Before you move into the progress points it's important to take an honest look at your relationship with food, emotional health, and mental health. If you have a history of eating disorders, unhealthy relationships with food, unhealthy relationships with progress points (scale, measurements, etc) then STOP. You should not be tracking these progress points or beginning the nutritional baby steps. Instead, seek the help of a professional (it is beyond the scope of the inner circle to dive into these areas). However, in the meantime you can focus on these three things:
Drinking 1/2 bodyweight + 8 ounces of water daily
Consuming at least 1-2 palm sizes of protein with each meal
Consuming 1-2 palm sizes of vegetables/fruits everyday
In addition, go to the mindset portal and spend some time implementing the practical tactics to help you develop a better relationships with your body, food, and fitness.
Picking the right progress points and tracking them properly along your wellness journey will make all the difference. You see, many times people are making progress and taking steps towards their goal but they quit because they aren't able to see it or quantify it. The trap that many people fall into is putting all their ‘wellness’ eggs in one basket. They think that the scale is the only indicator in success so they put all their hope and validation into the scale. In the same manner, other people will put all their hope and validation into what they see in the mirror. This is a recipe for disaster because all progress points ebb and flow naturally. You are essentially throwing your wellness ship into the ocean without a rudder. It will toss and turn dependent on the natural waves, storms, and wind. Instead, layer your progress equally across 5 key points. This allows for less anxiety and stress because when one progress point has a ‘bad day’ the others will still create momentum. The other trap that many people fall into is building their foundation on subjective data. Subjective data has its place but it should not be your foundation. Objective data cannot lie. It creates the framework for your results. Objective data will show you where you started and how far you have come. When you have that data encapsulated in your wellness protocols it becomes hard to be discouraged. Creating a progress point system will increase motivation, consistency, and results. Let’s dive into the 5 key points.
Progress point #1: happy scale
Happy Scale is a free app that finds trend lines in scale weight over time. This app has the potential to minimize the stress associated with achieving results on the scale. Wellness is not meant to be a linear journey and yet we think that if we don’t see linear results then we are failing. In Happy Scale, weigh yourself every day or every couple days. The more data you get, the more accurate the trend line will be. If you are somewhat emotionally attached to your weight, I would suggest weighing yourself less often (once every couple days or twice a week) or not at all. However, the more data points, the more reliable the data. It is important to note that this process will not be a life-long habit. I only suggest weighing in more frequently in the beginning of your wellness journey because you are able to collect more data points and thus create more reliable data for adjustments. The more data points you have the better you can dial in your nutritional protocol. Once you have everything dialed in, you can utilize less frequent weigh-ins.
Once you have a week or two of data entries, a trend line will form on Happy Scale along with an average weekly weight loss number. The goal is to only focus on the average weekly weight loss number. Not the day to day. The sweet zone for fat loss is between 1.0-2.0 pounds on the average weekly weight loss. The sweet spot for muscle gain is between .2-.5 pounds in the average weekly weight gain. Again, as mentioned in the Nutritional Blueprint, this progress point might not be suitable for everyone. Self-assess your individual position and adjust it accordingly.
Frequency: It is recommend that you weigh yourself for 7 days in a row, one week out of the month to help create accountability, motivation, and reliable data
progress point #2: measurements
The most popular measurement when it comes to wellness is the waist circumference. No matter gender, usually most people want a smaller waist in regards to their fitness goal. Take a measuring tape and measure around your waist using the naval (belly button) as your consistent tracking point. I would also measure arm, thigh, hip and/or any other area you are looking to change. Record these numbers in cm before you begin your journey and retest every 12weeks.
Frequency: It is recommend that you take measurements every 12 weeks to increase accountability and motivation.
Progress point #3: photos
Take three pictures of yourself before you start your journey. One from the front, one from the side, and one from the back. We see ourselves every day and as a result our eyes become accustomed to our body. We are not able to pick up on the week to week changes because we physically can’t see them ourselves. Re-taking these exact photo positions every 12 weeks will help you see measurable progress and will help create additional motivation through the ups, downs, and plateaus.
Frequency: It is recommend that you take progress photos every 12 weeks to increase accountability and motivation.
Progress point #4: biofeedback
This is a very under-utilized progress point but has the power to create intense consistency. Biofeedback is essentially the language your body is speaking from a physiological standpoint. Biofeedback is powerful because it is usually the first progress point that changes. In other words, it’s the precursor to the changes you see on the mirror and on the scale. If you measure biofeedback during your wellness journey it gives you the capacity to push through the ups, downs, and plateaus that you might encounter with the other progress points. If you aren’t seeing results in the mirror and aren’t seeing results on the scale but your biofeedback is improving then you know that results are just around the corner. The Spark exercise app (train heroic) has your bio-feedback built inside of the programs already. Keep an eye on your readiness score before every workout. If you start dropping below 3.0 on a regular basis then that's a sign that our stress/recovery relationship is poor. If this is the case, start prioritizing sleep, stress management, nutrition, and/or leisure. If you stay below 3.0 for more than 1-2 weeks then start decreasing volume (dropping 1-2 sets from each exercise) until we improve our recovery/biofeedback.
progress point #5: performance
Personally, this is my favorite progress point to focus on. Most of our goals are centered around looking better and feeling better. However, if you can implement some performance goals (individual to your lifestyle) it will make all the difference because it’s objective. If you want to look better, I would encourage you to place importance on performance (whether that’s walking a mile or bench pressing 300 pounds). Find performance goals that fit your lifestyle and systematically work towards them. If you are moving better then you will inherently look better (with proper nutrition). The Spark exercise app will have your personal records and previous exercise history already built into your programs. Monitor your strength levels and ensure consistent progression.
The scale, measurements, progress photos, biofeedback, and performance points will blend together to provide an uplifting system that will help you reach your goals. Each one has its own place and importance. The scale is not more important than biofeedback and vise versa. Respect each category and above all else have patience. Patience is the unlock to reaching your wellness goal. The quickest way to reach your goal is to respect patience, process, and consistency.