Track Your Results
Whenever you start getting into a new diet, the best way to stay motivated to go through it is to track your results along the way. Just like any other diet or fitness plan, you may track your progress through some evidence of weight loss but there are still various ways to measure your body’s changes as you go through the diet. It is always a good idea to look beyond the numbers on the scale as you determine the effectiveness of a diet or fitness plan.
One way to easily see the results is to take photos of yourself at the beginning and then weekly to see if you can visualize any changes. You can take photos of yourself in front of a mirror in a bathing suit or underwear or anything that can show your stomach, neck, arms, and legs. If you opt to wear t-shirts when you take your photo, be sure it’s the same color or the same size. Also use the same background and same time frame to take the photo. Take more angles like turning to each side and take another picture to properly visualize your overall physical changes. Taking a picture per week for two months, for example, can help you see your body’s changes clearly and with that, you can then tell if the diet has improved your body or not. Once you have a few weeks worth of photos logged, you can now start digging into your progress and find out if the diet worked well for you.
Another way is to keep a journal about your energy levels, any health problems you’ve experienced, and generally how you feel. You can use a simple notebook or use various fitness tracking apps on the Internet. Always keep it a habit have a journal entry every day and avoid skipping a day or two to avoid inconsistency when you finally gather your results. Keeping a food diary or journal is very helpful for measuring a diet’s effectiveness since it keep tracks of patterns in the food you eat, when you eat, and why you eat. Be specific on the type of food you ate and make the amount as accurate as possible. If you had chicken strips for lunch, don’t just write chicken. If you have a piece of cake, measure the size and quantity as well, say 2” x 1” x 2”.
You can add some other helpful information in your journal like your mood, energy level, stress level, and sleeping patterns. Take note of the total amount of sleep you had for that day, including day naps. You can also note how many times you woke up in the middle of the night and overall sleep quality. Many individuals may feel mood or health changes depending on the weather so you can write down the weather pattern along with the heat or cold index. Finally, take note of any pain or discomfort that you feel throughout the day. You can log the area where it occurred, the intensity of the pain, and the time of day where it occurred. Sometimes it may occur at the same time every day so be sure to record it. In addition to pain and discomfort, you can also add some symptoms you felt in that day, like fatigue, nausea, gas, bloating, watery eyes, diarrhea, heart palpitations, constant hunger, etc. Of course, don’t forget to log your emotional and mental symptoms like anxiety, nervousness, sadness, anger, or irritability. Your journal needs to tell the whole truth about your whole body and must contain all the details you need to determine if you are progressing in this diet or not.
Lastly, one of the simpler ways to track your body’s progress is to determine how your clothes fit. Choose one pair of jeans that are tight for you and try them on for every four weeks and see if it feels lose. Take note of where they feel tight or lose and that’s where you can set your target. The weighing scale may provide some accurate presentation of your weight, but your pants also never lie.
Seeing problems improve and getting closer to your goals will help you stay committed to the Paleo diet – even when it’s tempting to give up. There’s nothing more motivating than actually seeing your body change and see how far you’ve come along the diet. The longer you do it, though, the better you’ll feel and the more results you’ll be able to document. And remember, the best way to stay motivated to stick to the diet is to never give up. You may not see results immediately but just keep on making healthy choices, take lots of photos, write every day in your health journal, and just feel good about yourself. You will start to see a difference eventually.