body mass index

6 Must-Have Tools For Weight Loss Success

CoachMel Weight Loss Tips 11 Comments

Most of you won’t have the luxury of hiring your own personal trainer, or dietitian.

So, let’s take a look at some of the methods they routinely use to help clients with losing weight, or getting into shape, so you too, can implement them into your own regimen.

Become Your Own Personal Coach: 6 Weight Loss Tools

1. Digital Weighing Scales

It’s not necessary to spend heaps of money on weighing scales, but do use a pair that are easy to read, and fairly consistent, as a way to monitor your weight on a weekly basis.

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Just remember, you need to weigh at the same time of day each week, wearing little clothing, and on the same floor surface each time, so that the error in your readings are minimized, as much as possible.

Do check out this article, too, on why you shouldn’t put too much emphasis on the weighing scales, as a way of measuring weight loss success.

2. Tape Measure

As I’ve said before, a tape measure is my favorite way to monitor progress.

In particular, taking a weekly measurement of your waist is extremely helpful, and often it will tell much more about how your body is changing, than weighing scales alone.

I recommend that you make a measurement of your weight and waist once each week, then keep a written record of that in a little notebook somewhere, so that you can notice changes in your body composition with time.

3. Camera

I know it can be really off-putting, to take an image of yourself, when you feel you don’t look your best.

However, having a ‘before’ photo of yourself is a powerful reminder of what you are moving “away from,” and what you are trying to achieve long-term.

There will be little more motivating than taking a look at that image, when you feel like giving up — that will help to get you right back on track once again.

Having a visual image of yourself in the early stages, will also help you to notice how your body has changed throughout the months and years, and this can be really encouraging when you see just how far you’ve come.

Check out Armen’s amazing weight loss results.

4. Workout Chart

A work-out chart will be useful for monitoring how much exercise you are getting in each week, to see if you are meeting your targets. It will also help you to see how much you are increasing in strength.

For example, if you could only run for 2 minutes in the beginning, but now you can do 7 minutes, you will know for sure that you have improved, and that the exercise really is worth all the hard work.

Keeping a workout chart can also help you to stay on track, so that you don’t slack off, and go backwards with your exercise goals.

5. Heart-Rate Monitor

By using a heart-rate monitor, you can work out your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) and your Resting Heart Rate (RHR), and therefore how hard you need to be pushing yourself to see results.

This is very helpful, because exercising too hard can be dangerous, but not pushing yourself hard enough can make your workouts ineffective.

If you want to find out more, check out this article on heart rate training zones.

6. Calipers

My little dietitian in training!

Focusing too much on the number on your weighing scales can be problematic, because readings vary due to water retention, and loss or gain of muscle mass, etc.

This is why calipers are very helpful, as another way to gauge your success.

I use the Jackson-Pollock 7 caliper method, which uses measurements at 7 points on the body, and is one of the more accurate.

However, do remember that body fat testing is not an exact science, and it’s pretty difficult to minimize error in these readings. That said, it does provide a good guideline of how your body composition is changing month after month.

The calipers I use are the Accu-Measure Fitness 3000 Personal Body Fat Tester.

How do you monitor your weight loss progress week after week?

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Comments 11

  1. Tom

    thanks for the write up. I have been thinking about getting a camera to use to take before and after pics as well as buying a tape measure to track progress. I think this post put me over the edge.

  2. cathy in NZ

    weighing scales do not register properly on carpet so try to put them on a hard surface

    i know I am fitter because last weekend I had to walk smartly down a narrow tarsealed path, across a lot of grass, up a flight of steps and then a short hill climb and I was not breathless and I felt pretty ok…especially as short hill was quite steep!

    I am not walking exercise as much right now because I have had a throat infection which has now turned to hoarse voice…and winter chill is setting in. Have bought some new winterised exercise gear but trying not to get overheated/chilled right now. Keeping Asthma at bay for the time being is important to me 🙂

    When I viisted my primary care doctor last week, I was weighed and in 3 months I have lost 3kg! He was pleased…as I am too 🙂 🙂

    1. Melanie

      Hi Cathy,
      They aren’t very accurate on carpet, that’s for sure. You are noticing some very good improvements in your health, which is great, but it’s also nice to see that health shown on the weighing scales. Well done.

  3. Ben

    Thanks for the post Melanie. I too use the Accu-Measure calipers. They were one of the best $15 investments I ever made. I am a fan of tracking body fat % rather than weight. It’s a better insight for me.

    1. Melanie

      Hi Ben,
      I totally agree with you. I like to use them in combination with these other measures, as it gives a good indication of health overall. I wouldn’t mind trying out one of the handheld fat analyzers, too, just to check the readings I’m getting, but they aren’t all that reliable either.

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