Listen to this podcast episode to learn the fourth step to losing weight. In this episode, you'll learn why this step is important, how it helps you lose weight, and exactly what to do to apply this step to your life.
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Read the full episode transcript below:
Welcome to the Weight Loss Before and After Pregnancy Podcast. The place you’ll get simple strategies you can apply to your life today to start losing weight. Strategies that’ll help you reach your goal, move on with your life, and focus on the things that matter most to you. I’m your host, Certified Life and Weight Coach, Andrea Scalici. Let’s get started.
Hey everybody. Welcome to episode number 5.
Today, we’re gonna talk about the fourth step to losing weight. Which is tracking everything. Writing it down.
But I want to first acknowledge that I know a lot of people don’t like the idea of tracking what they eat. And if this is you, hang in with me here, because in this episode I’ll tell you why tracking is important, how it helps you lose weight, and I’ll tell you exactly what to track.
But before we get into that, I wanna quickly remind you about The 5 Simple Steps To Losing Weight. Because tracking is just one of those steps.
So, in episode number one, I introduced you to The 5 Simple Steps To Losing Weight. And every episode since, we’ve talked about each of The 5 Steps in detail. This has kinda been like a little mini series.
So, you learned what the 5 simple steps were in episode number one.
Then, in episode number two, we talked about step one. Which is following a sleep routine.
In episode number three, we talked about step two, drinking enough water everyday.
In episode number four, we talked about step three, creating and following a food plan. That was a big one.
In this episode, episode number five, we’ll talk about step four, tracking everything.
And in next week’s episode, episode number six, we’ll wrap up this little mini series by talking about the final step, step five, which is self-coaching.
If you haven’t listened to the previous episodes, I recommend you go back and listen to them now in order. And this one will be waiting for you when you get to it.
But if you have listened to the previous episodes, let’s get into today’s episode by talking about tracking.
Ok. I’ve gotta tell you, when I first started using The 5 Step process to lose my own weight, I hated tracking. I did not want to write down the foods I was eating, my weight, and everything else. I just didn’t want to do it.
But I really believed it would help me. Because I knew if I didn’t keep track of what I was putting into my body, then I wouldn’t know how to adjust things and find a way to lose my weight.
So, in the beginning, I did the tracking, despite how much I didn't want to do it. In the beginning, I sort of forced myself to do it. And it didn’t feel great to force myself into doing something I didn’t want to do. But I did it anyways, and over time, I got honest with myself.
I asked myself this. “Do I want to do this or not?” The real answer was, yes I did. I did want to do this. I did want to see what I was putting into my body. I did want to see if what I was doing was working or not. So, just like that, after I got honest with myself, I stopped telling myself I didn’t want to do it. Because the truth was, I did.
This little moment, this honest moment I had with myself, was everything. Because shifting from I don’t want to do this type of energy to I do actually want to do this energy, gave me the boost I needed. The motivation I needed to track everything I was doing.
Once I started telling myself the truth, that I actually did want to track what I was doing, I took it one day at a time.
When I woke up on Sunday, for example, I’d remind myself why I wanted to track that day. Then, when I woke up on Monday and every day of the week, I’d do the same thing. Remind myself consciously why I wanted to track that day.
Each day that I did this, I built up more and more motivation to track. And eventually, after just a few short weeks, tracking became a habit for me. Something I just did everyday, almost on autopilot, without thinking too much about it.
When it became a habit, well, that’s when I really fell in love with it. It was an important part of my day and I felt very confident about prioritizing it. And so I did. It didn’t start that way. But I stuck with it and eventually got to this place of loving tracking.
Now, one of the biggest reasons I hear people say they don’t want to track, is because they think it’ll be too much work.
And if this is something you’re thinking, I want to tell you that tracking, if you were to tally up the amount of time it takes me everyday, is just a few short minutes a day. That’s it.
If you and I could have a conversation, like in a coaching call, I’d dig into this deeper with you. But since this is a podcast episode, a one-way conversation, I’ll be a little bold and blunt here.
If you’re thinking a thought like, “Tracking is too much work,” you’re just making an excuse. You probably aren’t consciously making an excuse, but that’s exactly what it is.
The real reason you don’t want to track is there inside your mind, but it’s being blocked by this thinking that tracking is too much work. If you’re able to believe that tracking will really only be a few short minutes a day, and you have the time to do it, then you’ll open up to seeing the real reason you’re not wanting to track.
If I had to take a guess, without knowing you at all, and without talking to you at all, my guess would be this. You don’t want to track because you don’t want to see what’s really going on with you. You don’t want to see what you’re eating or drinking. You don’t want to see the number on the scale. You don’t want to see anything because you feel like it’s all out of your control anyways. So, why bother to see it, especially because it might make you feel bad about yourself, because you think you can’t change it anyways.
Now, if you’re stuck here, let’s break this apart right now and get you unstuck in this episode so you can move forward with this.
The first thing you should know is why. Why is tracking important? Like, why should you even consider doing it and sort of forcing yourself to do it when you think you really don’t want to do it.
Well, tracking is important for a few reasons. One, data collection. You’re writing down data that’ll show you if you’re following your plan and if your plan is working. Meaning, you’re losing weight. Without data, you’re flying blind with your weight loss goal. So, you need to collect it, in order to know what’s working and what’s not working, and whether or not you’re making progress on your goal.
Two, tracking is important to ease up the pressure in your mind. What I mean by this is, when you write down your data, it sort of removes that information from your brain and transfers it to paper. It takes work away from your brain to constantly try to remember what you ate, what you should eat, and everything else.
Think of your brain like a processor. Information goes in, it’s processed, and information comes out. Your brain doesn’t like to store information very often unless it’s super important because that takes up too much energy and space.
