Losing weight is hard work and we can all use a little extra help. Here are four different things you may want to have in your tool belt. They’ll help keep you on track and more importantly keep you motivated to keep going. Motivation is key, particularly on those days when you’re craving high calorie food or don’t want to head outside to exercise. Use these tools to help you reach your weight loss goals.
Food and Exercise Journal
One of the simplest, yet most effective tools to accompany on your weight loss journey is a journal. Use it to record what you’re eating when, how much water you’re drinking and what exercises you’re doing in a given day. You might be surprised with what you find out.
You may also want to record how you’re feeling on any given day and what challenges you’ve encountered during the day. Just knowing that you’ll have to write it down is often enough motivation to keep you from overeating and to head out for a walk.
A Vision Board
The mind is a powerful thing and it can be a strong ally to you. Spend a little time each day picturing the thinner, healthier version of you that you’re destined to become. A vision board can be helpful here. Get a piece of construction paper and add anything that helps you visualize the thinner you.
Use pictures of yourself when you were down to your ideal weight. Or find magazine pictures of people that looks similar to you and are the shape you want to get down to. You can also add images of the types of outfits you plan on wearing after your weight loss, and of course plenty of pictures describing the lifestyle and activities you look forward to.
An Outfit In Your Ideal Size
Is there a particular outfit you look forward to wearing? Or is there a jeans size you are trying to get down to? Go ahead and buy a pair and hang it up in your bedroom. Look at it each day and tell yourself that you’re well on your way to fitting those pants.
You may also want to keep one pair of pants from your heaviest days. When you feel like you’re not making progress, pull them on as a strong visual reminder of how far you’ve come. This will be very powerful as soon as you start losing inches around your waist (which will happen quickly).
A Support Group
Last but not least let’s talk about support from others. Surround yourself with people that support and encourage your weight loss journey. Ask them to hold you accountable and cheer you on.
This support group can happen locally with loved ones and friends, but it can also be an online group. It’s even more powerful when you can find others who are working hard to lose pounds and get in shape. You can cheer each other on and help each other along your weight loss journey.
Smart Apps To Help You Reach Your Weight Loss Goals
I love my smart phone. It’s such an amazing little device and there really is an app for just about anything. And there are plenty of smart apps that can help you reach your weight loss goal. Here are five of my favorites. Check them out and see if they can’t help you eat better, move more and melt off those extra pounds.
My Fitness Pal
My Fitness Pal is a website, online community and mobile app that allows you to track your food, calories, workouts and weight. I love how easily the app integrates with the website. It makes it easy to use your computer to do anything that involves a lot of typing (for example when you first start to enter and track the food you typically eat).
Then you can use the app to continue tracking on the go and check your stats. The online community has a wealth of information and support built in. There is a huge database of foods for you to work with and it’s free for both iPhone and android devices.
The FitBit app itself is free, but only works with a Fitbit device. A fitbit is a pedometer or step counter on steroids, giving you all sorts of great data. Find out how many steps you walk, how many flights of stairs you climb and even how well you sleep at night. It’s a nice motivational tool to get you moving more.
Much like My Fitness Pal it also lets you track your food and other exercise. You can also track your weight and compete with other fitbit users to see how much you can walk in a day.
My personal favorite is the little badges you get (via email) for various different accomplishments like reaching your daily goals and all-time steps walked. It’s very motivating and keeps me going.
Pedometer And Weight Loss Coach
This app uses your phone’s built in pedometer to do what a Fitbit device does. This works great if you have you phone on you most of the day.
The app interface is very simple and easy to use. Set some goals, start tracking how much you move and keep going. Walking is one of the easiest exercises to do and it’s quite effective in getting you slimmed down and healthy.
Knowing your BMI is good way to know where you’re at with your weight and where you should be. But calculating Body Mass Index by hand can be a little daunting. The ideal weight app makes it easy to get an accurate calculation. You can also play around and see how many pounds you need to lose to get your BMI number to move down. It’s a nice tool to have to set milestones along your weight loss journey.
This is another app that allows you to track your food and how much you walk in a given day. What I love about this particular app is that it focuses on making new healthy habits instead of “going on a diet”.
This is by no means an all-inclusive list. There are plenty of other good apps out there. I chose the ones above because they are available for both iPhone and android devices.