If you’re planning on loosing weight, improving your diet, doing more exercise, or stoping smoking… you may want to consider daily self-monitoring. In a recent study, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics demonstrated that daily weighing had a positive impact on weight loss. Other studies also argue that logging what you eat on a daily basis helps you eat better… or that keeping track of the number of cigarets you smoke helps you reduce smoking.
What is it that makes daily self-monitoring so powerful ?
It Encourages You To Adopt Health-oriented Behaviors
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics ran a study on 47 participants. Among that group, 51% were asked to report on their dietary behaviors on a daily basis for a duration of 6 months. Those weighing every day had a higher tendency to adopt greater weight loss oriented behaviors, therefore improving their results, when compared to those weighing less than daily.
Another study made by The Journal Consulting and Clinical Psychology on regular smokers showed that the monitoring of smoking frequency and duration had a significant impact on the participants’ smoking behavior.
It Keeps You Motivated
Daily self-monitoring could be an efficient means to keep motivated and therefore achieve the targeted results in the long-term. The gap between your current condition and the targeted one is sometimes frustrating, hence reducing your motivation with regards to the necessary daily efforts. Daily monitoring allows you to remain aware of your improvements on a short-term basis, thus helping you maintain the behavior changes in the long-term. Researchers Judith G.Regensteiner, Jane E.B.Reusch, Kerry J.Stewart and Aristidis Veves in their publication Diabetes and Exercise consider self-monitoring as a good strategy in approaching health behavior change. Combining that with daily goal setting helps increase the duration of behavior change adoption. In fact daily self-monitoring kind of creates a virtuous circle :
It Gives You an Objective Feedback
It’s a known fact : people see themselves as more active than they actually are (See this article on Daily Mail). This means that some may believe they are closer to their goals than they really are, which might result in providing not enough efforts when it’s needed, or focusing on the wrong ones. Monitoring your activity on a daily basis using reliable tools and a proper dashboard (an online training log for example) helps you make an objective assessment of where you are versus where you want to be, allowing you to readjust your behavior if necessary, or reevaluate your goals. By giving you an overall picture of your performance, daily monitoring ultimately helps you make accurate decisions on what efforts should be made and where you should focus your energy.
When Combined with a Personal Trainer, It is Optimal
Collecting and logging data is an important part of the equation. However, analysing that data and making sure that it is included in your fitness routine or meal plan, is probably even more important.
That is the job of your personal trainer. With the right data, your health profesional will be able to provide you even better fitness programs, perfectly tailored to your needs, assuring you a safe, customized and optimal training program.
So, if you’re planning on starting a fitness or another health-related program, think of daily monitoring your activity and working with a personal trainer : the two combined will guarantee you optimal results in your endeavors.
Have you tried this method? Share your comment below!