I am not a fan of diets.
While the word “diet” is generally used to describe our eating style, the word “diets” in the context of weight loss insinuates a short-term, or even longer-term, eating style that will likely not become a lifestyle. Many of them cannot be a lifestyle because they are so restrictive as to be unhealthy.
I’ll even take a risk to say that if you are ready and willing to go on a super-restrictive short term diet that would be unhealthy for the long term, you should examine your motives behind it, because I would dare say that it is only indicative of a deeper issue inside you that needs to be resolved.
Unless, of course, this is under the directive and careful observation of your medical doctor!
However, I am a fan of tools!
And in my experience, tools are necessary for weight loss. Especially if you have a lot to lose.
Here are 4 tools I use that have helped me to lose 40 pounds and keep it off.
1. Plexus Slim
Plexus Slim has been a hugely successful tool in my tool belt. In fact, I love it so much that I decided to become a Plexus Ambassador! It isn’t a shake or meal replacement, it is simply a healthy drink that you can easily add to your regular vitamin regimen.
Made of 100% natural products and sweetened with Stevia, Plexus slim not only helps to naturally curb your appetite and burn fat – not muscle, it also helps to regulate your blood sugar and maintain a healthy blood pressure. It also helps to maintain healthy cholesterol and lipid levels. I will share more about Plexus next Tuesday.
The first time I drank my Slim, I went about eating my normal breakfast. About an hour later I felt uncomfortably full. The fiber in Plexus Slim had filled me up, and combined with my normal breakfast portions quickly became too much. It took about a week to adjust my portions so that I felt comfortably full.
In about a month my new portion sizes became a new habit, and by using My Fitness Pal I was able to see that these new portions were a healthy limit for me, as opposed to the old ones that were far too large!
Of course, with the reduced portion sizes I began to see the pounds melt off! My energy levels also increased – but not in a light-headed, jittery way, like caffeine would do. It felt very natural…noticeable and comfortable.
It is so easy – in the morning, before breakfast, you mix one packet of Plexus Slim in water, mix and drink. That’s it.
2. Fitbit Pedometer
Before, whenever I had to give information on my activity level, I always chose “moderately active”. I’m a mom of two very young children and am forever running after them cleaning, getting cups of water, snacks….you name it. And it puzzled me for a long time how I could be so active and still battle weight gain.
They say that for good health it is recommended to walk 10,000 steps a day. I didn’t know how many steps I was walking per day, but I was convinced it was at least half that, if not more.
So, I decided to get a pedometer and find out how I was doing. The first week I wore it and went about my normal day each day. There was not one day that I clocked above 2,500 steps. 1/4th of what’s recommended.
That can hardly be classified as “moderately active”!
But, as I began to try hard to get my 10,000 steps in, I not only noticed my energy levels rise, I also noticed my inches drop off dramatically!
Sometimes you have to get creative to get those 10,000 steps in, that’s why tomorrow I will share 16 easy ways to get your steps in!
I love Fitbit because its social. You can add friends, do challenges, stay accountable, and it syncs with My Fitness Pal!
3. My Fitness Pal
While I’m not a fan of counting calories, weight loss involves math. In short, your outgo must exceed your intake. If your consuming more calories than your body is burning up, you’ll gain weight.
And sometimes we’re simply not aware of how many calories we’re consuming! Now, I want to throw in some caution and emphasize that all calories are not created equal!
Example: the calories in an avocado – which is high in calories – are not the same as the calories found in a Snickers bar. Your body metabolizes the calories differently.
Thus, using a calorie tracker can be tricky, because they don’t differentiate the difference between healthy calories and unhealthy ones. However, it’s a good start to make you aware of what you’re putting in your mouth and what it will mean to your weight loss journey.
My Fitness Pal is awesome because its database is the most extensive I’ve ever seen. They even have most products found here in Croatia! Plus, the app allows you to scan the barcode to easily access a product in their database. Amazing!
It’s also social, so you can add friends, make it competitive, and ask questions in their forums. It syncs with a lot of fitness trackers, as well as Runtastic!
4. Sleep Better App
One of the most difficult parts of my weight loss journey has been the fatigue. I battle fatigue every. single. day. It’s hard, because it’s a vicious cycle.
I feel tired, so I don’t exercise because I’m tired, and lack of activity only makes me more fatigued. But the lack of physical activity prevents me from sleeping well, which only makes me even more fatigued.
But I’ve learned that: 1. I must move and move a lot to feel better. Even when I don’t want to….and 2. I sleep better when I’m active.
I also sleep better when I cut back on screen time, when I hit my “sleep triggers”, and when I drink a calming tea.
I have found using a sleep tracker makes me more aware of how I’m preparing my body to sleep. Well rested people are healthy people; but chronic fatigue prevents weight loss from occuring.
The Sleep Better app, by Runtastic, helps to track your sleep patterns. It has a smart alarm that goes off as it senses you are coming out of a deep sleep, so that you wake up feeling less groggy; as opposed to your usual alarm that could potentially go off while you are deep in sleep. It has graphs to show how many times during the night you entered deep sleep, how long you had deep sleep, light sleep and periods of wakefulness.
These 4 tools have been essential to my successful weight loss journey. What tools have you found that have helped you?