Part 3 of 5: How much do you move?

Steps To Building A Healthier Lifestyle Or Starting A Weight Loss Journey, A 5 Part Series

So we established a baseline for our food intake and are making changes there so what’s next?

While what we eat is about 80% of weight loss and a healthy lifestyle our movement/activity is the other 20%. Just like we did with tracking our food we now need to track our movement/activity level. During the next one – two weeks you should record your movement without making any changes. The best way to get where we want to go is to figure out where we are.

You can track your movement/activity any way that you like but I would recommend using a fitness tracker, pedometer or application on your phone. You can buy a pedometer or a fitness tracker at most stores or from amazon. Your cellphone may have one built in or you could download an application such as Fitbit, Samsung Health, or google fit. 

I was using a Samsung watch with the Samsung Health app for many years. Recently I received a Fitbit and now use that. However, over the years I have used pedometers from Dollar Tree and they work fine but I had to replace them every couple months and they don’t sync to my phone. Just a tip, the Fitbit and Samsung app work without a fitness tracker or watch, you just need to keep your phone on you.

I look forward to seeing what your movement/activity baseline is. 

Be Peaceful!


Part 2 of 5: Assess, Aim, Act!

Steps To Building A Healthier Lifestyle Or Starting A Weight Loss Journey, A 5 Part Series

Assess: Look back over your food logs and assess  Where do you see room for improvement? Which area do you want to aim for first? What action will you take?

Aim: Maybe you see your calorie intake is higher than you need or you realize you eat a lot of prepackaged foods or processed carbs or fatty meats and/or dairy or you aren’t getting enough fruit and/or veggies. Pick one area to aim at first.

Action: What action will you take? Remember this is about establishing long term changes so small steps are important.

Let’s tie it all together! Say you decide to work on your carb intake, do you use sugar or sweetened creamers in your coffee? Maybe try putting one less spoon in each cup. Or maybe you eat white breads and pastas, try switching to multi-grain or whole wheat. Maybe it’s fatty meats and/or dairy. Switch one red meat meal for turkey or chicken. Or incorporate a fish night or even a meatless night (use beans as the protein or quinoa). Or switch to a reduced fat milk or cheese or just cut one serving out. Maybe you want to up your veggie game, add a serving of veggies to your breakfast or lunch everyday.

What I have done: My first focus was carbs! Since I do not carb count I had to figure out how to start and gradually decrease my overly processed carbs.

1st – about 4 years ago I switched from sweet tea to half unsweet tea. Over that next year I continued to reduce until I was drinking fully unsweet.

2nd – I went from 3 teaspoons of sugar in my coffee to 2.

3rd – We switched to all whole-grain or whole wheat breads and pastas.

4th – We incorporated more fruits and veggies. (We eat fruit as snacks and add veggies in our main courses not just as a side. We try to have veggies at all three meals.)

5th – I reduced my coffee sugar to 1 teaspoon (yes, I actually measured). Then I joined WW (weight watchers) which really opened my eyes (again) to the unhealthy choices I was making.

6th – I switched to no sugar in my coffee and fat free milk. I am always looking for healthier swaps and really watch my portions. 

I hope this helped you decide what small step you will take first! 

Be Peaceful!


Part 1 of 5: Establish Your Baseline

Steps To Building A Healthier Lifestyle Or Starting A Weight Loss Journey, A 5 Part Series

Always meet yourself where you are at. In order to do this, we have to establish ‘where we are’ are baseline and then make a couple small adjustments at a time.

For a healthy eating or weight loss journey, we should start by tracking our current food intake. There are a lot of great apps you can use like MyFitnessPal or you can just write it down. 

Track everything you BLT (bite, lick or taste). If you are not good at tracking as you go, then try taking a picture of your food and going back later to actually track it. Another tip is to pre-track; if you already know what you will eat, then just track it ahead of time (you can always edit it later).

The best, biggest, and easiest thing we can do for our health is change what we eat. But in order to do that, we must know exactly what we are currently doing. This will help us decide what to change first.

Track honestly for 1-2 weeks, I usually do 2 weeks in order to get a full picture. DO NOT make any changes during this tracking period, otherwise your baseline won’t be accurate. 

If your long-term goal is weight-loss then I would recommend getting your baseline weight and measurements as well. You can do a quick google search on getting your measurements or read this article.

My Journey:

I am currently doing the myWW (Weight watchers) program so I use that app to track my food. I have recently received a FitBit so I have also been tracking my food there. There is no need to track in two places, this is just a bit of an experiment of mine. In the past I always used MFP (myFitnessPal) which is free and easy to use. FitBit’s app is free as well. 

I look forward to your questions or feedback. We will discuss this topic over the next 2 weeks. Look for my follow up video Sunday!

Be Peaceful!


July 20th, 2019 Quote of the day

The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.

– Confucius

Be peaceful!