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The Ten Commandments of Weight Loss

4. Thou Shalt Monitor Thyself

Again and again I've seen many overweight persons lose the battle because they are not willing to make the commitment to monitor their food and exercise habits. And, to be honest, this is not an easy task for most people, especially in the beginning. But it definitely pays off! Find out how you can do it, too.

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Self-monitoring is, by far, the number one secret of weight loss. By self monitoring we mean keeping detailed, accurate, daily records of your food intake and physical activity.

Both research and common sense support this principle. Think about it: you've been on a positive energy balance for quite a while now. If you want to make sure you stay negative, you have to monitor both the calories you take in, and the calories you burn.

Does Self-Monitoring Really Make a Difference?

One study evaluated the relationship between self-monitoring and weight loss in 56 obese subjects participating in a structured behavioral therapy program [1]. Each week participants were given a log to record all food and calorie consumption. A weekly monitoring index was developed based on the number of times food intake was adequately recorded.

The results showed that not monitoring was associated with weight gain, and weight loss increased proportionally with increased self-monitoring. Weight change was +9.3, -1.7, -5.9, and -31.2 lb for self-monitoring indexes 1 through 4, respectively.
Source: [1] Baker RC, Kirschenbaum DS. Self-monitoring may be necessary for successful weight control. Behav Ther 1993;24:377-394.

Are There People Who Manage to Monitor Themselves?

Meet John Stone. An athlete in high school, he first became lazy, then fat, unhealthy, antisocial, and lost all his self-confidence in the process. Eventually, he reached to point where he knew he had to make some changes. And change he did! His amazing transformation can be viewed at www.johnstonefitness.com/php/1_year_mov.php.

Viewing his transformation, I think you'll all agree he did an amazing job! But do you know what the secret of his success was? In his own words:

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Keeping a record of your diet and exercise is a key to weight loss success!

"Looking in the mirror was enough motivation to get me started, but I knew that I would need a more powerful motivator as I progressed past the "novelty stage" and hit the plateaus with which we are all so familiar. With that in mind, I decided to keep very strict records of my food intake, my supplement intake, my weight and cardio workouts and my body weight and body fat percentage. " (emphasis ours).

Even though John did other things worthy of notice, strict self-monitoring made his transformation possible. I hope he will be an inspiration for you, too. I don't think you need to copy everything he did - in fact, his diet may not be the best for weight loss (you will see that his primary interest is now body-building). But he is 100% right when it comes to making sacrifices in order to keep strict records.

How Should I Monitor My Diet and Exercise?

Here are a few suggestions: In addition, I encourage you to look for additional information by using our custom diet and exercise monitoring Google search engine below:



You will soon see the difference, and others will notice it, too!

Good luck!

Dr Gily

Disclaimer

All materials on this page and website are provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, you should consult your doctor on any matter relating to your health and well-being. The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgement available at the time of publishing, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.

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