I honestly believe you do not need to spend any money or own any special tools to lose weight. After all, the “trick” to weight loss is to burn more than your intake in calories each day. If you eat healthy and lead an active lifestyle, then it should take care of itself…in theory. However, for most people reality is quite different than theory and having a few tools and gadgets can make our weight loss journey easier and more successful.
I’m sure I’ll never be a full blown exercise addict, but as you know I am firmly committed to my fitness and weight loss journeys. After having a tiny bit of success (20 lbs down) I thought it may be helpful to share the weight loss tools I have personally found to be most useful, especially at the start of my journey.
Measuring Cups and Spoons. Portion control is a major factor when losing weight. When I first started my weight loss journey, I made sure my entries were extremely accurate by measuring every single morsel of food I ate. If a serving size was 3/4 cups, then I measured exactly that. Cereal nutrition value calculated with a half cup of skim milk? Then into my measuring cup I poured, then emptied the half cup over my cereal. With pasta, sauces, rice and grains – I use measuring serving spoons, which makes it quick and easy. Although I no longer have to measure as much as I did in the beginning, I still use my cups and spoons to make sure I don’t over indulge.
Food Scale. For the same reasons as the measuring cups and spoons, food scales are really nice to have. I was surprised by what two ounces of dry spaghetti actually looks like and I was shocked when those two ounces actually satisfied me! All this time I have probably been eating twice what I should be, all because I had never measured. Protein is a bit easier because you can reference size more accurately but its nice to have a food scale so you know for sure exactly how much food you are consuming.
Polar Heart Rate Monitor. Seeing all of YOU upload pictures daily to Instagram with calories burned and the duration of your workout made me take the plunge and purchase my own heart rate monitor. And I’m so glad I did! Knowing my heart rate forces me to push myself during my workouts, especially since I rarely exercise on a piece of cardio equipment. Just this weekend, I decided to go for a walk while visiting my cousins and after the first few minutes I realized that in order to make the “walk” effective I had to jog to increase my heart rate. If I didn’t have a heart rate monitor, never in life would I voluntarily start running. So, I will say that it helps me to burn more calories and push myself outside my comfort zone. They really are worth the investment in my opinion, and I bought mine for only $60 from Amazon.
Resistance Bands. Not that I do a whole lot of traveling but when I do, resistance bands are always in the suitcase. They are light, portable and give a great strengthening workout while on the go. I even found a few workouts on YouTube that use resistance bands, one of my favorites specifically works my abs and booty!
Cell Phone. Yes, I’m serious. As I just mentioned, I find great workout videos on YouTube, use My Fitness Pal to track my food and exercise (although not as much anymore), find inspiration and meal ideas from Instagram and fitness blogs and listen to my workout music with my cell phone. Plus there are a million apps that can help in your personal fitness routine. If you are not using your smart phone to help you with your weight loss journey, you are seriously missing out!