7 Tools to Jumpstart Your Weight Loss

Sep 2 2016
Don't wait until after all the holidays to start shedding those stubborn pounds. Here are seven key tools to kick off your weight loss NOW.

1. A refillable water bottle

It just makes sense, really. You know you should be drinking more water. You know that draining countless disposable bottles of agua isn't all that great for the environment (or your wallet). So take the leap and become one of those people who totes a big refillable water bottle everywhere they go. Staying well hydrated is a terrific way to keep yourself out of the trap of feeling hungry when you're really just thirsty. And that will keep you away from unnecessary munching. Look for one that holds a lot of water, so you're not having to refill it constantly. We love these colorful picks by Contigo.

2. A food scale

If your current eating habits are stalling your weight-loss efforts, it may be time to look at how you measure your food. Are you eyeballing it? Not the best idea. Relying on measuring cups? Better, but not for everything. A food scale is what you really need in order to clock your food intake with precision. When it comes to meat and nuts, it's a must. For snack foods, it's a reality check. Here's more info on how a food scale can help you lose weight.

3. A food journaling app

This goes hand in hand with the food scale when it comes to getting your food tracking on point. Logging exactly what you eat in a day has several benefits. First, it allows you to detect and correct problematic patterns in your eating habits. For example, you might notice that any time you munch on salty nuts, you're thrown into a snacking tailspin. (Solution: Salt-free nuts, all the way!) Second, you might think twice before mindlessly plowing through that entire multiserving bag of baked chips if you know you'll have to log it. Having something to hold you accountable definitely helps. Find the app that works for you; MyFitnessPal has a free version that rocks!

4. A step counter

This can be as fancy or as basic as you like. Take the plunge, and finally one-click that Fitbit you've been eying; or just pick up a simple pedometer. Heads up: You might already have a step counter and not realize it! Have an iPhone? Look for the Health app. It automatically counts all the steps you take when you have your phone with you. Cool, huh? If you have trouble getting the recommended 10,000 steps into your day, might we suggest Housewalking?

5. A snack stash

Uh, before you take this as license to clear out the grocery store's middle aisles, let us clarify: Smart emergency snacks are excellent weapons against poor food choices. Rather than grabbing a muffin at the coffee shop, you’ll break out the apple packed neatly in your bag. Instead of hitting the drive-thru frantically during a too-long errands run, you’ll break out your just-in-case protein bar. Get it? Good, because we've got a ton of great suggestions to stock up on.

6. A prep day

This is ESSENTIAL, especially if you tend to get busy and fall prey to fits of "There's nothing to eat in the house; bring on the takeout!" Designate a day of the week to do your grocery shopping and prep your food for the week. Cook up make-ahead recipes (like these breakfasts) and versatile proteins (think hard-boiled eggs and grilled chicken). Plus, cut up fruit and veggies so that they're snack ready. Anything you can do to make your life easier later in the week is great. You don't even need a full day; a few hours will do wonders!

7. A plan

You've got the will and all the tools... but what are you going to eat? Plot that out ahead of time so that there's less left up to improvisation. And if you don't know where to begin, start with a plan that's already laid out. For instance, the Hungry Girl Diet. Sure, we're a little biased. But that's because we know that the food is delicious, the meals are nutritionally balanced, and the four-week plan WORKS. Bonus: Buy the book, and download the free companion app for easy meal tracking, shopping lists, and more!
HG FYI: There will be no Hungry Girl email this coming Monday, in honor of Labor Day. But we'll be back Tuesday with a can't-miss lasagna recipe!

Chew on this:

On this day, 8 years ago, we debuted our Slammin' Strawberry Daiquiri. Make one tonight, and raise a toast to your healthy new goals!

If your pal has been stressing about this very thing, help 'em out! Click "Send to a Friend" now.

Social

We may have received free samples of food, which in no way influences whether these products are reviewed favorably, unfavorably, mentioned with indifference, or mentioned at all. Click for more about our editorial and advertising policies.

SmartPoints® value* not what you expected? We follow the same method as Weight Watchers when calculating the SmartPoints® value* for a recipe: We add up the SmartPoints® values* of the individual ingredients. (Many foods have a value of zero and remain zero in recipes.)

*The PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark and SmartPoints® trademark.