Creating Accountability

Some of the greatest challenges in a successful weight management program occur within your own mind. It’s the daily battle with questions like: Can’t I skip exercise today? Will it matter if I don’t weigh in this week? A few cookies before bed can’t hurt, can they?

One of  the best ways to overcome this challenge and make the questions irrelevant is to build accountability into your program. When you know that you will be held accountable for what you do and eat, sticking to the program becomes a lot easier, and eventually will become second nature. The key to building accountability is twofold: creating accountability to one or more other people and creating accountability to yourself.

Be Accountable to Others
Start by identifying one or more people in your life that you know will hold you accountable for your eating and exercise plan and who will make sure you weigh in when you should. It could be one person such as a spouse, a best friend, or a group of people each providing accountability in different areas. For instance, you could have an exercise partner who holds you accountable for the frequency and intensity of your workouts, and another person who makes sure you are eating right. You could even have a third person who is solely responsible for making sure you make your weekly weigh in. These people could be anyone: a friend, family member, co-worker, fellow VFL.com community member, it doesn’t matter. The important thing is that they are willing to help you achieve your goals and push you to succeed.

Be Accountable to Yourself
No one knows what’s going on in your life better than you do. However, most people have no idea how many calories they are eating daily. And most people don’t know exactly how many calories they burn doing exercise. The solution—LOG EVERYTHING! VFL.com makes it easy to log all the food you eat or drink and match it to a meal plan that works for you. Plus it helps make you accountable. If you know you are going to have to log those cookies or that second helping of dinner, you’re not only more likely to eat better, you’re also learning just what an impact food has on your weight loss efforts. The same is true for exercise—seeing how it impacts your daily calorie balance is motivating and makes you less likely to put it off.

The bottom line is that accountability is one of the three key pillars of a healthy lifestyle. Together with eating smart and exercising, accountability can lead to lasting improvements. Accountability creates awareness of what you are doing and a responsibility for your own actions. In turn, it helps model your daily actions and develop new actions that will instill healthier behaviors. And because these behaviors are closely tied with how you look and feel, they are likely to last a lifetime.

So make a list of your accountability people and recruit them today. Need help? Use the VFL.com “My Community” section to build your support team. Be sure you explain to them your goals are, what you need from them, and how important they are to you and your goals.

Good luck!