Advanced Tools to Keep You on Track
1. Exercise Equipment
Even if you plan to walk or jog regularly, you should have convenient back-up exercise equipment in your home. If something prevents you from doing your usual activity like cold weather or rain, use an exercise DVD, jump rope, or resistance band instead. Even a set of small hand weights will do the trick.
2. Good Pair of Shoes
Make sure you have a pair of shoes that fit you well and are made for the type of activity you plan to do. For example, don’t plan to jog in shoes that were designed for walking. Some shoe stores will even evaluate your gait and recommend shoes that are best suited for you. Replace your shoes every 300 miles or 6 months.
3. Food Scale
A food scale helps manage portions and calculate calories more accurately. Higher-tech models allow you to enter the type of food you are measuring and provide more information about fat, fiber, etc., but a standard model can be just as helpful if you use supplemental tools.
4. Body Scale
If your goal is to lose weight, you will definitely want a scale. However, it is not a good idea to weigh yourself every day since your weight will fluctuate regularly; this could lead to frustration. Instead, choose one day on which you will record your new weight every week. Weigh yourself first thing in the morning with no clothes on and after you have used the bathroom.
5. Food Journal
Research shows that people who track what they eat will lose twice as much as people who do not. There are various ways to track what you eat – you can write down everything, make a spreadsheet with formulas, or create your own easy-to-use list of servings per day that you can cross off. There are also many online tracking programs that are easily accessed from your computer or phone. Check out FitDay’s free online weight loss and diet journal here.
6. Cloth, Non-Stretch Measuring Tape
Your weight is not the only way to measure progress. As you eat right and exercise, you will build muscle and burn fat, thereby reshaping your body. Muscle is heavier and more compact than fat, so as you remodel your body, there will be times when the scale may not change much, but your clothes will fit differently. Before you start your health plan, measure various areas of your body – arms, calves, thighs, waist, hips, chest, etc and write down the numbers. Check and compare your measurements every 30 days after that.
7. Indoor Grill
Indoor grills like the George Foreman offer easy and fast ways to cook lean meats healthfully and with minimal clean up.
A blender is another great tool to help you eat easily and healthfully. Blenders have an advantage over juicers since they don’t remove the healthy fiber. Use your blender to chop, blend, or puree vegetables for soups, sauces, or dips. Or use it to make fruit and/or vegetable smoothies to increase your daily intake.
9. Reusable Containers
Air-tight containers are will help keep leftovers, chopped fruits and vegetables, and prepared meals and snacks. You can purchase containers or, if you want to save money, clean out and re-use empty tubs butter, yogurt or cottage cheese.
10. Large Water Bottle
More than half of the body is made up of water, and most people do not drink enough. To help you improve your intake and stay hydrated, get a large, sturdy water bottle that you can take with you on your workouts and during your daily activities like work or running errands. Keeping water with you at all times will remind – and encourage! – you to drink more.