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.
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.
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.
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?