In my opinion, I have found the best method of tracking progress is to take photos. Scales, counting body fat percentage and measurements can be inaccurate. I do not want you to focus on numbers, but rather on how you feel – physically and mentally.
Taking pictures is a fantastic way to measure your progress from beginning to end. I understand that stepping on the scales may be a part of your daily routine, however, weight can fluctuate throughout the day. Progress pictures tell the truth!
How do I take progress pics?
Recommended clothing would be a sports bra and shorts. Take your progress pictures hands-free. Keep your phone or camera in a stable place and set a timer, or get someone to take the pictures for you. Make sure the lighting is clear and bright. Do not pose; keep your body relaxed in your pictures.
After a couple of weeks, you can pose/flex to show off your results!
Take pictures every 2 weeks in the same lighting, room, and time – wearing similar clothing helps too.
One of the most important parts of this programme is setting realistic, achievable goals. Your long term and short term goals should be personal and only for you.
If you want to lose weight, you need to establish how you are going to do it. What are the first hurdles you need to overcome in order to start and continue on your journey?
Your goals should NOT be vague, they should be personal targets to achieve the best results you possibly can. As you can see, I have assembled an example asking you what your short-term and long-term goals are.
Keep it real and don’t set goals that are unachievable or you will just frustrate yourself and feel demotivated when you don’t achieve it. If you want to lose a stone, then setting yourself a target to do it in a month is not the way to go about it. Think of it more as “I want to lose a stone, so I am going to aim for 1-2lb weight loss per week. This is both achievable and realistic and any extra weight loss will make you feel really good about yourself. I have seen it happen time and time again…if you lose weight too quickly, I promise you it will pile back on unless you want to stick to a miserable way of living and deprive yourself of normality.
You need to make sure your goals are SMART. Ask yourself: what is it you want to achieve, and why you want to achieve it? Is it measurable and achievable for you and your life?
Short Term Goals Example
- Logging all my food and sticking to my (achievable) calorie deficit (will come to this shortly)
- Achieving 10k steps each day
- Increasing my fruit and vegetables
Long Term Goals Example
- Dropping 2 dress sizes in 6 months
- Losing half a stone in 4 weeks
I also often I hear all the time as a personal trainer… ‘I want abs’ and ‘What exercises will lose my bingo wings?’ and ‘I want to lose 2 stone for my holiday’. The problem with using these types of goals as a reason to work out and eat well is that they are driven by a negative body image and self- criticism rather than a positive view of wanting to feel great, look great and be in the best shape of your life AND stay in shape for life.
Recommendations & Tips
Here are some ways in which will not only help me engage with you more, give you more information, more advice, motivation and support – but it will also help me to share your journey, thus growing my audience. One thing to point out – if you don’t want me to use your name, photo (or blur out your face, that is absolutely fine too). These tips will also help you to stay motivated and accountable to both yourself and to me.
Instagram account holders – use your feed to post your progress and tag me in – if you fear that you will be boring your current audience then create a new Instagram account, easy to do – go to settings and add account, so you can switch between your personal and your journey to a healthier you. You can call it – Myfitzone_yourname – or whatever you like. It can be a great reference for yourself, treat it like your own little diary. Photograph and post your meals, workouts, progress photos etc – don’t forget to follow me so I can follow you back.
Facebook account holders – you can also do the same here – it’s easy to set up a new account, just need a new email – again you can keep it private and only let me be your friend if you are worried about others seeing it. Or you can set up a group page linked to your personal account. Once you have completed your journey and feeling fabulous – you can always make it public, so you can share your journey and results, this will maybe encourage and inspire others to do the same.
Download an app called – Layout – you can easily photograph your food – it takes a second to do – then use layout at the end of the day to create a photo montage to post. This really makes you think about what you are eating and shows you the contrast in foods and how colourful or bland they make look.
Send me your progress and before and after photos – I don’t do that many testimonials – not because I haven’t helped 100s of people, but purely due to the fact it’s rare I have asked for one! However doing this really helps you focus on your journey – keeps you motivated and also it really helps me if you are willing to let me share to inspire and motivate others.
Send me a few sentences of how you are getting on, how it’s making you feel, these are also great for me to hear and also ideal for me to use to help others. It really puts things into perspective for you – making you realise how far you have come.