Article by: MaryEllen | Monday, June 12, 2017

By Jasper Dayton

The single most common phrase we hear from our professional busy women clients, especially women that are working moms, that want to lose weight is, “I know what I should be doing, I just need accountability to staying on track with my weight loss goals and lifestyle changes”.

Working moms tend to fall into the behavior pattern of helping others before helping themselves.

Accountability and changing behavior are those words that can turn people off or move them to take action. But being accountable is absolutely necessary if you want to achieve lasting weight loss. It helps you become more aware of the things that need to change. One of my favorite sayings is, “If you want the things in your life to change, you’re going to need to change the things in your life.”

The following 6 steps are the things you must do to help you create a system for successful weight loss by incorporating accountability and pre-planning how to avoid known obstacles.

1. Set a goal and write it down. Your goal is a roadmap and without it you will be lost. Include a couple of things you want to achieve and a date for when you want to achieve it. For example, “I want to reach a weight of 160 pounds by May 31st”. Once you do this, you’ll have taken the first step to being accountable to yourself. It’s not a goal unless you write it down – until then, it’s just an idea.

2. Share your goal with someone else. In doing so, you’ve just taken a big step towards achieving it. You are more likely to succeed if you are accountable to someone else; a life coach, weight loss consultant, friend or spouse that you know will be supportive in your goals. Your weight loss coach can guide you in how to accomplish your goal effectively. Let your friend or spouse know how they can help you and they will feel special because you chose them!

3. Keep a food and exercise journal. At the very least, write down these two things, but feel free to include your thoughts, feelings, challenges and accomplishments. When you are clear on why are you eating something you make better choices for yourself. Reviewing your journal after a week will help you identify patterns that you can change. If you can measure it, you can’t manage it. The more you keep an accurate journal, the more likely you are to succeed!

4. Weigh yourself regularly. Whether it’s daily or a few times a week, it’s another layer of accountability and a good scale will not lie to you. Owning a scale that also measures body fat is recommended so you can be sure you are losing fat and not muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat. Being aware of what you are losing and gaining will help keep you on track. If you know that you gained half a pound muscle and lost a half a pound of fat even though the number on the scale did not change. You still are making progress in your weight loss journey.

5. Get Better Sleep. Losing sleep has an effect on two hormones that help regulate your appetite! Leptin, an appetite suppressant and ghrelin, a hormone that signals hunger, both are adversely affected by a lack of sleep. Make a commitment to yourself to go to bed at a specific time every night which will allow you to get 8 hours of sleep. Set up your room for a good night’s sleep and diffuse essential oils like lavender, orange or valerian. Loss of sleep induces muscle loss, slows your metabolism, increases your cravings for sweets, causes resistance to insulin and increases your hunger hormones – all while decreasing your fullness signals. If you feel like you’re always hungry, it might be time to get a little more shut eye.

6. Enjoy life and social events while staying on track. If you are attending the party at the home of someone you know, contact them ahead of time for the menu and let them know your goal is to “stay on track” while at the party. Most people will cooperate and even encourage your efforts! If it’s a potluck event, bring a dish you can eat and choose that for your meal. For example, a grilled chicken and veggie salad with a separate container for your dressing. Try your best to avoid alcohol. Alcohol is loaded with empty calories and has a tendency to increase your appetite and lower your resolve. Instead, bring a club soda with a twist of lime to give the appearance of a cocktail!

If you temporarily get off course, don’t be hard on yourself – instead get right back on your program the next day and increase your water intake to flush out extra sodium and put in some extra time exercising!

If these 6 tips seem out of reach, don’t hesitate to seek out the support of a proven weight loss program, coach or counselor.