Tools of the Trade to Losing Weight – Part 3 in my Healthy Weight Loss Journey

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Losing weight - orange with a tape measure
Helpful tools to Losing Weight

So far, I’ve talked about journal keeping to answer the 5 W’s when you find you are sabotaging your weight loss.  The 5 W’s are the when, where, why, how, and who is with you.  I’ve also discussed how to identify and set your fitness goals.  Now, I am going to share a few tools that I use to help me continue on the path to weight loss success.

Start Tracking: the most important step to losing weight

Keep a journal of your breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.  Journaling food intake is the most important thing you can do to manage losing weight.

You can use paper and pencil, but I find apps and websites like MyFitnessPal and SparkPeople invaluable and much easier.  These two web pages each have companion apps for Android and Apple devices, or you can enter your information directly on the sites.

They both do pretty much the same thing.  Each offers a broad support community.  Each app also lets you scan the barcodes on foods you eat to make entering them easier.  Both of them analyze your personal recipes for nutritional content.  They also both sync with Fitbit and other fitness tracking devices.

SparkPeople offers a menu plan, but I found it repetitive.  They also reward you with points when you log in, read a blog article, etc.  You redeem points for digital badges.  They also have a rather robust recipe database of user-entered recipes.

Personally, I prefer MyFitnessPal and find the app less busy.  However, it’s a matter of personal preference.  When used consistently, each of these powerful apps can keep you on track to losing weight.

If you want to add me on MyFitnessPal, I’m always looking for encouraging friends.

Fitness Tracking Device

The right tools can make losing weight easier. These are the apps, devices, and tools I used to lose almost fifty pounds.
The right tools can make losing weight easier. These are the apps, devices, and tools I used to lose almost fifty pounds.

I use my Fitbit Charge HR, religiously. (I’ve since updated to the Charge 2 and like it better) .  My Fitbit tracks my steps, my heart rate, my workouts, calorie burn, and even my sleep patterns.  When I exercise, it calculates my calorie burn based on my current weight, sex, height, and heart rate.  Since it uses your heart rate to figure your metabolic burn, it’s more accurate than the estimation you will get just using these stats without it.

It also syncs with MyFitnessPal (and SparkPeople), so the program can adjust your daily calorie requirement – and makes exercise tracking a breeze.

It’s easier for me to change my eating habits and calorie intake when I have a more accurate calorie burn.  My Fitbit has made losing weight much easier.  If you are looking for friends on Fitbit, feel free to add me there, too.

Cook More — Eat Out Less

Eating in is better for your budget, and it is also better for your waistline.  I hate meal planning, though.  It would take me hours to plan out the week’s meals. Then, I found I was wasting ingredients.

I started using a meal planning service.  CookSmarts sends me out a meal plan for the week.  I go grocery shopping and make the meals they send out.  That site is worthy of a full review, and I will likely write more on it later.  It’s not free, but they do have a free 2-week menu plan you can try to see if you like it.

Exercise More

I know, I know.  Annoying, right?  Well, I get bored doing the same thing every day, so I signed up for Daily Burn.  You can choose from a myriad of workout programs that offer everything from kickboxing to dancing to yoga.  They also have something for every fitness level.  I can’t say enough about starting with Justin Ruben on the True Beginner.

Now, I use their daily 365 program.  Every day, you have a new trainer and new full-body workout.  It’s hard to get bored when it’s never the same.  It doesn’t require any gym equipment at all (but you may want a mat).  The best part?  You don’t have to go to a gym and worry about some punk with a cell phone making you the latest internet meme.  You can access Daily Burn from any mobile device, PC, or Roku.  I use my tablet and cast it to our TV with Chromecast.

If you sign up with Daily Burn, you get a free month to try it out.

If you like to swim, run, or have some other favorite exercise that doesn’t bore you, then do it.  It doesn’t matter what you do.  The important thing is to get moving.

Just Do It

You are a unique individual.  You have your tastes and preferences.  Did I miss something?  Do you have a tip to pass on that may help others?  Be sure to share it in the comments below.

 

Note: This article may contain affiliate links, but I don’t promote products I don’t use.
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Happily married to the love of my life. It's just us, our 5 cats, and our beautiful woods. I'm loving living back in the Florida panhandle being close to family. I love cooking, living a healthy lifestyle, taking care of our cozy home, and trying new things.

We enjoy hosting parties and my husband and I are both avid gamers. You can find me on PS4 as SunshineFlaGirl. We also play tabletop RPGs and eurogames.


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Alicia Taylor

Happily married to the love of my life. It’s just us, our 5 cats, and our beautiful woods. I’m loving living back in the Florida panhandle being close to family. I love cooking, living a healthy lifestyle, taking care of our cozy home, and trying new things.

We enjoy hosting parties and my husband and I are both avid gamers. You can find me on PS4 as SunshineFlaGirl. We also play tabletop RPGs and eurogames.

34 Comments

  • brianna

    February 25, 2016 - 8:55 pm

    My fitnesspal is my choice as well. I haven’t used it for awhile. I need to get back on the horse, so to speak, in regard to my health.

    • Alicia Taylor

      February 25, 2016 - 10:19 pm

      Getting control of it is the first step. After that, it’s all downhill

  • Kristina

    February 25, 2016 - 6:33 pm

    This is great advice. I do try to keep a healthy eating routine and cut back on sweets. I also exercise often. We have a free gym at work that I take advantage of.

