Just like tracking your budget, tracking your meals and workouts can be an important step in improving your life. By tracking your meals, you’ll be more aware of what you’re putting into your body and how you can improve your diet. By tracking workouts, you may be more inclined to follow a workout plan and find ways to improve and vary your current plan. Just like budgeting your money, it is important to find your favorite method for tracking these things. For workouts, I like to keep an Excel document with a calendar and list of the workouts that I completed on each day (ex. “ran 5 miles outside” or “1-hour fitness class”). You can also just write these items onto your regular wall calendar if it doesn’t look too cluttered with your busy schedule. There are also free programs and smartphone apps that let you track your dietary consumption each day (some are pretty sophisticated and actually have a nutritional record of most grocery and restaurant items, including calories, fat, etc. along with a record of calories burned during common activities so that you can compare how many calories you’ve ingested with how many you’ve worked off). Again, a simple notebook, pen and your best estimates are all that is necessary for tracking these things. As a tip, do not obsess over calories. It is about maintaining your health and working toward your fitness goals. For example, if you eat a lot of “junk food,” perhaps tracking your daily meals can allow to visualize exactly how much of it you need to cut out or your diet (you can also work this into your budgeting method to see how much you would save if you removed unnecessary food items from your diet!). If you’re in a workout slump, entering your workouts may motivate you to try new fitness activities.
Hopefully you’ve already employed a budgeting method (as per yesterday’s post) – start tracking nutrition and fitness in your life today!