We’re on to Week #6 in Let’s Move Quad Cities’ “Eight Weeks with Jeni and Chelsey.” Our nutrition and fitness experts are providing tips for a better you in 2016. This week, the key to long-term success of reaching your goals is to get help with accountability. It’s better with a buddy or check out new digital tools that measure your progress!
Tip 1: Get a Fitbook or Journal!
Jeni: If you are not getting the results you want from healthier eating, you should grab a pencil and a notebook and write down everything you eat or drink.
Food journaling helps bring accountability to your meals and snacks.
Often we eat mindlessly: in front of the TV, while driving, at the computer. Food journaling brings mindfulness to your eating habits.
Food journaling also encourages measuring foods. Get out your measuring cups and spoons and measure the amount of pasta, meat sauce, and salad dressing at your spaghetti supper.
Measuring out foods will help you eyeball appropriate portions at restaurants.
Chelsey: Many bookstores sell great tracking books to help you connect with your mind and body.
One of my favorite journals is the “Fitbook.” Gift yourself and a friend new journal, and keep each other accountable to your goals.
Simple, daily physical activity can truly make a HUGE difference in how you feel!
I also find it’s more fun to measure progress when you have a buddy to share in your tough days and your milestones!
Tip 2: Use a Digital Tracker!
Jeni: You can take your food journaling to the next level with online tracking tools. MyFitnessPal and SparkPeople have websites and online apps that are free and easy to use.
One advantage to using online tools for food journaling is that nutrition information is already loaded into the app or website. You can set goals for weight, calorie levels or exercise, and easily keep track of your progress.
The nutrition database is extensive and includes store brands of foods along with restaurant items.
Online tracking tools include discussion groups where you can find support during your journey. I have an account on MyFitnessPal, and I share my information with friends who can cheer me on. I also enjoy supporting my friends in their healthy endeavors!
Chelsey: We live in a digital world so choose your favorite tech device to help you evaluate and track your workouts.
Many fitness centers now offer an app and virtual buddy as part of your workout.
Two Rivers YMCA has MobileFit, a program that not only tracks your workouts, but also will show you schedules of classes and how to use equipment.
Free apps on smart phones are also great tools to help along your fitness journey: My Fitness Pal and Map My Run are great to use, too. Check out my blog on best training apps from last fall for more options.