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Check-In Milestones Throughout the Year

Check-In Milestones Throughout the Year

While it's important to step away from your daily check-in habit, because you're turning this into a lifetime change, not an obsession,  there are monthly, quarterly and semi-annual or annual logs you can keep to ensure you're on the right track.


When you're on a quest to lose weight and get your body in shape for a healthier you, you want to have some milestones in place. Sometimes in enthusiasm for starting a new health journey, we can get our nutrition out of balance or we can do too much of a good thing.


Monthly Makeovers


Monthly makeovers are something that you want to schedule the time for. There are certain things you want to keep an eye on throughout the month. One of those things is your nutrition.


Sometimes you can go by the way you feel. If you start to feel tired and run down, then you might not be getting all of the nutrients you need. Check what you've been eating to make sure that you're covering all the right food groups.


If you see an area that you've been a little lax with, then you can alter your diet to get where you need to be. If you can't figure out what's lacking in your nutrition, you can get your doctor to do a simple blood test to tell you what you should add to your diet.


Remember that too much of a vitamin or mineral can potentially also have negative effects - just as too little can. That's why it's important that you check what you've been eating.


You can also tell if you're getting enough nutrients in the foods you eat by how fast you're losing weight. If you start to lose weight too fast that's a sign that you're not replacing the fuel that your body is burning.


Healthy eating always goes hand in hand with its partner - exercise. If you're not exercising enough, sometimes that will show up as a weight loss plateau. You'll just stop losing weight.


So if that's the case, you'll need to step up the output a bit. A regular exercise routine helps you lose the weight, but it also helps tone areas of your body that need toning - plus it keeps your organs healthy.


But just as what you eat is important, how much you exercise is important, too. You don't want to push your body to the extent that you're straining and spraining things in your body.


Too much exercise will cause you to lose too much weight and will send your body into a starvation mode. When that happens, your body will slow the metabolism down as part of its safety mechanism. You don't want that to happen because then a slower metabolism makes it more difficult to lose weight.


Stepping onto the scale during regular weigh ins can help show you if you're making progress in the direction you want to take. You should make sure that your weight is coming off at healthy levels - and that's at the 1-2 pounds a week that doctors recommend.


Any faster than that after the initial first week and it's too fast. When you weigh yourself, you can see how you've progressed and whether or not you need to do more to continue losing.


You shouldn't be so focused on the numbers on your scale that you get down emotional if you notice your weight stayed the same from the last weigh in or if you've gained since then.


Your weight will fluctuate according to several factors, so if you get one weigh in that isn't what you want, just stay on the path. It will change. The number on the scale isn't always the best indicator of true weight loss.


You want to pay attention to your body's measurements every month. Measure your chest area, your waist and hips to see if those numbers are going down. That - plus how your clothes fit - are usually a better indicator of weight loss than the scale.


Quarterly Milestones


As well as monthly makeovers for your weight, you also want to look at how you're doing quarterly. During the first period of a new weight loss and fitness journey, toward the end of the first quarter is when enthusiasm starts to lag.


Sometimes this can be due to being in the same exercise routine for too long. That's why it's important that you not stick with the same exercise routine. Not only can boredom be a problem, but not changing anything in your diet or exercise is what causes your weight to become stagnant.


You have to shake things up and the best time to do that is about every three months or so. Maybe the time of year has you stuck inside now and you can't get out in the fresh air and go for a run the way that you used to.


Find another set of exercises that you enjoy to take the place of running during those months. Now might be a great time to sign up for a vigorous dance class or to take some martial arts classes to shake your body up.


If you're used to exercising alone and you feel the need to make some changes in your routine and you're looking for some accountability and motivation, consider getting an exercise partner or personal trainer.


You also want to check to see what it is that your body is saying to you. Check out how your skin is looking and how your hair looks. Your diet and exercise routine should not make your skin look dry or your hair lackluster.


You shouldn't be stuck dealing with the same problem area of your body and not have noticed any changes in it by now. Sometimes you have to adjust your nutrition and physical activity to find what works for you.


In the first quarter, your body should have changed in some way. You should notice that there are inches gone from that area or that it's firmer than it was before. You also want to look at your BMI numbers to see what they are. By now, there should be a change in your BMI - even if it's not a very big change yet.


Take a look at your weight loss goals and see if you are where you wanted to be since you started your journey. Seeing progress, even in small increments, can help you stick with it for the long haul.


Remember that it's okay to make changes. What worked for you in the beginning may not work for you now. It's okay to change your diet, your routine - and your goals. The object is for you to get healthy and that's what matters.


Semi Annual or Annual Check-Ups


Getting a semi-annual or an annual check-up is very important when you're on a weight loss, get fit life change. Seeing changes on the outside doesn't always indicate that what's going on within your body is what needs to be happening.


The only way that you can tell if everything is well inside is to get tests done at your doctor's office. He or she can run a blood panel and test to see that all of your numbers are at a good (or improving) level.


You want to get your glucose level tested. You'll want an immediate one that will tell you what it is at the time, but you'll also want an A1c - because this will tell you if your glucose levels were within range for the previous three months.


Get your cholesterol tested as well. High cholesterol should go down with the right diet. You want to make sure that you're eating the right diet that's targeting any of the health problems that you have.


Because it can be easy to get off track with the vitamin levels you need when you're dieting, it's important to ensure that your body is getting all that it needs of each vitamin and mineral.


So get your vitamin levels checked. You'll also need your blood pressure tested, which is usually customary at any doctor's visit. With diet and exercise, your blood pressure should be within the normal range.


By getting the blood panel done and having your blood pressure checked, you'll see how you've been faring. If your numbers come back and they're not within the acceptable range, that's an indicator that something isn't working.


If you know that you've been exercising faithfully, then a clue would be that your diet isn't working. Even if you've seen weight loss with the diet, that doesn't mean that it's targeting your health problems. You want the diet that does.


So, if you've been on one diet for six months and you've lost inches but your glucose levels are still out of control, then it's time to switch to another diet. Sometimes, even if a diet is outlined to help with one health issue such as the DASH diet does with hypertension, it doesn't work for certain people.


The reason is that our bodies are all different and what works for one person is not 100% guaranteed to work for another. So if you started the DASH diet to help you with your hypertension and it's not bringing your numbers down into the range that the doctor wants them to be in, then you should switch to another diet that helps with that condition such as Weight Watchers.


Weight Watchers can help lower blood pressure in some people that struggle on other diets. Each diet is unique - just like you are - so if you try one and you don't find the success that you're looking for, don't give up.


Just stop that one and try another. With all of the healthy diets that are available, you're sure to find one that will work for you. You might even want to switch up diet meal plans throughout the week!


It's perfectly acceptable to try two or even more diet meal plans. For example, you might adhere to a vegetarian diet three days a week, follow a Mediterranean diet two days, and the other two days, pursue the DASH diet or Weight Watchers if you'd like to work with that.

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