Be the watchdog of your weight loss process

Losing weight is not only about calories. It is about the attitude and behaviour involving eating. It is self control in the choice of foods. Managing weight is understanding and respecting that health is the focus of importance, rather than indulgence of the taste buds.

When you intend to go on a diet plan to lose weight, self assessment is an important tool to let your dieting progress as expected and to keep a frequent check on your eating habits.

You may make a chart for self assessment and monitor yourself on a daily basis for the first few months. This way you can understand where you have had set backs and this will help your nutritionist note if there is consistent non-compliance, and thus, make changes accordingly.

When you make a monitoring chart, stress on those points that are your weaknesses. For example if you have been eating a lot of greasy or commercial snacks and you are trying to get out of that habit, then one question will be ‘My snack was fruit/yoghurt/salad/nuts as per the diet menu” or “I did not eat fried foods .’

Note down the behaviour changes you need to make so as to lose weight and then put them into the checklist to monitor your compliance to these changes. This will be a personalized self-assessment sheet. This is going to be your watchdog during your diet process!

The following is an example of a self- monitoring questionnaire.
· I have eaten my stipulated number of fruits today
· My snack was fruit/yoghurt/salad/nuts as per the diet menu
· I did not eat out
· When I ate out I stuck to my permitted portions
· I did not eat fried foods
· I did not eat sweets
· I stuck to my diet quantities
· I ate only specified sweet/snack/dessert
· I exercised ½ hour/45 minutes/ one hour
· I drank 8 glasses of water

After a while, following the diet plan becomes a habit, and there is no further need for a written self assessment. A mental note of what you ate or did not is fine to keep you in check.

It is possible that there may be staggering away from the diet plan. This is fine. It is expected and understandable, but do not break the dieting process. When you fall down, you pick yourself up. The same way, just go back to doing your diet.

You may have about 5 to 10 questions on your sheet. Too many questions will stifle your motivation.

Parvathy R Krishnan

The author is a trained Nutrition & Dietetics expert with over 20 years’ of experience in hospitals like Vijaya Hospital in Chennai and the Armed Forces Hospital and New Mowasat Hospitals in Kuwait. She is presently a member of the Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India. Parvathy blogs at

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