  • Vera Sweeney

    February 25, 2016 - 12:49 pm

    These are great tools!! I love how much I can do on my smart phone to help my weight loss journey be successful!

    • Alicia Taylor

      February 25, 2016 - 1:15 pm

      IKR! Tracking your intake is easy – no matter where you are.

  • Laura Funk

    February 25, 2016 - 9:54 am

    The minute I stopped tracking I started gaining. Ugh! I need to get back on “track”

    • Alicia Taylor

      February 25, 2016 - 12:18 pm

      The same thing happens to me. I routinely track – even though I am trying to maintain now – I go overboard otherwise.

  • Julie @ Running in a Skirt

    February 25, 2016 - 6:57 am

    My Dad has lost 90 pounds this way. It’s hard journey, but so worth it. Congratulations!

    • Alicia Taylor

      February 25, 2016 - 9:11 am

      Thank you. Yes, it’s definitely worth it. I’m still trying to get used to it. I walk past mirrors and don’t recognize myself. Of course, I was doing that when I was heavier, too – but now, it’s just the other direction.

  • Carol Bryant

    February 24, 2016 - 11:42 pm

    I count calories. My spouse is on Weight Watchers but the points seem complicated to me.

    • Alicia Taylor

      February 25, 2016 - 9:13 am

      I have never tried Weight Watcher’s. My MIL did – but she had this little gadget she carried around to figure points.

  • Pam

    February 24, 2016 - 11:15 pm

    This is all such great advice. “Just do it” is something that I need to do. I am eating healthier and changing those habits but I need to increase my activity and exercise. Thanks for the tips on the apps. I am going to start using one of these.

    • Alicia Taylor

      February 25, 2016 - 9:14 am

      Good luck, Pam. If you decide to go with MyFitnessPal, be sure to add me as a friend on there. TBH, Just do it is what I eventually HAD to do. I just couldn’t find the motivation. After a while, I felt so good after working out that I hate skipping it. I do it even if I don’t feel like it. It’s just 30 minutes and I have never been sorry I did.

  • Emily

    February 24, 2016 - 10:16 pm

    These are great tips! Go you on trying to get healthy!

  • Claudia Krusch

    February 24, 2016 - 8:43 pm

    I lost two fitbits, so sad both times, have no idea where they fell. But love your tips!

    • Alicia Taylor

      February 24, 2016 - 8:48 pm

      I haven’t had that problem – though I did have to have mine replaced 2ce. Customer service was awesome – just sent another on out.

  • Ashley @irishred02

    February 24, 2016 - 6:55 pm

    I use MyFitnessPal a lot to keep track of calories. It is very helpful

  • Amanda Loe

    February 24, 2016 - 6:19 pm

    I got a Fitbit and it’s still in it’s packaging, I also have My Fitness Pal on my phone and don’t use it either and I wonder why I’m not losing weight. Think it’s time for me to take control.

  • Star Traci

    February 24, 2016 - 6:03 pm

    I am not looking to lose weight but I am looking to get healthy and in shape. I want a fitbit and I love that it syncs with the My Fitness Pal. I wish you continued success and will check out some of these apps for my journey.
    🙂

    • Alicia Taylor

      February 24, 2016 - 7:48 pm

      Thanks Traci. I’m pretty much where I want to be now, too. I just want to get more fit and stay that way. I still find these apps help me to stay on track. Otherwise, I just have no self-discipline.

  • Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy

    February 24, 2016 - 4:37 pm

    It’s always great when you find little tips and tricks that help you reach your weight loss goals. It is not easy…congratulations.

  • Heather Johnson

    February 24, 2016 - 3:59 pm

    I tried using a calorie counter once. The problem is that calorie counts vary. Fruits and veggies are the hardest to track. I just eat a balanced diet and try not to worry too much lol!

    • Alicia Taylor

      February 24, 2016 - 7:49 pm

      That’s why I weigh everything in grams – even fruits and vegetables. The USDA has the calorie counts for these items in grams, so it makes it easier to track. I have to track or I just way overestimate.

  • Sharne

    February 24, 2016 - 3:01 pm

    I’m on a weightless journey too! My wedding is coming up and I really want to lose a good amount before I walk down the aisle. Great post!

    • Alicia Taylor

      February 24, 2016 - 3:10 pm

      Congrats and good luck – not just on your weight loss – but your future.

  • Pat Mallette

    February 24, 2016 - 2:46 pm

    You have given me some ideas with this blog. Thanks.

  • Athena

    February 24, 2016 - 2:27 pm

    I love these tips. I am doing Nutrisystem at the moment and a nice byproduct is that we are not rushing the kids through a drive through as much. All of a sudden I have money still in my pocket at the end of two weeks! So not only are these great weight loss tips but cooking at home is great on many fronts.

    • Alicia Taylor

      February 24, 2016 - 2:43 pm

      Oh – yeah – eating out – even cheap eats at a drive through are more expensive than cooking at home, for sure. Glad that Nutrisystem is working for you. Good l

    • Alicia Taylor

      February 24, 2016 - 2:43 pm

      Oh – yeah – eating out – even cheap eats at a drive through are more expensive than cooking at home, for sure. Glad that Nutrisystem is working for you. Good luck

  • robin masshole mommy

    February 24, 2016 - 1:18 pm

    I count my calories in my head, so I don’t need an app. I keep a running total in my head all day every day!

    • Alicia Taylor

      February 24, 2016 - 1:49 pm

      I have a hard time with that, because I also try to make sure I get enough protein and fiber.

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