As I have got older I have begun to struggle more and more with my weight. Not so long ago my weight ballooned to 80 kg (176 lb.) and I began to look for weight loss help. I have never been much of a gym person. I much prefer to keep active by spending time on productive activities such as housework or gardening. Even though I was keeping myself active I was still putting on weight!
This was very new for me because when I was younger it seemed as if I could eat pretty much anything that I liked and not put on weight. I used to think that I could get away with eating lots of yummy cakes and lollies as long as I kept busy at work and around the home. But as I got older that all changed and my weight began to creep up.
I didn’t want to have to pay a lot for expensive programs or sign up to buy pre-prepared meals. So I decided that I would have a go a counting calories. I am firmly of the belief that you can only lose weight if you are using more energy than the energy that you put into your body. In other words you need to burn more calories than you consume!
I have been counting calories now for just over eighteen months. Over the first nine months I am proud to say that I lost 22 kg (48 lb.). Since then my weigh has fluctuated up and down by a couple of kilos but I have always been able to keep my weight under control by continuing to count calories!
Now I want share the three tools that I believe are essential for losing and then maintain a healthy weight!
Weight Loss Help: Tool 1 – Calorie Tracker
I have mentioned before that I use a calorie tracker called My Fitness Pal to help me to track my calories so I don’t over eat. When I got my first iPhone I had no idea just what a difference this device would make to my life!
I can’t praise this little app up enough. It is so good to be able to keep a record of the food you are eating and hence the calories you consuming. This makes it so much easier to work out the amount of exercise that you need to do to offset the food you have eaten.
As I have mentioned in a previous post the My Fitness Pal app has cool features such as the barcode scanner to help you search for foods, and the recipe builder to help you work out the calories in your favourite recipes.
If you are honest and keep a strict record then these types of calorie trackers can be very useful!
Weight Loss Help: Tool 2 – Nutritional Panel
My second weight loss helper is very easy to find, in most cases it is right there on the packet of food! It is the nutritional panel!
The nutritional panel on foods is often looked at as being too hard to understand or boring even. I couldn’t disagree more! When I am out shopping I spend time looking at, and comparing the nutritional panels on products, which helps me to choose the best one for me. I know this might be time consuming but the old rule applies – you won’t see results unless you put in the effort – come on you know I’m right. 🙂
I find the nutritional panel great for comparing the calories that are contained in similar products. Just be careful to check what the manufacturer has stated as the serving size. Often the calories per serve might seem low but that is because the manufacturer suggests that we only eat a very small amount as one serve.
Often our biggest mistake when trying to track calories is that our idea of one serve and the manufactures suggested serving size is VERY different! Sometimes it is hard to judge how many serves you have actually had.
This leads me to my final weight loss help tool.
Weight Loss Help: Tool 3 – Kitchen Scales
My final weight loss tool is something that most of us will have sitting on the kitchen bench at home. It is the humble kitchen scales!
How can kitchen scales help me to lose weight I hear you ask? Well I actually think the kitchen scales are the most important weight loss tool I have. As I mentioned earlier, one of the biggest mistakes that we make when tracking calories is judging how much food we have eaten.
If you are serious about counting calories then you need to measure or weight out the food you are eating. This is why I have a reliable set of kitchen scales at the ready at all times. I use them all day long. From weighing out my serving of breakfast cereal to weighing potatoes for dinner, lots of foods get checked out on the scales before being consumed at my house.
I believe that weighing our foods gives us more knowledge about how much we are eating and therefore allows us to track the calories we are eating more accurately. We might not keep strictly to eating the manufacturers serving size but at least we know how much we are eating.
Clearly not all foods need to be weighed because their serving size is very obvious e.g. biscuits, sliced bread etc. But there are lots of other foods where we can be tempted to be a little bit generous with our serves!
Often it is shocking to see how small a ‘recommended serving size’ actually is. I dare you to weigh out how much ice-cream you put in your bowl and compare it to the suggested serving size!
Weighing out foods such as breakfast cereals as well as snacks like nuts, lollies etc. can help you to more accurately track calories consumed. I also use the scales to track the serving sizes of meat at meal times as well as to track high calorie items such as pasta and potatoes.
If you feel you need help accurately recording food serving sizes having a set of kitchen scales around can be a godsend. I recommend having scales that will allow you to weight out very small portion sizes too. Sometimes a serve is only a few grams (less than an ounce).
I honestly use all three of these weight loss helpers on a daily basis. I think that because I have been tracking calories this way for so long now it has become natural for me!
I haven’t had to give up any one specific food – I still love my chocolate and other treats. But I do control how much of each food that I eat and because of that I am keeping my weight under control.
I really hope that the use of these three items can provide you with the weight loss help you are looking for.