Friday, October 05, 2012

Week #40: Track & Bring It Back

I sat in my own Weight Watchers meeting this morning (the one I go to as a member, that is!) and the leader asked "Who is excited about tracking?"

I won't lie to you - I wasn't one of them. Do I enjoy tracking? No, I don't. Do I find it a valuable tool? You betcha. Unfortunately those conflicting opinions mean that over the years I've started a lot of different trackers...only to abandon them at some point. So the fact that 3 weeks ago I finished a 3 Month Tracker with every week filled was a pretty big victory. I'm not saying every day was filled, but the fact that I didn't give up within the three months is huge!

So maybe you're just as challenged as I am when it comes to tracking. You don't want to do it. Why should you do it? I did minutes hours of internet research to provide you with a few pieces of proof that tracking really works.

You can lose twice as much weight if you track. This is a SparkPeople article, so of course they are going to plug their own tracker, but they reference an actual scientific study from 2008 that found study members who tracked lost twice as much weight as study members who did not. So why track? It works!

Have you ever heard of the National Weight Control Registry? They keep track of people who have lost weight to see not only how they lost their weight, but how they continue to maintain it. They collect statistics on what works, and there are definitely some trends. One study that used the NWCR information found that successful members regularly tracked their weight (by weighing themselves, obviously). So while tracking usually refers to food intake, it can also refer to weighing. I personally have noted that my most successful Lifetime Members are those who still regularly attend meetings and weigh themselves. Catch gains when they are small!

The Weight Watchers folks across the pond share some general tips from tracking, including some of the things we discussed this week. You can learn a lot from your tracker. Taking some time to review what has happened can help you identify your successes and learn what areas you might have for improvement. Track for weight loss TRIUMPH!


Gem said...

Hate to be the dummy of the group here... But what type of tracking are you talking about? Based on the data I should definitely be doing this myself but I'm not currently!

Outsmart the Fat! said...

Tracking food intake primarily, but it could also include tracking activity levels. Keeping a food diary is pretty revealing when you're trying to change the way you eat!