Here are the 5 items I feel like I must have in order to lose weight or stay on track. (In no particular order...
1. Polar Heart Rate Monitor: I wear this watch to EVERY workout. It helps me track my heart rate to be sure that I am staying in my Target Heart Zone, and it tells me how many calories I burned. I find it very gratifying to know that I may be tired and sweaty after a workout, but I burned 700 or so calories. It has a really cool feature that reminds you to move if you haven't used it in more than 2 days. All in all TOTALLY worth the money, and definitely a must have tool for me.
2. Local YMCA: Now don't get me wrong, I don't think you have to belong to a gym to lose weight, but the Y has brought us so much more than just some fitness equipment. Since we have joined the Y, we go there 6 days a week. It has made being active a lifestyle. It is a close time for our family. We may take the boys swimming, rock climb... it doesn't only have to be about climbing on a treadmill to sweat. I also love having knowledgeable trainers and athletes wandering the building. I can always find someone to help answer a question, or to motivate me out of a rut. Our YMCA has been a great place to lose weight, be encouraged, and to get to know new friends.
3. The Biggest Loser: Laugh if you want, but you know you secretly love watching also. Watching the Biggest Loser has always created such inspiration in me. I was one of them. Am one of them. Going through a journey to lose over 100 pounds. I laugh, cry, and sometimes my body literally even aches with them. The Biggest Loser cookbooks, and products have also been wonderful to use.
4. www.caloriecount.about.com : The best free website I have ever found for weight loss. Like all websites, you have to take time to get to know it, but after using calorie count for a short time, I was very comfortable with it. I log my food and weight into it everyday to help keep track of where I am. With over 80,000 foods already pre-logged into the system, it is rare that I have to copy nutrition labels which saves me a lot of time. It is a wonderful tool, and like I said... IT'S FREE!
5. A food scale: WE EAT TOO MUCH. Most of us anyways. I never realized what a serving of anything was until I started taking the time to weigh it. Now my husband laughs at me because I weigh almost everything. I have 2 tips if you plan to purchase one: 1. find a scale that zeros out. This allows use to leave food on the scale, and hit a button to take it back to zero, so if you are making a salad for example, you can weigh your lettuce, hit zero, weigh your veggies, hit zero, and weigh your dressing all without having to make a mess of lots of containers to weigh them. 2. Use the gram setting. Most labels are weighed in grams also, and that tends to be more precise.
There you have it. A few of my favorite things. Do you have any fitness tools you can't live without?