Self-monitor to Maintain Your Weight Loss
Is your weight creeping up? Are you getting a bit off track? Maintaining your lost weight and preventing the dreaded weight regain takes work. One of the simplest approaches to staying on track is self-monitoring. It can help you recognize successes, identify challenges and reflect on your progress.
Research shows that daily self-weighing helps to prevent weight regain. 1,2  Weigh yourself everyday (or at least a few times per week) on the same scale around the same time of day. This will provide you with valuable information about how your weight fluctuates from day-to-day. If you see your weight begin to creep up out of your typical range, you can act right away (e.g., track your intake, increase your physical activity, tune in to portion sizes) to rein things in before the 1-2 pound gain becomes a 5-6 pound gain.
Small weight regains are common. The solution for long-term weight maintenance success is to catch them early and reverse them. Identify when your weight bumps up with daily weighing, and turn things around with other forms of self-monitoring.
What to Track
There are many ways you can self-monitor to help maintain your healthy habits and keep your weight stable.
- Logging everything you eat and drink is one effective approach to increase your awareness and focus. Our online tracker is an easy tool to record your daily consumption. For weight loss support and tracking on the go, use the Jenny Craig mobile app. If you prefer paper, use your menu for tracking.
- Track your physical activity via steps per day to keep your natural activity top of mind. If you do planned physical activity or exercise, log minutes of activity. Use the online planner or your menu to create your plan, and commit to tracking to help ensure you follow through.
- Self-monitor your portion sizes. If you feel like your portions are creeping up, get out your measuring cups and visual cues and be more diligent in keeping your portions in check.
- Take note of your hunger. Feel like you’re munching mindlessly? Stress eating? Tune in to your hunger for at least one meal each day. Rate your pre-meal hunger and post-meal satisfaction on a scale from one to five:
○ Pre-meal: 1 = not hungry, 3 = ready to eat, 5 = starving
○ Post-meal: 1 = still hungry, 3 = satisfied, 5 = stuffed
- Select what’s most challenging. Do you eat more on the weekends? Are evenings a struggle? Does your exercise go out the window when you travel? Instead of tracking your eating or activity all day, self-monitor during the tough times.
Experiment by tracking a behavior, such as minutes of activity, for a week or two. If it suits you, keep it going. Then move on to monitor another behavior, such as the portion sizes you choose. Log your selected behaviors everyday, and self-monitor for a week at a time. Whether you use self-monitoring to help you get back on track or to prevent your weight from creeping up, it’s a valuable tool to help you achieve weight loss maintenance success.
1. Linde JA, et al. Self-weighing in weight gain prevention and weight loss trials. Ann Behav Med. 2005;30:210-216.
2. Butryn ML, et al. Consistent self-monitoring of weight: a key component of successful weight loss maintenance. Obesity. 2007;15:3091-3096.