By Marielle Mangano, RD, CDN
In order to understand the importance of accountability in relation to weight loss, it is first important to understand its definition. Accountability is “an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility for one’s actions.” Awareness is very important when it comes to accomplishing our goals. A large part of accountability is being aware of what you need to be accountable for, including both positive and negative actions we have taken.
If we make positive strides toward our goals, we are responsible for our successes. If we sabotage ourselves, we are responsible for our setbacks as well. There are plenty of ways to hold ourselves accountable and to feel more motivated to stick to our goals:
- Food records (written or electronic) – Writing down what you eat helps you stay honest with yourself and see the areas you can improve upon. Food records also help you recognize what you’re doing right.
- Partners – Enlisting the support of a friend or loved one is a great way to make sure you get to the gym or eat healthy. If you are striving for the same goal, you can be each other’s cheerleaders.
- Support groups – Reporting back to members of a support group will not only hold you more accountable, but also provides you with a safe place to work through your setbacks.
- Regularly attend scheduled nutrition and doctor appointments – Your doctors and dietitians want to see you succeed. Keeping your appointments is a great way to keep yourself on track and get reliable information.
- Keep your loved ones updated – Once your goals become more public, you will become motivated to report progress back to your loved ones.
- Weigh yourself regularly – Knowing that you will have to see your progress quantified on the scale will help keep you accountable. Weighing yourself once a week at the same time every week is a good way to rule out any natural fluctuations in weight.
- Progress pictures – Sometimes progress is not always seen on the scale. Progress pictures will remind you to keep going as you see how far you’ve come.
- Classes or clubs – Join a cooking or exercise class or a walking club.
- Challenges – Sign up for a 5K run or bike ride.
It’s important to hold yourself accountable for setbacks in order to accept the situation and move forward. As you work towards the best version of yourself, holding yourself accountable includes taking pride in your accomplishments as well.
Marielle Mangano RD, CDN is a registered dietitian nutritionist who works with Bariatric and Medical Weight Management patients to help them achieve their health and weight loss goals.