Have you ever heard the saying, “It goes in one ear and out the other?” That’s exactly what I’m talking about here.
Just this week my 3-½ year old son asked me if we could buy granola bars at the grocery store. I said, “Sure. We can get them next time we go to the store.” Then, I asked him to remind me in a few days when we’re ready to make a list.
He was all excited that I said yes to the granola bars. So, he excitedly said, “Sure. I’ll remind you. Thanks, Mom.”
And just a few seconds later, he came back to me and said, “Mom, can you write them on the list right now? I might not remember later and I really want granola bars.”
I laughed. And I realized he was right. The chances of him or me remembering to buy granola bars in a few days from now, are slim to none. Unless we write it down now and get it out of our minds and onto paper. And by doing this, we also reduce the pressure in our minds of trying to remember this little detail. And we open up space for ourselves because we’re confident this is taken care of.
So, tracking is important to collect data so you can make sure you’re progressing with your goal. And it’s important to free up space inside your mind for more important things.
Now, let’s say you’re sold. You want to start tracking, and you go to do it, but you really don’t like looking at the data. Maybe you make the data mean something about you. Like, seeing the number on the scale, and being reminded of how far away from your goal you are. Or seeing the food you ate, and feeling like a failure if you didn’t eat perfectly to plan.
All of these things are normal in the beginning. And you need to have patience, love, and compassion for yourself when you start to do this. Just like when you start to do anything new or different in your life.
As time goes on, and tracking starts to become a habit for you, it’ll get easier. But the real thing that makes it easier is you focusing on the way you think about this data.
After weeks of practicing this myself years ago, I now think of tracking and the stuff I write down as strictly data. No drama. Just data. It’s like I’m a scientist conducting an experiment and I need this data to see how my experiment is working. I need to analyze and test and adjust until I get the winning combination that works for me. The same goes for you too.
In the beginning it may feel terrible to write down what you’re eating or how much you weigh, but keep going with it. Make it a habit. And shift the way you think about it away from taking it personal towards strictly data because that’s all it is.
So, what exactly should you be tracking? I’ll tell you what I track everyday that takes me just a few short minutes. And you can either do exactly what I do or pick and choose what you like from my list.
Ok. Here it is. Everyday I track the amount of water I drink. I track my weight. I track my period and whether or not I’ve exercised. I track the time I eat a meal, what I ate compared to what I planned to eat, and whether or not I overate at each meal. That’s it.
You can do what I do or find a way that works for you. Whatever you do, stay consistent, turn it into a habit, and shift your thinking about it.
I wanna say something real quick specifically about tracking your weight, the number on the scale. If you plan to do this, I recommend you weigh yourself around the same time and under similar conditions to the day before. An apples to apples comparison as much as you possibly can.
So, you could weigh yourself as soon as you wake up in the morning. Before you’ve eaten or drinken anything. And after you’ve gone to the bathroom.
This is the best way I know how to get a close comparison apples to apples to your previous weight. Because, like we’ve talked about before on this podcast, your weight might fluctuate day-to-day or throughout your day because of water weight or other factors. This is completely normal.
And another thing about weighing yourself. Definitely work on the way you think about the number on the scale. Wherever you are right now with this, you can start to shift your thinking towards the number on the scale being just data. It’s neutral. It’s a circumstance. And you just need to know what it is, so you can analyze, test, and adjust if needed. That’s it. The number on the scale doesn’t mean anything about you personally or your ability to lose weight now or in the future.
So, how can you think about tracking itself? Well, I recommend you think about tracking as a weight loss tool. And part of the new lifestyle you’re creating now. Track everything as you lose your weight and keep writing it down once you’ve reached your ideal weight. Don’t stop doing it when you reach your goal.
You might be thinking, “Why would I keep doing it?” And the answer is simple. It’ll help you maintain your weight.
You don’t want to do all this work losing your weight to gain it back again. So, keep tracking as part of your new lifestyle. It’ll help you lose and maintain your weight. And it’ll keep your mind freed up to think about more important things. That’s the real goal, right?
I mean, as Moms and aspiring Moms, we’ve got a lot going on in our lives. We’re raising kids, keeping our marriages solid, running a household, possibly building careers, trying to keep ourselves balanced, and so much more.
We’ve got more important things to think about other than food and weight loss. I mean, don’t get me wrong, food and weight loss are important to your health. And you can reach your goal weight. All I’m saying is to let tracking do some of the work for you. Get it out of your brain and onto paper. Work on your thoughts about the data on paper. And shift your focus back to the things that matter most to you.
Alright. That’s it for now. On next week’s episode, we’ll wrap up this little mini series about The 5 Simple Steps To Losing Weight by talking about the final step, step number five.
In my personal opinion, step five is the most important step of them all because when you’re following steps 1-4. So, you’re sleeping well, you’re drinking enough water everyday, you’re following a food plan, and you’re tracking everything. When you’re doing all these things, emotions will start to come up. Which is exactly why you need step five, self-coaching. So, make sure you join me next week to learn all about how to manage your emotions while you’re losing weight and for the rest of your life.
Thanks for listening today. I hope you enjoyed this podcast. And if you did, subscribe now so you can get episodes automatically downloaded to your favorite podcast app. And if you’ve got an extra minute or two, please leave a review in Apple Podcasts. A 5-star review if you really liked this show. And thank you so much for doing that. I really appreciate it. Have an awesome week and I’ll talk to you in the next episode.
If you loved this podcast, I want to invite you to check out The 6 Stages Weight Loss Program. It’s my signature program that’ll teach you everything you need to know from start to finish to lose weight, reach your goal, and maintain it once you’re there. You’ll also learn how to have your own back through the process. Join me over at mcccoaching.com/join. I’ll see you there.
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