Do you want to lose weight but you are overwhelmed with how to begin? Maybe you’ve lost weight before only to gain it back and you are afraid that will happen again. Use our free printable 30 day Healthy Weight Loss Habits Tracker to move you in the right direction.
With this weight loss habit tracker, you will get into the groove of making choices that are most important when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off for a lifetime. Plus, you’ll be improving your health each day.
Don’t worry about making each day perfect. Instead, focus on the new healthier habits you are creating that make this month better than the last one.
Which Habits Help Weight Loss Most?
In today’s world, you get bombarded with information about weight loss. While it’s amazing that you have so much information, the downside is that it quickly becomes overwhelming.
- Should you do low carb or low fat?
- Which food plan is best?
- How much should you exercise?
- Should you join a ready-made program or do it on your own?
And the list goes on.
As someone who is maintaining a 100 pound weight loss, I work with women daily who have a goal of losing weight. Whether it’s through this website, my Weight Watchers meal plans and emails, or through our Christian weight loss program Faithful Finish Lines, I’ve heard the stories of thousands of women who struggle to lose weight and keep it off.
Many women who desire to lose weight get stuck not because they lack effort. (In fact, most women I meet who need to lose weight are incredibly determined and hard-working.) Instead, it’s from focusing their attention in the wrong area.
They often focus on habits that while valuable for overall wellness, might not be the ones that will actually help them lose weight.
I think of it as big rocks and small pebbles.
When it comes to weight loss, there are some “big rocks” and “small pebbles”.
Picture standing at the edge of a stream throwing in rocks. The big ones will really make a splash!
Then there are small pebbles. Sure, they will create a bit of movement but you really aren’t going to see much action.
The big rocks of weight loss are tracking, staying within your calorie goal, and meal planning. I’ve yet to meet someone who is doing a stellar job of focusing on the big rocks and isn’t making progress.
For example, I’ve not yet met one single person who told me she tracked her food every single day for an entire year and didn’t lose any weight. Keeping a food log might not seem exciting but it really works!
There are other, “small pebble” behaviors like eating all whole or clean foods, hours of cardio exercise, or cutting out diet soda that are valuable and may produce some weight loss, but at the end of the day these are small pebbles that will only cause a little ripple.
I created this tracker to help you focus on the big rocks of weight loss. These are the behaviors that will move you forward and help you get to your weight loss goals.
Why Track Habits to Lose Weight?
I really like tracking things. (Yes, I am a bit of a geek.) I actually likes tracking Weight Watchers points, crossing tasks off my to-do list and tracking my exercise with my Apple watch.
Instead of dreading it, think of tracking like a game. Remember the saying, “what is measured gets changed”.
Tracking creates awareness which naturally leads to change.
How to Lose Weight
Weight loss happens from eating fewer calories than you burn. Weight loss is complex yet the basic truth of how it works is quite simple.
When you eat fewer calories than you burn, you lose body fat.
Here are the habits that are the “big rocks” that will get you to your weight loss goals. We created this free 30 day healthy weight loss habits tracker to specifically guide you in focusing on the areas of weight loss that matter most.
1.Stay in your calorie (or WW points) budget.
If you have a limited amount of time to focus on weight loss (as is the situation for most of us) be sure the majority of your efforts are focused on keeping your calories low enough to promote weight loss while also giving you enough food to make you feel good and fuel you for each day.
This can be a tricky balance to find but is worth searching out. For help determining the right daily calorie budget for you, check out our free calorie calculator and this post about finding your maintenance calories.
I recommend starting with your maintenance calorie range first and then taking a small calorie deficit of 10%. Weight loss might be slower with this strategy, but it will be realistic and lasting.
I know I sound like a broken record but I’m a big believer in tracking or keeping a food log of some type. I believe in tracking because it works.
Do you have to track calories to lose weight? No, but research shows it’s the fastest way to get there.
I recommend using an app like My Fitness Pal, Lose It, or WW, but plain paper and pen works too as long as you record calories.
3. Meal Plan.
While you don’t technically have to meal plan in order to lose weight, there are very few people who can go willy-nilly through life and manage to lose weight just making choices based on what’s available around them.
In our modern society, we have a plethora of unhealthy choices at our fingertips, whether it’s fast food, convenience foods or restaurant meals. Even a trip to the gas station can be a danger zone where there are endless options of chips, cookies, and high-calorie drinks.
4. Eat Protein.
Research indicates that eating enough protein is critical for long-term weight loss and maintenance. While your individual needs will vary, start with aiming for some protein at each meal and snack.
I typically eat over 100 grams of protein a day and aim for 20-30 grams at each meal. If you’ve never tracked protein, an app like My Fitness Pal makes it easy since the calculations are done for you.
5. Drink Water.
Drinking enough fluids has proven to be important during weight loss. People often confuse hunger with thirst and end up overeating. Use our water tracker if drinking enough water is an issue for you. Aim for 6-8 glasses per day and drink a glass before each meal or snack.
Keep in mind that while hydration is important, it’s not necessary to flood your body with over-consumption of water.
6. Prayer & Bible Reading.
As a Christian, I have learned that I cannot lose weight on my own and need to rely on God’s strength to help me through this difficult area of my life.
I want to make lasting change with God’s power at work in me.
A huge help for me has been spending a few minutes each morning journaling and praying for healthy choices. Start with 10-15 minutes a day focused on praying for God’s guidance and direction. Use our list of 30 ways to pray for weight loss to get started.
7. Eat Produce.
Before I lost weight, my diet included lots of fast food, junk food, heavy casseroles and pasta. Sure, I would eat some vegetables if they were available but they weren’t a priority.
Today, my plate is half veggies and I eat those first. I include fruit in my diet, too, although vegetables are my top priority because they are filling, healthy, and satisfying. Use our list of ways to eat more vegetables to help you include more in your diet.
8. Move Body.
When it comes to weight loss, diet is far more important that exercise. We’ve been fed a belief from shows like The Biggest Loser that in order to lose weight, we need to work out for hours and practically kill ourselves becoming marathon runners.
This simply isn’t true. If you only have a set amount of time to focus on weight loss efforts, you’ll do best if you focus on creating a healthy diet.
However, this doesn’t mean exercise isn’t important. Exercise boosts metabolism, increases muscle, improves mood, and is vital to heart health.
Set a goal of getting some type of movement each day. Walking is a great place to start and plan to gradually add strength training, too.
9. Community Support.
Weight loss happens in community. As much as you might attempt to go it alone, you need support. The tougher time you’ve had with weight loss in the past, the more you need a community of support now.
Whether that’s a Facebook group, a WW meeting, talking with a supportive friend, or joining a program like our Faithful Finish Lines membership, you’ll have more success if you get help from others who are walking a similar road.
Free 30 Day Weight Loss Habit Tracker Download
Click the button below to download your free weight loss habits tracker. Use this to track your healthy habits, get to your goal weight, and stay there.
We also included a second blank sheet for additional habits you personally would like to focus on. Remember to focus on the “big rocks” of weight loss instead of the “small pebbles” so you’ll see the most progress and not get overwhelmed.
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