The Tools of Accountability

We received an e-mail a few weeks back asking about ways to track progress and to enforce accountability. This goes along with the upcoming FitCast Accountability Blog/Contest, if you haven’t already give it a look and check it out.

Use FitDay: One of the first tools I have found to be very effective is FitDay.com. FitDay is a free service that you can use from any internet browser. Why do I like it so much? It allows me to enter in as many custom foods as I like instead of guessing if I am eating exactly what they have the macronutrients for. Fitday also has a software program you can use on the PC, at this time they do not have a similar offering on the Mac.

Buy a Food Scale: The second tool which I use multiple times daily is a GOOD QUALITY digital scale. Food scales don’t leave room for error, or as Leigh Peele mentioned in the past, eating that extra 1/2 tablespoon of peanut butter you just happened to leave on the knife. Why digital? Digital scales allow you to “zero out” at any time so there is never any math involved. Need to measure out 120g of greek yogurt, 28g of almonds, 20g of protein powder, and 10g of blueberries? You can do it all in one container with a digital scale. And then there is the point of getting a good quality scale. I made the mistake of going to Target and buying a cheap ass $30 scale. The measurements were off, it always was -3 or -5g when I turned it on, just a pain in the ass. I then went with this scale from Amazon.com: Escali Primo Digital Multifunctional Scale

It was $10 cheaper and has worked perfectly since I bought it 11 months ago. And for those looking to spice up the kitchen, it comes in a bunch of cool colors…

Have a plan: Take a guess at how many people’s new years resolutions are to “lose weight.” Then guess how many of those people go into this resolution with no plan what so ever! Nothing, maybe if they are lucky then bought a gym membership. Most of the time it is just a, “this time is different,” sort of a plan. And guess what? They fail. Every time. It sucks to say, buy you might as well unless you pick a plan to stick with it. Here is what I wrote in a previous blog for recommended programs: The Fat Loss Troubleshoot, Turbulence Training, Warp Speed Fat Loss, Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle.

(I know, I was looking for a picture for planning, and I remember this game from when I was a kid)

You can even pick up a physical book at Amazon like The New Rules of Lifting, the New Rules of Lifting for Women, the Female Body Breakthrough, The Body Fat Solution, and tons of others!!! Just don’t buy Skinny Bitch or anything the Big O recommends (this video is must see!!!)

Support: Finally we come to support. You need to have some kind of support. Unless you are part of that special 1%, you will not be able to do this all on your own. Think about it, you are actually depriving your body of calories it wants to maintain where you are! That alone doesn’t sound easy. Not to mention getting your lifting in, your intervals, steady state cardio, planning the meals for the week, staying away from the birthday cake at work, only drinking water and diet coke when you go out with your friends who tend to drink, your mom’s cooking which is just so damn good you can’t resist that banana break she makes and her world renowned spaghetti and meatballs. See. Told you it wasn’t easy. Get a support group. It can be on a forum, a group of friends, a blog with readers, or something like what we are trying to do here with the accountability blog.

Did I miss any? Let me know in the comments?

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4 Responses

  1. Ben says:

    dailyburn.com is also great for logging food and tracking calories. Cheating and not logging exactly what you eat may make your logged food look better, but it doesn’t fool your body. What you actually eat is the only thing that matters. If you are going to log your food, log it all precisely or don’t waste your time.

  2. Brent says:

    How about comparing the different ways to measure progress?

    I went through a body fat percentage “phase” for a while but I don’t care so much about that anymore. If you’re 15% bodyfat but you don’t like how you look in the mirror, guess what? You still need to lose more fat.

    I’m a fan of taking shirtless pictures (front, side and back) every two weeks and weighing myself every week. Mirrors can be deceiving, but pictures hide nothing!

  3. Emily says:

    Oh man, I had the Chessmaster when I was a kid! To this day I suck at chess.

  4. Jeff Harrison says:

    I bought a Cuisinart KS-55 food scale with a coupon Bed Bath & Beyond and it has worked very well for me. I also read on Amazon that you can get a lemon even though it is the same model since they are almost all made in China. BB&B has a really good return policy.

    For tracking your actual workouts I really like iFitness on iPhone/iTouch/iPad and MySportTraining from VidaOne on Windows Phone, Windows PC, and now iPhone. MySportTraining has very useful charts and graphs and calorie estimates and GPS to track outdoor cardio.

    In addition to Fitday the Daily Plate from Livestrong.com has a free calorie tracker that includes common junk foods as well as basic whole foods and it also has a Daily Plate iPhone app to go along with it.

    Lastly, MyPersonalDiet for Windows Phone is my favorite because it integrates with MyPersonalFitness and runs on iPhone, Windows Phone, and Windows PC.

    Hope one of these helps someone out there. Regards, – Jeff in Houston