Weight loss ultimately comes down to two things: nutrition and fitness. No ifs, ands or buts about it. If you aren’t following a healthy diet and working out regularly, you’re not losing all the weight you could be losing. To help you maximize fat loss, make sure you have these five essential weight-loss tools.
1. A home scale. While many of us may use the scale at the local supermarket or pharmacy, it’s important to have your own scale at home. This way, you can track your progress at your own convenience. After all, a weight scale is the most basic way of seeing where you’re at and how far you’ve come on your weight-loss journey. Make sure you’re weighing yourself first thing in the morning before breakfast for the most accurate reading.
2. A food journal. You can work out all you want, but if your diet isn’t in check, you won’t see results. To keep track of everything you’re eating, it’s best to keep a food journal. Write down everything you eat and drink, even if it’s just a handful of candy or a sip of soda. These small amount of calories add up to big weight gain if you’re not paying attention. Writing down this stuff regularly keeps you accountable and aware of what’s going in your stomach.
3. A fitness journal. Nutrition is just one part of the equation, so you should also be writing down your workouts. Did you do more repetitions this time around? Did you increase weight by 5 pounds since last week? Write down all the exercises, weights, sets and reps involved in your workout. All of this will help you see how you progress each week. Seeing this progress keeps you motivated to continue improving yourself.
4. Body fat calipers. A scale only tells you part of the story, especially if you lead an active lifestyle. You see, a scale tells you how much you weigh regardless of the amount of fat and muscle you have. You may be five or ten pounds overweight, but those extra pounds may be healthy muscle instead of not-so-healthy fat. Body fat calipers can help you determine just how much body fat you’re carrying. It’s probably the most accurate and inexpensive way to figure this out – a professional body fat calculation can cost you hundreds and possibly even thousands of dollars.
5. A heart rate monitor: When you’re out going for a run or doing any sort of cardiovascular activity, it’s crucial to keep track of your heart rate. By performing at your target heart rate, you improve cardiovascular health and encourage fat loss. Also, if you compete professionally in any sports, it’s a great way to track your progress and test your limitations. You can find a heart rate monitor online or at your local sporting goods store.