Anyone who has ever attempted a diet or weight loss program knows weight loss goes far beyond the physical actions taken. While weight loss requires a change in diet and exercise routine, losing weight takes tremendous mental willpower and strength. The power of mindset is often not given enough credit regarding weight loss.

When using biohacking techniques to maximize your weight loss efforts, many neglect the importance of self-monitoring. But what exactly does self-monitoring entail? Keep reading to learn more about this easy, yet effective way to enhance your weight loss efforts and develop healthy habits.

What is Self-Monitoring? 

Self-monitoring involves monitoring your habits and behaviors about your weight loss goals. From habits to behaviors to calories, tracking can look different from person to person depending on your body composition goals. Regardless of how you choose to track your progress or the frequency of tracking, the goal of self-monitoring is to keep yourself accountable and motivated.

Research suggests that journaling or self-monitoring can help those on weight loss plans become more aware of their choices. Simply recording what you eat throughout the day can make you less likely to snack or over-eat, encouraging greater awareness. Many studies support the idea that tracking your nutrition, exercise habits, sleep habits, water intake, and other weight loss-related measures helps bolster success.

What the Research Says

A small change, such as keeping a daily food record, can go a long way in helping you to optimize your weight loss. A recent study found that those who kept daily food logs lost more weight than those who did not. When tracking food, individuals focused on more than just calorie counting, paying close attention to consuming a well-rounded diet full of high-quality foods.

Not only can self-monitoring help you lose more weight, but journaling can also help support your emotional awareness and regulation throughout your weight loss journey. Enhancing your mindfulness by journaling can offer a way to identify challenges you face, helping you find new ways to overcome adversities. When creating goals, self-monitoring can help you easily track your progress toward these goals, offering endless opportunities for improvement.

Ways to Track

Keeping a food or exercise log may sound tedious, but it only takes a few minutes out of your day. While some prefer the classic notebook and pen method, modern technology such as smart scales and smartphone apps can help make self-monitoring even easier. With little-to-no costs involved with this biohacking trick, there’s no reason not to try self-monitoring as part of your weight loss efforts.

Not only does tracking hold you accountable, but it serves as a log to identify where things may be going wrong. For example, let’s say you’ve tracked your weekly food log and found yourself not achieving your weekly goal. You can then look through your log and identify where you could tweak your plan to better achieve your goals. Perhaps you ate out at a restaurant too much and could try cooking at home for more success. Or perhaps you didn’t get enough movement in.

The goal of self-monitoring is to continually better yourself. In this instance, instead of beating yourself up, it serves as a positive tool to help you identify areas of improvement, which ultimately will bring you closer to your body composition goals.

What to Track

Self-monitoring can involve recording your dietary intake as well as physical activity. To take things one step further, many even record water intake and sleep hygiene statistics, which all contribute to weight loss. Once you begin to see the power of self-monitoring for success, you can also use other biohacking techniques to transform your habits.

Young woman in a pink night shirt sleeping on puffy white clouds.

For example, getting enough sleep is crucial to weight loss. Combining techniques like taking short 10-20 minute naps throughout the day with tracking sleep habits can help set your body up for the most success with weight loss. 

Giving Self-Monitoring a Try

Developing healthy habits is an important component of weight loss, both physically and mentally. Give journaling or tracking a chance to help maximize your weight loss success and develop long-lasting habits.