Accountability is an absolutely huge part of sticking to any new routine. If you do not have a plan to stick to your diet/exercise routine, then you will shortly find yourself falling back into old habits. Allow me to share a story with you.
A couple years ago I got very serious about losing weight and getting off the couch and being a healthier version of myself. I had downloaded the Lose It! app a few years earlier but never really used it. But this time, I was serious. And I used that app EVERY SINGLE DAY. I logged every single calorie that went into my mouth. Every one. If it was one chip, I logged it. An almond, anything. And I held myself accountable to the number at the top of the screen (1400 calories, or whatever your target is). I also logged my weight every singly morning, so I knew where I stood. Sure, some days I went off the deep end, but the next day, I got right back on the accountability bus and stuck with it. I didn’t have an app to track exercise, but me and my boyfriend (now husband) kept each other on track in that department.
And, over the course of a year, with consistently sticking to calories and working out 4-6 days a week, I lost over 20 pounds. I was in absolutely fantastic shape. Then, one day, I decided, “I’m completely happy where I’m at. I don’t need to lose anymore. I don’t care what the number on the scale says because I am fit and happy.” I stopped logging food and stopped weighing myself.
Within two months, I’d gained about 5 pounds back. Within six I was almost back where I had started.
Once I lost the daily accountability of tracking my calories and my weight, it quickly ballooned out of control again. Without knowing exactly how many calories I was eating, and being accountable to 1400 a day, I lost track of what I was eating and fell back into old bad habits. So, accountability.
I recommend a calorie tracking app for starters. You would be amazed at how quickly calories add up, and how many calories you’re really eating. Without tracking, its so hard to realize how much a few chips here, or a cookie there really means at the end of the day. So, keep yourself accountable and aware by tracking calories. And don’t stop doing it- I am a prime example of that not ending well.
Second, make yourself an exercise calendar each month. Decide how many days you want to work out, be it 3, or 6, and plan out your workouts. Are you going to run on Monday, do circuit training Wednesday, and run again on Friday? Whatever you decide, write it down and keep yourself accountable. If you have it written down it will be a lot harder to just skip and say, “I’ll do it tomorrow,” because you will feel a sense of obligation.
And lastly, use the people around you. If you share you goals with those who are close to you, the sense of obligation to go through with what you said you would do will be much higher than if you’re the only one keeping yourself on track. They can also offer motivation to keep going, and even a workout or diet buddy. You don’t have to go it alone!
Holding yourself accountable is a major part of successfully tackling any diet or exercise plan. Make it happen!