If you are new to this series of weight loss articles, I highly recommend you begin with my first blog: Lose 30 Pounds in 90 Days – Part 1. If you have already read Part 1, welcome back! This series will simply tell the story of the path that lead me to where I am today. At the end of the story, I am hoping that it will inspire or help you begin a new, healthier lifestyle!
This article will highlight some of the tools that I needed to achieve my goal weight along with recommendations for anyone else looking to accomplish similar goals. Please note that this series is simply detailing what I did to achieve a healthier lifestyle and that not every weight loss program works for everyone. I also heavily recommend a visit with your family physician prior to beginning any type of diet or exercise program.
My Fitness Pal
My Fitness Pal is an application that can be used on your desktop computer or mobile device. It was an essential tool that helped me keep track of my daily diet and calories. It provided multiple features and tracking to help me log my weight and goals. The My Fitness Pal app is able scan UPC bar codes of foods and drinks. This was extremely helpful to ensure that I was finding the correct items and adding them to my daily log. This app is available for Free on Android or iphone. I highly recommend downloading this app to your smart phone as the first step in achieving your new lifestyle. I must send a high-five and thank you to a guy I work with, Kevin, that introduced me to My Fitness Pal.
The best part, is you can download My Fitness Pal for Free on Amazon.com
If you are beginning your own weight loss adventure, I highly recommend that you create a free My Fitness Pal account and start logging everything you eat or drink, no matter how big or small. Everything. Start it right now. Even if you have not begun your diet and exercise program. Look at the stats over a week or two and you may be amazed of how much sodium and daily calories over your recommended daily allowance.
The Scale – Do I Weigh Myself Everyday?
In the back of my mind I believe that it was embedded within me that during any diet or attempt at losing weight that you should only weight yourself once a week. Usually the same place, same day and same time. I am throwing out random guesses here, but I believe this may be due to our bodies constantly fluctuating weight or things of that nature.
What worked for me however, was weighing myself every morning. The first thing I did every day was hop on my digital scale and see where I was in regards to my poundage. If I weighed less than the day before, my day was filled with a tad bit of accomplishment as I realized I was going about my lifestyle program correctly and it was working. If I weighed more than the day before then I took a step back to reflect on my previous couple of days. Did I eat too much, not portion correctly? Did I cheat on my meal plan? Did I slack on my exercise routine? Sometimes I may not have done anything wrong the day before, our bodies simply fluctuate. However, knowing that I weighed even the slightest bit more than I did the day before kicked my determination up a notch. I found that I exercised just a little bit harder and shaved some of the portions that found its way to my dinner plate.
Again, weighing myself everyday was a personal choice of mine designed to comfort my psyche that I was doing things correctly or driving me to push a little harder.
Tracking Weight Loss Progress. Whether you choose to weigh yourself everyday, once a week or some other denomination, I highly recommend that you keep a log of your weight. Even though I weighed myself everyday, I usually only put my weight into My Fitness Pal about 2 or 3 times a month. For me, I liked to see the drops and spikes on the graphs provided.
Stock up on Water. Lots of it.
We will go more into water in future articles, but H2O was an essential part of my weight loss. Before you even begin your new diet and exercise program I recommend stocking up on a few cases of bottled water in preparation. Some of you may find this weird, but I keep all of my bottled water at room temperature. I like it that way. Maybe it was because of the warm canteens we had to drink in the ARMY. Hard to say. In contrast, I find cold water is harder to drink fast and ruins my ability to take in large amounts. Give room temperature water a try for a week or so. It may work better for you.
Running Shoes for Exercise
Let’s face it. Even though it is possible to lose weight by diet alone, the key to a healthier lifestyle in addition to weight loss comes straight from the correct combination of exercise and eating right. No matter what exercise plan you decide to partake in, chances are, you will need a comfortable pair of running shoes. I purchased a pair of shoes strictly for my inside workouts. Here we are, seven months later, and I still have the same pair of shoes for exercise that have never seen the light of day. I highly recommend that you get a pair today!
Support Group. Be Held Accountable.
As I stated in my previous article, my wife was the driving force of my weight loss program. She set up our meals, developed plans and selected our exercise program. We held each other accountable, especially in the beginning days, when it is hardest to develop good habits and form a routine. I will go more into the exercise program that worked best for me in an upcoming article.
If you have a spouse, significant other, or friend that can begin a lifestyle change and/or exercise program with you, I highly recommend it. Being able to hold each other accountable is very important. There are other ways to hold yourself accountable too. One of the ways I found helpful was social media. I found that if I posted my progress or achievements on Facebook that it helped me continue my drive to achieve goals. There was no way I was going to begin something, post it on Facebook for the world to see, and then give up on it.
For those of you that do not have someone to begin a program with and are not fans of social media, I suggest joining a gym or other support group. There are a lot of organizations out there with like-minded folks trying to achieve the same goals.
So in review, for those of you that are looking for advice on how to begin a healthier lifestyle, I recommend:
Keeping track of everything you eat or drink (again, I highly recommend My Fitness Pal)
Stock up on Bottled Water
Purchase a digital scale and running shoes
Find a friend, family member or group to hold you accountable.
Anyway, on to the next!
Lose 30 Pounds in 90 Days Part 3 – Food! Coming Soon!