Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sarah's Top 10 Weight Loss/Maintenance Necessities

I know it's not Tuesday, but I totally meant to put this up yesterday! Enjoy

1. CalorieKing (or other food intake management tool)
For most people who are overweight or maintaining a significant weight loss, managing your food intake is important to long term success. I think that many of us don't realize how many calories we consume if we don't long, especially if we're prone to mindless eating. I no longer call logging my food "counting calories," because I'm not counting them. I'm managing what food goes into my body, similar to how I manage where my money goes. In fact, I think my money management skill have benefited from my calorie management skills. I use CalorieKing to log my food. There is a subscription fee for it, but after three years you're rewarded with a long term member price. There are other free services that do much the same thing, and I've linked several of them in the title of this list item.

2. Kitchen Scale
Salter 1020 Aquatronic Electronic Kitchen Scale
I'm totally pushing the kitchen scale again. I'm sorry, but I just feel like it's such an important tool. It has so many applications. I already wrote up my reasoning for this one in last week's top ten post, which you can find here.

3. Reliable bathroom scale
4. Handheld body fat loss monitor
5. Cloth measuring tape
Omron HBF-306C Fat Loss Monitor, BlackEvery week since July 24th 2009, I've taken a three point measurement of my health status. It's a Friday morning tradition for me. I step on my scale, get my weight, plug it into my body fat loss monitor and then I grab my cloth tape measure and check out my measurements. At first, it might seem like a lot of work but I believe that you can't just use what the scale tell you as your measure of health. The combination of the three measurements is a much better gauge of how you are progressing or maintaining.

6. Workout clothes
Shop Nike for Shoes, Clothing & Gear. Start shopping now at
Maybe it's just my girliness showing, but I think that having the right outfit for the right thing helps motivate me. I used to wear cotton t-shirts and cheap-o running shorts, and I never felt quite so motivated to go workout. I'm a big fan of Nike, but they are a bit expensive so I prefer to shop their clearance or pick up my tempo running shorts at a Marshall's or TJ Maxx.

7. Heart rate monitor
Garmin Forerunner 405CX GPS Sport Watch with Heart Rate Monitor (Blue)

I didn't use a heart rate monitor at all when I was losing weight but I realized that it would be important for me in maintenance. I had a Polar heart rate monitor before I was gifted with my lovely Garmin Forerunner 405CX for my birthday this year. I use the Garmin for mileage tracking primarily but the heart rate monitor portion helps me discern how many calories I've burned and how many calories to claim for that exercise in my food log.

8. A physical reminder
I wear this bracelet at all times. It serves as a reminder to make good choices and stay mindful of what I'm eating. I actually chose a bracelet because as a software engineer, things on my wrist tend to drive me a little nuts when I'm typing away every day at work. It's hard to forget it's there, and that's why it's such a good reminder.

9. Accountability
As you might have seen, I used Stickk to help me lose the weight. Now I use it to help me maintain under my ceiling weight of 127. In the back of my head, I'm always thinking about whether eating a certain way is really worth the money it might cost me to fail a week on my Stickk contract. It costs nothing to sign up for a contract, but it can cost you big if you don't commit to success! I like to think of it as my little mental safety net to give me pause when I'm about to devour an entire bag of chocolate chips.

10. Mental and emotional flexibility
The thing about sustainable long term weight loss and maintenance is that you are reframing your entire thought process about food. Strict diet plans will set you up for failure because they don't bend when confronted with life. Life is about ups and downs and ultimately that's how my relationship with food has been. Some days are great, some days aren't. The biggest thing here is to be flexible and understand that you can't be perfect. Don't let the little things completely derail you, be resilient and change failures into learning experiences for the future.

What are your top five necessities for long term weight loss/maintenance? As usual, lemme know down below! :)