Trouble Staying Accountable?

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Staying accountable can be one of the biggest challenges to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Life happens and we slip off track. Here are four ideas that I’ve used that can help keep your diet and exercise goals on target.

I’ve used to track my exercise and nutrition intake. I could see how many calories I was actually consuming along with how much sodium and sugar I had on a day to day basis. It was a great eye opener for me to see the unnecessary extra salt and sugar I was eating. You can also friend people and have a community of other health-minded folks to stay on track with and encourage one another. Another great tool is a simple calendar. I have an area where I can track my meals and an extra spot where I can list my classes I take/teach so I know the plan for the week. My goal for exercise is to add more cardio in as I get quite a bit of strength in already. I love to jog with spurts of sprinting and it’s something I’ve been wanting to get back into since I had my son. Sometimes I listen to music and jam out, other times I enjoy the quiet to clear my head.

Finding ways to make exercise and meals more enjoyable will help you stay accountable. I love to look at my calendar and see meals we have planned. I used to have a Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner part in my planner where I wrote what I was going to eat to hold me accountable and remind me to eat healthy foods. Now, it’s become a habit for me to have a banana in the morning and a salad either for lunch or dinner depending on the day because I’ve done it so frequently. The planning helps in grocery shopping and preparing as well. If we are going to have something with chicken in it, I write it in my calendar to take some out of the freezer a couple days before so it can thaw. Also, if I know I need onion or peppers in a meal, we chop up extra so that part is already done for the future meal. Doing little tricks like this will help you stay on track and accountable because it makes it easier. I can see when we ate something so I know if it’s still good in the fridge to use or should be tossed out.

Another tip is to use post-it notes or a dry erase/chalk board. Sometimes I’ll write a note about something to eat or exercise to include and that helps me remember to do it! I currently have “make sweet potato soup” on my dry erase board on the fridge. For me, remembering things is half the battle when it comes to accountability!

Last but not least, have an accountability partner. Someone that has a like-minded goal or a family member, friend, or co-worker that has a vested interest in your success. If you need more accountability, personal trainers are a great resource. You can even have your friend join you for buddy or group training on a regular basis.

There are many ways we can trip up, but I hope these few tips will help and encourage you to stay accountable to your goal and stay or get back on track.

Cassie Kupsky  Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Personal Trainer
Greater Green Bay YMCA