Do you ever feel like you are working out hard & eating healthy, yet week after week you aren't seeing changes? If you are not tracking your progress weekly, how are you going to be able to know if what you are doing is even working?
There is nothing worse than busting your butt every day for a month and then realizing you have gained fat when you wanted to lose. And that you might have had better results if you would have adjusted your calories or tweaked your training program.
Here are 6 tips to help you reach those goals:
1) Decide where you want to go - set a goal!
2) Establish a starting point. Where are you now? What is it going to take to get there?
3) Formulate a plan of action. (Meal plan/training program) Put it up where you can see it.
4) Act on your plan CONSISTENTLY. Work hard every. single. day.
5) KNOW if it's working or not. (Pay attention!) Some people have been making the same nutrition & training mistakes for years & still wonder why they aren't seeing results.
6) Be flexible in your approach & BE PERSISTENT!
Be willing to adjust your approach as many times as necessary until you reach your goal. Don't do what it takes for anyone else...do what it takes for YOU!
Don't give up!
Okay, so let's go into more detail about how to do that. First of all, you are going to need to know your body fat %. You can get expensive testing done or just use calipers. (I have a scale that I think it just as accurate as calipers.) Unless you are going to be competing in a figure competition, I don't think it matters how accurate it is, as long as you are using the same method each time, you will be able to see changes from week to week.
Once you know your body fat %, multiply that number by your scale weight. This will give you your fat weight. Then subtract your fat weight from your total body weight to get your lean body mass.
Example: Let's say you weigh 145 with 28% bf.
145 x .28 = 40.6 (fat weight)
145 - 40.6 = 104.4 (lean body mass)
This is a really good thing to know, because each week you are going to calculate these numbers again & you will be able to see if your moving in the right direction for your goals. This will give you proper feedback!!
If you are trying to lose fat, you want to see your fat weight go down, while your lean mass stays the same or increases. But don't stress out if you see an increase in weight or fat from one week to the next. That just means that you have the chance to tweak things a bit and then check again the next week. :) Make sure you check the trends over time - I probably wouldn't worry too much for the first couple weeks of tracking, because you might be losing water weight, but if you are consistently losing lean mass, you will probably need to add calories. It is really empowering to be able to do this yourself!! YOU will learn what works for YOUR body instead of following someone else's advice!
Here are some charts I use to see changes over time.
Weekly Body Fat Progress Chart
Weekly Measurement Chart
Weekly Measurement Chart (PDF)
You should also take measurements and pictures to help you see if you are moving in the right direction. Your weight might stay the same, but if you are losing inches your body fat should be going down as well. I don't really care for the scale too much, but it is a great tool to help make sure that I am staying on track!
Well, I hope that this helps you a little. There is a really amazing book that I call my fitness Bible - it has a TON of information in it & I read it over and over - it's called Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle by Tom Venuto. Seriously, pick up a copy ASAP! It helps soooo much!
If you have any other questions, or need someone to coach you through the process, feel free to contact me!