The Only Two Products You Need to Reach Your Weight-Loss Goals
Peace! When you decide to embark on a health or wellness journey, one thing is for certain: you will be bombarded with product advertisements. From pills, waist trainers, teas, and other “quick fixes” to books, sneakers, gym memberships, and specialty products there is no shortage of merchandise aimed at helping you reach your target weight. It is for this reason that many people may feel overwhelmed, frustrated and ultimately end their journey before they’ve even started. No one wants to have to take out a second mortgage just to be able to lose a few (or more) pounds!
I’ve learned that some of these products are truly helpful and can aid in achieving your goals, but many of them are simply waste. By taking a minimalist approach to your weight-loss routine you can eliminate a lot of excess filler products and reduce your expenditures to the basic tools that will get the job done. I believe in the mental and physical benefits of working out, but if you can’t afford a gym membership do not allow that to stop you. And truthfully, you can lose weight without ever stepping into a gym or even exercising (fitness gurus, please don’t burn my house down!).
Most of us know that to lose weight we need to burn more calories than we consume over a given time. You burn calories by simply existing. So, if you just sat on your couch for 24 straight hours you would burn a certain number of calories. Of course, you burn additional calories through your everyday routine such as going to work, walking “x” number of steps, taking the stairs, cleaning your home, playing with your children, and so on. You can spend three hours in the gym busting your ass, but if the number of calories you eat is greater than the number that you burn, you’re not going to see results. Alternatively, if you consistently consume fewer calories than you burn, you will begin to lose weight, even if you’re not working out. It is important to determine how many calories you burn each day to become aware of how many you need to eat to lose, maintain, or gain weight, then adjust your intake to support your goal. It is for these reasons that I believe you only truly need two very simple items to start seeing results: a kitchen scale and a diet tracker app.
I cannot stress the importance of having a kitchen scale when trying to lose weight or track your food intake. Without properly weighing and measuring your portions, you’re basically playing a guessing game in regards to how much food you’re eating. Once you begin to track your intake you’ll realize just how much we overeat without even realizing it.
A serving of almonds is typically 28 grams, containing 170 calories (give or take according to variety and flavor). Now, when most of us open a bag of almonds to eat, we say “oh, these are healthy,” and eat as many as we want. You can quickly eating three to five servings without even knowing it. Before you know it, your 170 calorie snack has become a 500+ calorie snack. Ultimately you’ve consumed the same amount as that unhealthy bag of chips you decided to skip. Almonds are obviously still a better choice health-wise, but the amount eaten will not allow you to see a decreased number on the scale.
Kitchen scales are typically inexpensive (some as low as $10) and will allow you to measure the exact amount of food that you’re eating. I recommend opting for a digital scare to obtain more accurate readings.
Diet Tracking App
Once you’ve measure your intake with a scale, you’ll need a place to input, track, and analyze the data. You can definitely go old school with a pen and paper or even an Excel grid, but a tracking app, such as MyFitnessPal (free) will save you a LOT of time and energy. These apps typically allow you to set calorie goals, track your nutrients (fat, carbs, protein), log your daily weight, and send alerts when you’re close to going over your calories. Many of them also have bar code scanners, so if you’re eating a snack on the go you can quickly scan, track, and log it in less than a minute. Easy!
When I first decided to switch to a ketogenic lifestyle these were the ONLY two tools I used for the first month or so and saw drastic results, even before committing to a full-time workout routine. Again, there are other products and tools that can prove to be extremely useful, but if you tend to become overwhelmed by these things then there’s nothing wrong with keeping it simple. Some people even find that after several months of tracking consistently, they’re able to ditch the calorie counting and eat more mindfully and intuitively because they’ve trained themselves to do so. Like I always say, don’t over-complicate your wellness!