Make Your Own Fitness and Weight Loss Chart
Decide what you want to keep track of. For most people, weight loss is the best indicator of improved physical fitness. However, you can also chart your waist measurement, your biceps measurement, or your improving performance at exercises such as walking, running, or gym time.
Buy a blank poster board at an office supply store. This can be a thin, flexible sheet of cardboard or a rigid foam board. To make building the chart easier, buy a poster with a grid already on it. If you draw your own grid, make the squares large enough to allow you to write dates and other numbers beside and above them.
Begin at the top left, where the first vertical and horizontal lines meet (to track decreasing numbers such as weight or waist size). Draw a dot at this intersection and write the start date above it. To the left, write the number that indicates your weight, waist size or other measurement. (To track numbers that are increasing, start at the bottom left.)
Let each square across represent one week. Write a date in each across the top of the poster. Count the number of weeks you have to work with and determine what a safe and reasonable goal is for that number of weeks. For instance, a reasonable weight loss goal may be 2 pounds a week, so a chart that covers 20 weeks would show a weight loss goal of 40 pounds.
Move to the bottom right of the chart, where the last vertical and horizontal lines meet. Draw a dot at this intersection and write the goal weight or waist size below it. (To track numbers that are increasing, move to the top right.)
Count the number of horizontal lines between the top and bottom of the poster and divide your goal for the number of weeks represented on the chart by the number of horizontal lines. The result is the weight loss or measurement represented by each horizontal line. For example, if your chart will measure a 40-pound weight loss, and there are 20 horizontal lines, then each line represents a weight loss of about 2 pounds. Write the weight loss or measurement represented by each horizontal line at the left and right side of the chart.
Find something with a thin, straight edge and place it so it connects the two dots at the top left and bottom right of your chart. Draw a straight line between them. This line represents the progress you want to make toward your goal. You will mark your progress each week, as explained in Tip 2 below.
See if your weekly progress falls above or below the straight line you drew to represent your weekly goals. If it falls above this line, you need to make further changes to your diet or exercise routine. If it falls below this line, you are doing well and should continue with your current diet and exercise routine.
- Tip 1: Remember to keep a journal of what you eat and your exercise sessions. If you aren’t meeting your fitness goals but can’t remember what you did last week, how will you know what to change?
- Tip 2: Each week on the date written on your chart, weigh yourself or measure your waist. Find the corresponding number of the left or right of the chart and follow the line to the vertical line that represents the date. Draw a dot where the two lines intersect. (You may find that your weekly progress falls between two lines; adjust the dot accordingly.)
- Tip 3: Make a new chart when you get to the last week of your current chart.
- Tip 4: Use a calorie counter.