If you’re serious about making changes to your life and getting in shape, I cannot stress enough the importance of tracking your progress in order to succeed. This doesn’t mean jumping on a set on simple bathroom scales once a week. Nor does it mean becoming completely obsessed with every crumb you place on your plate.
People make so many mistakes by having so little information; they have little information about their body when they weigh themselves, they have no evidence as to why they have lost/gained weight since their last weigh in, and they stress about BMI… which is absolute crap!! So here is how I track my progress for successful weight loss and achieve my health and fitness goals.
First I want to prove that this system works.
This was my progress within 12 weeks. My aim was to reach 20% body fat and I fucking did it
I am an average gal with a 9-5 job, living in a busy house with parents and siblings, and with no gym membership. So if I can do it, anyone can!
My next challenge is to reach 130kgs muscle mass. I will write a blog about the journey not if but when I reach that goal.
Many overweight and underweight people underestimate the number of calories they consume each day. Like me, many people also eat portion sizes which a many times bigger than they should be. Tracking what you have eaten is vital in successful weight loss. You want to get of the scales on a Monday morning and be able to look back and find what you have consumed which has helped you lose/gain those 2lbs you were holding around your waist the week before. You many find that you had a higher protein intake, skipped breakfast on the weekend, or you forgot that cheeky doughnut you couldn’t say no to at work.
I use the S Health app on my phone to find out the nutritional information of the quantity of food I eat. At the end of the day when I will not be eating anything else, I write it all down in my DIY Food Planner. This A5 binder was £2 in Wilkos and has allowed me to create a system that works for me.
I track the food I have consumed and the amount I consumed (g), the calories of the meal or snack. I track macros, and at the end I add it all together. I then takeaway my BMR (more on this below) and calories burnt in steps and any workouts I have done that day. If you want to find out your own personal nutritional needs then keep reading.
You will actually be surprised by how much you can eat if you just think about what you eat and the amount of it. You can even enjoy that sausage roll drawing you into the bakery on the school run. Always allow yourself a treat now and then, or you may just go coo-coo.
Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the amount of energy expended while at rest. Basically, if you laid in bed and did nothing, didn’t move, didn’t eat, this is the amount of calories your body will burn to function on a daily basis. Everyone’s BMR is different. There is some scientific calculation but I would recommend Active.com http://www.active.com/fitness/calculators/calories . Knowing your BMR will allow you to calculate your nutritional needs (carbs, fat, and protein) on the same site.
The importance of knowing your BMR comes into play when working out what you need to do to lose weight. They say you need to a deficit of 3500kcal to lose 1lb. That’s 500kcal per day. So if your BMR is 2000 (this is just an example) You want to use a combination of exercise and eating less calories in order to have a deficit of 500kcal. I say a combination as most of us are unable to work out exercise vigorously for an hour each day to burn off 500kcal or eat 500kcal less than your body needs each day. MY BMR is 1450 and there is NO WAY I can survive physically or emotionally, on 950kcal each day.
So back to our example; BMR of 2000. Consume 1750kcal throughout the day, burn 100kcal walking commuting to work and moving around the office throughout the day. 150kcal burnt through a 20minute home workout, or a long walk with the dog. The 500kcal deficit has been accomplished, do this everyday for 7 days, and boom! 1lb lost!
Scales and BMI
When I reached my goal of 20% body fat I was overall a few pounds heavier than my start weight. How… because I gained muscle mass from being active and eating more protein. Be honest, if you got on the scale and saw you gained 2lbs you would later be crying into a piece of chocolate cake. Please don’t feel defeated by that overall number!! Get yourself a Body Analysis scale instead.
These measure your overall weight as well as body fat% , muscle mass, your BMR, visceral fat (this is the fat that surrounds your vital organs, a little bit of fat is healthy as fat is there to protect organs, but too much can cause organ failure. Even anorexics can have high visceral fat if when they do eat, they just consume junk food). your hydration and the weight of your bones (a benefit for older people and people suffering with Osteoporosis). There are many products out there, my first set was from Lloyds Pharmacy and only cost me £14. I have invested in these Tanita…. In green (choice of colour) for £40.
A quick anecdote on why BMI is utter garbage; I know a man who is 5’3. He was less than 10% body fat and is built like a machine! Yet, when he sees his doctor and the doc measures his BMI, this man is classed as obese. This is why you shouldn’t read too much into your BMI; it’s all about what your body is made of, the fat around your waist, the strength of your bones, and about the unhealthy fat that surrounds your vital organs.
Make sure you record your weight loss in some way. In my A5 binder I also keep a record of my weight each week along with my body fat% and muscle mass. I also record any workouts I do. I record what I did (usually the Youtube workout I did) how many calories I burnt, and how I felt afterwards… if I didn’t enjoy it, I will want to look for another workout to replace it next time. I am able to record how my body reacted to the workout with my Polar Watch F4.
This is a heart rate monitor which measures the calories you have burnt, as well as my min and max heart rate during the workout. I love my this product and find this really useful as everyone’s body reacts differently to different workouts and I can see how effective workouts are for me and if I need to switch things up to push by body physically and mentally.
So there you are. If you have any comments, questions, or advice please comment below or get in touch on my little visitors page. I hope this will be able to help a few people, even just a little bit.
I will be posting next on 09/01/17… planner related obviously and I will be including my A5 binder set-up I have mentioned in this blog so come check it out!! And Remember you can find me on Instagram @rebecca_shehulk
Stay Strong, Rebecca x