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
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.
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.
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.