I thought I would do a little post on the main items I use on pretty much a daily basis and which have become a key part of my success in losing weight alongside regular exercise of course.
First and foremost…
Digital Kitchen Scales
These scales by Salter, have been a major part of my journey and have been key to educating me in portion control. Digital scales are relatively cheap and don’t take up too much space, they live on my kitchen counter constantly and every meal I have I weigh out. It really isn’t that hard to do this and will make a massive difference!
When I first started out I was shocked at just how many calories I was consuming in a morning for breakfast. You think that bowl of cereal is a healthy, low calorie option? Think again! In most cases you would be better having a full English… grilled of course. If you take a look at the picture the one on the left shows a suggested serving of 30g (who does that when you don’t weigh it?) the one on the right a more realistic serving of what someone would most likely pour… almost 80g (probably more if you use those bowls that Crunchy Nut giveaway for free) 121 calories vs 314 calories!!!! Then you start to look at fat content 1.5g vs 3.9g, Carbs 24.6g vs 64g, Sugars 10.5g vs 27.3g and then protein 1.8g vs 4.7g (I know we should have more protein in our diet, especially for breakfast, but really you are better with something else!) Just something to think about….
Now it is completely up to you how you wish to record your food intake. I use an online diary called MyFitnessPal because it is so easy and has so much information. You can also download an app for your phone too which allows you to track your intake on the go. Doing this probably takes up around 5-10 minutes of my day but the more you use it the easier it becomes as it remembers your regular items.
If you also make a lot of food from scratch like me you can even create recipes which allow you to enter the whole amount of ingredients used and then divide it by the number of servings to work out the calories and the rest of the nutritional breakdown.
Another great thing with MFP is you can plan out your whole day in advance, that way you are less tempted to go off track because you know all your hard work will be ruined!
Digital Bathroom Scales
Many people have different thoughts as to how often you should weigh yourself but for me I do it everyday first thing in a morning. The reason, not because I am obsessed but because I like to see the fluctuations. I expect the scales to go up and down slightly and I now know that this is completely normal and is dependent on numerous factors including how much water you have consumed, how much sodium you may have consumed which leads to water retention and much much more. I know if I have had lasagne or Pizza the night before the scales will go up because of the sodium but the following day it will even out again.
Another reason for weighing everyday is that you might have 4 days when you have a lowest measurements and one day it could jump by .6kg (I regularly do this) and this could be the day that someone chooses to weigh in. Therefore becoming disheartened with the results they were unaware of on the previous 4 days. So for me personally, I take the measurements and go on the average. But if you find that you are getting on the scales and freaking out when it goes up then weighing less regularly may be best for you. Like I said, everyone does it different, but personally I think if you are only going to weigh once a week then you may as well only weigh once per month.
It’s not always about the scales! What we also have to remember is that muscle weighs more than fat. So sometimes you might find that the scales are static or in some cases increasing (mine has done that this week).
Therefore a tape measure is key in showing you how your body is changing. To accurately measure this I would suggest measuring the following key areas. You can also store your measurements in MyFitnessPal although you will need to create some of the areas because as standard MFP only suggests 4 of these areas, plus Neck.
- Tops of arms
- Bust / Chest
- Top of Thighs
- Widest Part of Thigh
- Top of Knee
- Under Knee
- Widest Part of Calf
Believe me I can have weeks where the scales barely budge but the tape measure reduces!
So there you have it, a round up of items I think are rather useful.
What do you think about weighing yourself, food etc? I would love to hear your thoughts…
- Get in shape with MyFitnessPal (reviews.cnet.com)
- Eat It, Write It, Use It – More Effective Diet Control through Using Food Diaries (st75.wordpress.com)
- Scales or measure tape?..weighing up the options (oneeightytraining.wordpress.com)
- Happy Weight (faithfitnessfamily.wordpress.com)
- How to measure weight loss progress… without the scale (lchfamerica.wordpress.com)
- Food Tracker: MyFitnessPal (healthy4maghan.wordpress.com)
- Putting the scale AWAY!! (chubbywhitegirl.wordpress.com)
- Use Your Phone to Lose Weight! (trimthefatblog.org)