Self-Monitoring Strategies to Improve Weight LossPosted: Mar 30 in Weight loss, Weight Management Strategies by Dr. Lazarus
An article this month in Obesity looks at the importance of self-monitoring strategies to promote and sustain weight loss. The authors conclude that “More frequent self-monitoring via digital health is linked to greater weight loss in behavioral interventions.”
What is Self-Monitoring?
Self-monitoring is great because it is quick, easy, safe, effective and free! Self monitoring simply means that you are keeping tabs on yourself. The most important part is the schedule. Self-monitoring can range from several times a day to several times a year. Let’s give some examples.
The easiest thing to monitor is your weight. Decades ago, it was found that weighing daily is an important tool in keeping weight off. We have found through the years that weighing at home, for most people, can be helpful in keeping weight off. It lets us know if we are sustaining, losing, or gaining, and can help minimize gain if we know steps to take in the event the scale is going up. We generally recommend either weighing daily, several times a week, or weekly. If weighing, be sure to write it down, and have a plan of a corrective course in the event the number is going up.
Journaling is another great tool for losing and keeping weight off. Journaling can be done on paper, by computer or a phone app. Journaling can be daily, several days per week, or even once weekly.
Many people are using wearables to monitor their health. Current wearables can monitor everything from exercise and step counts to pulse rates and even quality of sleep. When used properly, these can be a great tool to help sustain motivation.
Why do these work?
If you read the previous article in this blog, distracted eating, you will realize that these self-monitoring strategies promote mindfulness. When we are distracted, we lose touch with trying to stick with our healthy behaviors. Self-monitoring will give you more “touch points” to help you stay on track with your weight control efforts.
CNC Tools for Self-Monitoring
Did you know CNC has a full set of tools to help you with self monitoring? In your patient portal, click on the button that says “My Journal” in the left menu. From there, you have access to a suite of tools:
- Motivation Journal – a set of monthly, weekly and daily assessments to enhance motivation
- Food / Exercise Journal – can use CNC portal, or can use an app on your phone like LoseIt or MyFitnessPal
- Recipe book – recipes submitted by CNC patients – over 200 recipes!
Did you know that CNC also offers a private facebook group? This is a great way to interact with other people at CNC and share thoughts, ideas, success stories, recipes, etc. If interested, just visit this link.
Developing your OWN self-monitoring plan for weight loss
Decide on what you want to monitor, the frequency of monitoring, and then write it down! Example:
- Fitness Watch -> Steps and minutes of activity
- 3 Days per Week – Monday / Wednesday / Friday
- Food journal
- Check / Post CNC Facebook Group
- Weekly on Monday Mornings
- CNC Motivation Journal (My Journal)
- CNC Motivation Journal