I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “energy flows where attention goes” right? It’s kinda woo-woo especially when you see it on images like below, but I’ve always dug this saying because I’ve found it really does apply to all areas of your life, including fitness goals.
In today’s post I want to link this esoteric motivational quote found commonly across Instagram pages of meditators and money gurus alike to dieting and fitness, so stay with me.
Does this situation sound familiar? You change up your diet only to find that in a couple of weeks or a month you’ve given up and haven’t seen any results. I’ve definitely been there before myself. The problem I boiled it down to each and every time I failed on a new eating plan was that I wasn’t accountable enough, there were calories sneaking past my defences and my goals just weren’t being reached.
So to combat the problem I’d complicate my life even further, building spreadsheets for tracking meals, macros and workouts, weighing all my food out but because it was such a chore I’d fall off the wagon eventually, stop tracking and my diet would come crashing down. This cycle seemed to continue for years on end until I discovered a way to simplify accountability thanks to advances in modern smartphone technology, thank you 2018!!
The key takeaway here before I get into the answer is that you need to find a solution for you that isn’t going to add complexity to your day.
The less intrusive and less time intensive your calorie/energy tracking can be, the more likely you are to be able to stick to it consistently for a long period of time because that’s where the results come from.
By having this data at your finger tips, it stays at the front of your attention throughout the day making it infinitely easier to make better food and exercise choices over longer periods of time.
At the start of the year I decided to make my fitness and diet tracking as seamless as possible with an Apple Watch. I know this is a relatively expensive purchase, but in my opinion it’s totally worth it for how simple it makes everything. If finances won’t allow you to fit one into your budget don’t worry because i’ll give you some other options towards the end of this post, but let me elaborate on why I love the Apple Watch so much.
The activity tracking app on the Apple Watch has by far been my favourite tracking tool after trying Jawbones and Fitbit wearables in the past. Every day you start off with a goal to close your red MOVE ring in order to hit your energy target. As I have the Activity watch face as my watch background, this hones my attention to this single goal throughout the day ensuring it’s constantly in my attention, unlike some of the other trackers which require you to wake the device up or open an app on your phone to see how many calories you’ve burnt or my clunky spreadsheet which was only on my computer at home.
This means when i’m only at say 75% of my target at 3pm, the watch has turned my desire to hit my goals every day into a little game and it gives you that small boost of motivation to get out for a walk or to do something physical instead of sitting at your computer to get that ring closed.
On top of the daily move goal you’re chasing, there are little virtual awards for closing your rings 7 days in a row and all month which really work to help keep you engaged in the game of hitting those goals. Over time the watch learns your workout habits and the times of the day you’re most active/least active and gentle prompts you at the right times to get out and get some exercise if it looks like you’re falling behind.
This is all without you having to program anything or set up any reminders. It really is as simple as set and forget, without the forgetting.
Tracking calories burnt is only half the equation though because remember from our Intermittent Fasting post, weight loss is a function of consistently being in a calorie deficit. So energy consumed needs to be less than energy burnt, for months.
But don’t worry, I got the simple solution for you here to!
I’ve used both of these apps recently. My preference is Calorie King because I do find it more simple to use, however I have plenty of friends that swear by MyFitnessPal too. Either way, they both perform the same function and with a small dedication of time to get your regular meals/recipes set up, you’ll be on your way to accurately tracking your calorie intake in no time!
These apps are great in comparison to my elaborate spreadsheets because they really do simplify the whole process of tracking your calories allowing you to have an accurate picture of what you’ve eaten vs what you’ve burnt for the day to ensure you stay in that deficit for weeks at a time, getting you ever closer to that body goal you’ve set.
Other Wearable Options:
As I mentioned, the Apple Watch is an expensive purchase because it’s so much more than just a fitness tracker. If the other features aren’t of interest to you, I’d recommend a wearable with a large display that shows where you’re at throughout the day against your calorie goal like these options below.
Let me know how you’re progressing with your fitness goals in the comments below and if there’s any other wearables you’ve tried and recommend I’d love to hear about them!