Tools For Change
Make sure you have the right tools for success
Deciding on the right tool for the job
Well, I am assuming you have read my previous two articles. If not, I highly suggest doing so as they will go into the details of establishing the "why" in your weight loss journey. My second article also discusses the subject of triggers. We will go into detail a bit about triggers again in this article, but first you need to have worked on identifying what your individual triggers are. For now, let's talk about your tools for success!
First and foremost, I recommend a food journal. It doesn't matter how you decide to keep track of the food you eat, just as long as you are actively recording it. Why you may ask? To put it simply you would be surprised how frequently we underestimate what we eat. Below are two food journals that I myself have used in the past. I prefer the first one for myself, but that is because I enjoy having as much info as possible. However, this all boils down to personal taste. The best food journal for you is one you will use on a regular basis.
For the detail oriented log keepers out there!
I personally love this journal because of the sheer depth of detail you can add in. This journal is definitely for people like myself who like as much info as possible in one source. Inside you can include your weekly measurements, how you felt about each meal, and more.
For the more simplistic calorie based approach
This journal is a bit less expensive and doesn't quite have as much to fill out. It does have a water logger like the previous one, as well as a rating of sleep and where to include your work out of the day. It also includes the all important calorie trackers.
Next up on your list, the scale (Food one that is!)
A food scale? You probably instantly thought we were going to go into that dreaded piece of equipment we all have tucked away in our bathrooms..which may or may not be gathering dust. :)
No, I am talking about a food scale. A good quality food scale will allow you to easily keep track of how much of each ingredient you are incorporating into your home cooking. You do not have to go all out in pricing to get one of decent quality. I will include the one that I use in my kitchen below. The most important attributes to consider when purchasing one for yourself are accuracy, and ease of use.
Next on our list, the bathroom scale
Aw, yes. The dreaded bathroom scale mentioned above. Here's the thing, don't fear what your scale has to say about you, use it as a measurement of your overall health and progress. Furthermore, I am going to go into detail about possibly upgrading your bathroom scale to something called bioimpedance.
What are bioimpedance body weight scales? In short, they send a minuscule electrical current through the body to measure things like body fat percentage, lean muscle mass, and even hydration. They are best used to estimate your total body fat percentage over time when used consistently. I strongly recommend that people use them regularly so that they can have a gauge as to what their lean muscle mass is vs their total body fat mass. I am not talking turning into a crazy body builder here, but put simply, the higher your lean muscle mass is and the lower your body fat percentage is, the healthier you are becoming.
A few tips though before you begin jumping on your new and shiny scale you've purchased. First and foremost, the numbers provided percentage wise are estimates. Bioimpedance can be quite finicky. It can be impacted by something as simple as a bowel movement, how hydrated you are and things of that nature. That being said, if you get in a habit of weighing yourself the same time each week and keep track of your progress, it will give you a fairly accurate representation of what your overall progress is. Remember, retain as much lean muscle as possible, while decreasing your fat mass.
What is a healthy fat percentage you ask? Well that depends on your gender and a few other factors. According to the American Council on Exercise, for men an average body fat percent is between 18-24% and for women it is 25-31% Your best bet is to talk with your doctor about what he or she thinks is an acceptable goal for you based on your current medical conditions. These numbers are just averages.
My next article is going to go into different factors to consider with your lifestyle change. For example, things like satiety, healthy snacking and so fourth.
As usual thanks for reading guys and sharing is always appreciated!
For the techies out there who want direct connect features
This scale measures body fat, lean muscle mass, hydration level and connects to many popular fitness apps. This one is definitely for those out there who love being able to record everything into an app!