Most college students are less worried about heart disease than looking good enough to break hearts. But there is one key factor that long-term health and attractiveness have in common: maintaining a healthy weight.
But focusing on weight loss alone isn’t a guarantee for a healthier —or happier—lifestyle.
Crash diets and other techniques people use to trim waistlines often leave people miserable and moody (which is arguably more unattractive than a few extra pounds).
Moreover, weight is too often equated directly with health. Stepping on the scale is part of the ritual of any yearly check-up — and many a body-conscious person’s morning routine.
But the number of pounds someone weighs doesn’t always reflect of their health or even the efforts they are putting in to eating well and exercising.
So what metric should take its place? One alternative is tracking good habits rather than poundage. Though it’s less concrete, keeping track of one’s habits rather than just their weight is often a better indication of long-term health.
And for those whose successful weight-loss endeavors have inexplicably plateaued, stepping away from the scale and instead focusing on habits can prevent them from losing motivation.
Proponents of a new movement called self-tracking say that recording and analyzing personal data is a better way to improve health.
This technique has long been used to improve athletes’ performance and workers’ productivity. But a crop of innovative companies have now made self-tracking simple for anyone with a computer or smartphone.