the plan, and you won’t be able to or even won’t want to log the numbers to the weight loss journal. But more on that later on.
Don’t forget to log the date of the first day of the week.
3. Daily goals
Set the goals that you’ll follow each day of the week.
Sleep: Average person needs about 7-9 hours of sleep per night. We strongly recommend that you experiment a little and figure out what is your optimal number. If you decide to try finding out, it’s recommended to go to sleep at the same time every day and wake up at the same time the next day during a period of a week or two. Be mindful of how you feel, how rested you are and how energized.
Workouts: First of all, just a quick tip – find a workout, movement, exercise, that you love or at least like. Don’t torture yourself with running, if you love love love hiking and hate to run. The idea is that it will not be a burden to do it on a daily basis. How to log it? However, it fits you. You can write down minutes you spent doing it or you can track it with your sports watch and log just the calories.
Food: Gosh, this is a big one. How do you know, what is the number of calories you should consume in a day to lose weight? Let’s not overcomplicate this at this moment. We’ll dig into it further down. Check it out. Here is the space to log your calorie goal for each day of the week.
Water: Average women should drink about 11.5 cups or 2.7 liters of fluids per day (men: 15.5 cups or 3.7 liters). Some of that number you get with food, but most of it comes with drinking water. As mentioned before, you should find your perfect amount of water for yourself.
4. Day by day tracking
Log your progress. Start in the morning with logging your sleep and your weight. For everything else it will be best if you log at the end of the day. But of course, suit yourself!
Morning weight: It’s recommended you weigh yourself after your morning bathroom visit and before eating anything. Don’t spend any time worrying what the number says. You will see it change day in and day out. This happens due to a variety of factors that happened over the course of the last couple of days. Just log it and forget about it. The results will come later on. Much later. Probably weeks or even months, depending on your goals and actions towards them.
Workout: As mentioned in the previous chapter, you can log your workouts however you like. Write a note, log the calories consumed measured with your sports watch or by logging the time you spent exercising.
Food: When losing weight it’s recommended that you log *everything* you eat (coffee too) with the help of your favorite calorie tracking application. Write down how many calories you consumed during the day and what was the macronutrient composition of the food you ate. Also, log the water or any other liquids you drunk during the day.
Assesment fields: we added those to help you keep track of your feelings with which we hope it will be easier for you to adapt your daily goals for the next week. For example: if you are very hungry most of the days, it would be a good idea to up the calorie intake a bit.
- Day rating: how tough was your day? Stressful, relaxed, did you enjoy yourself? Think about the things that made or broke your day not necessarily related to the weight loss steps you are taking. Wasn’t a difficult day, so-so, was it a very difficult day?
- Hunger: How hungry were you? Not at all, a little, a lot?
- WO difficulty – workout difficulty: How difficult was the workout you did? Not very difficult, so – so, very difficult?
- DOMS – delayed onset muscle soreness. How severe was it? Not at all, so – so, very severe.
5. Week’s averages
Similar to Daily goals, here is the place where you log the average values for the whole week. Calculate the average sleep time, weight, workouts, food, and water intake: calculate the values from all the days. Divide the number you get by 7. This is the average.
6. Body measurements
Measure your body every week to compare the values over time. It’s crucial to always take your measurements in the same place.
7. Save your filled-out sticky note
Save it somewhere where it will be easy for you to go check the data for the past few weeks. We promise you’ll want to see what you did 2 months ago.
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!
Now, let's put that to practice
How can you maximise your results while minimising your efforts?
Here are some tips to help you on your weight loss path to make it as effortless as possible
Adapt your environment to aid your goals.
Don’t have a chocolate bar at home if you cannot resist eating the whole thing in one sitting. If you can incorporate it into your calorie budget, that’s perfect. If you cannot … you better leave it at the groceries store.
Get an accountability partner.
Invite a friend, sister, or cousin to join you on this journey. It will help you stay motivated to have someone by your side that goes through the same things as you.
Take a progress photo every week or every month.
You’ll love to see how far you’ve come when you look back.
Start small and build up the steps required to lose weight.
Take it easy. It can be daunting to do all at once. Create a calorie deficit, take on an exercise regime, figure out what works for you… You can quickly get overwhelmed. If you are new to this, we strongly recommend starting with a once or twice-per-week exercise regime, a moderate food calorie restriction, or a diet change. One step at a time.
Reduce your sugar and fat intake, up your protein intake.
Protein rich food will help you stay full for longer.
Stay strong and committed. You’ll thank yourself later for not giving up.
Not much of a tip, right? Well, truthfully you will thank yourself for not giving up one day. Remember why you started this, remember why are you doing this. It is worth it. You are worth it!
Review your calorie count weekly.
It is difficult to stick to a certain amount every day. If you ate a bit more on Thursday, you might eat a little less on Sunday. On average, your numbers will be more perfect this way and you’ll be less stressed to follow your goals to the point.
Write down your thoughts
After the week is done, turn the post-it note around and write your thoughts, feelings, and observations for the week. It will help you point out what was difficult, what could be improved, what was tough to overcome, what was enjoyable, and what you loved. Think about your aspirations for next week.
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.