While I still believe that the best tools for you to lose weight are commitment, discipline and the desire to lose weight, there are many other useful tools that you may use to help you stay on track and monitor your progress.
It is important to check your progress for many reasons. It helps you stay motivated by releasing dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical released by the brain that is highly addictive. Alcohol and drugs also release dopamine, which is why people become addicted to them. Once you have the feeling of accomplishment by checking your progress, you will become addicted to your new behavior.
It also helps you understand that you are not wasting your time with your program and that all the hard work is paying off. It helps you psychologically. Plus, you can always go back and find out if you are moving forward or not. Maybe your plan is not working and you need to change the approach, such as your exercise intensity or the exercise itself, or your way of eating.
Here are some of the tools I use myself and with our members to help them stay on track to deliver the results I promised.
Skinfold to track your body composition…
This tool helps me to find out how much muscle and fat our members are gaining and losing. It’s not uncommon for our members to lose up to 15 pounds of fat yet gain 12 pounds. The scale does not tell you how much fat you’ve lost; seeing the change in your body composition is more convincing than going with the scale and thinking there is no progress.
Periodization assessment to check your weight lifting progress…
As with anything, you would like to know if there is progress. You may know how much muscle you have added and how much fat you’ve lost, but how do you know what is helping you add muscle and lose fat? Weight lifting periodization does help you understand how your muscles are becoming accustomed to the new resistance and therefore increasing your muscle mass and metabolism. Going over your weight lifting progress and testing each big muscle group can give you an idea what you should be expecting or lifting next month, or the months to come.
Goal setting revisit or resetting to make sure you are hitting your goals or at least are close to them…
It is important that you know you are on track by reaching your goals or at least being close to them. Going over your goals every week, month or three months is a good idea. You will find out if you either are wasting time or doing the right things to reach your dream.
Belief check to discard myths
There are all types of information. You can get information from the personal trainer who believes in myths or did not do research, or you can get information from a well-trained personal trainer. You can get information online from any deceiving website or from a credible one. You can get information from your friend who listened to another friend who listened to another friend, and the information may get distorted, or you can get information from a well-informed friend. Many times everyone has good intentions, but they don’t have the right information. It is good to question everyone (including me, of course) and make sure everything makes sense to you, so you can end up doing the right thing for you.
PH strips to test your alkalinity…
To find out if you are eating the right foods, there is a good tool that you can use: pH strips. Your body will turn alkaline when you are eating healthy foods and will turn acidic when you are eating the wrong foods. Being acidic contributes to many diseases and being overweight. So if you want to know if you are on track, use this tool. I test myself every weekend to make sure my body is alkaline.
These are very useful tools to meet and continue with your health and weight loss goals. If you use these tools you can stop worrying if your program is working or not or if you are making the right decisions for your health or weight loss.