Weight Loss Tools

weight loss tools

Weight loss can be a very frustrating and never ending endeavor for many individuals.

However, there are several things that you can do to reduce your frustration level and increase your probability of successfully achieving your personal weight loss goals.

For instance, when embarking on a weight loss program, you should look to build a support system to improve your chances of achieving your personal health and fitness goals.

In addition, creating a support system around your weight loss program will also provide the following benefits:

  • Assist in maintaining your level of motivation

  • Assist in maintaining your level of determination and focus

  • Provide you with progress updates to ensure that your weight loss results are on-schedule with your personal weight loss goals

There are several items to consider when forming your weight loss program support system. For this reason, we have listed several items that you may want to consider adding to your weight loss program support system:

  • Friends and Family: It is important to include friends and family members in your weight loss efforts, as they provide support that will help to maintain your motivation and determination.

    If possible, partner with a family member or a friend and begin a dietary weight loss program together. This could include participating in the same diet, exercising together or both. Adding a friend or family member to your weight loss program will also allow you to discuss your frustrations, concerns and successes with a likeminded individual. By doing so, you will create an environment of mutual support.

  • Consult your Medical Physician: It is strongly recommended that you consult your medical doctor to assist with determining your optimum weight, assess your current state of health, and to provide you with dietary tips and approaches that have been proven to be safe, effective and produce results at a reasonable rate.

  • Educate Yourself: Take advantage of all available information and media outlets to learn about how the human body functions, why certain individuals have a higher propensity to gain weight, and effective techniques and approaches for safely losing weight. Consider online weight loss communities, chat rooms and support groups.

  • Utilize Tracking and Progress Tools: There are several weight loss tools that you can use to track your progress and monitor your results, and thereafter compare them to your personal fitness and weight loss goals. By utilizing the various tracking and progress tools that are available, you will be able to monitor your results on a real-time basis and make any adjustments when necessary.

The remainder of this article will discuss the various tracking and progress tools that you can use to evaluate your weight loss results and to monitor whether you are on schedule to obtain your personal fitness goals within your desired timeframe.

Using Tracking Tools to Monitor your Weight Loss Progress

    weight loss tools
  • Avoid Using a Weight Scale to Monitor your Weight Loss Progress: First and foremost, the weight scale is one of the worst tools for evaluating the effectiveness of your weight loss program and should be avoided throughout the entirety of your weight loss program, if possible.

    While a weight scale may be a quick and easy method that is far too tempting to use every morning, it often provides results that do not depict the truth of your weight loss efforts.

    A weight scale is not designed to measure excess body weight and is only used to measure the total weight of an object. The problem with using a weight scale to monitor your weight loss results is that muscle tissue is more dense, by volume, than fat. In other words, the same volume of muscle tissue weighs more than the equivalent volume of fat. Because of this fact, many individuals that add exercise as a method of weight loss gain an increased level of lean muscle mass that, in terms of total body weight, negates the actual body fat that has been lost.

  • Use a Tape Measure to Monitor your Weight Loss Results: The ultimate goal in terms of losing weight is that you achieve the body measurements that you desire. In other words, if your neck, chest, arms, hips, waist, thighs and calves measure a value that you are comfortable with, body weight becomes irrelevant.

    The various body locations should be measured as follows: measure the waist at the bellybutton, chest at the nipples, arms at the biceps, neck above the trapezius muscles, and the upper portion of the thighs to get an overall idea of how many inches you have lost and compare them against your personal weight loss goals. If you are on a weight loss program, the core area is typically the first area to gain excess body weight and will lose excess body weight at the same rate as the rest of the body.

  • Lange Skinfold Calipers: Lange skinfold calipers are one of the most readily available and effective ways to accurately measure the percentage of body fat present. Lange skinfold calipers should be used to monitor the progress of any weight loss program. To view typical body fat percentages and to determine levels that are healthy and acceptable, please view our article entitled Determining your Optimum Weight Using the Body Fat Percentage Approach. It is recommended that you measure your body fat percentage on a monthly basis.

  • Use a Weight Loss Log: A weight loss log is absolutely essential to track your weight loss results and progress. Studies on the effectiveness of maintaining a weight loss log have certainly supported their value as a fitness tool. In fact, they have been shown to increase the effectiveness of any program by 47%, and the speed at which participants met similar goals by nearly 65%. Staying organized while adhering to a weight loss program is almost as valuable as the program itself.

  • Use a Digital Camera to Capture your Weight Loss Results: A fantastic method for tracking your weight loss results is to take a picture of yourself as you progress through your weight loss program on a weekly basis. In fact, you can even put together a slide show at the end of each the month to visually track your weight loss results. Pay particular attention to your face and neck areas, as these are generally the first places where losses are apparent.

    By taking a picture of yourself each week and then comparing the pictures to one another as you progress through your weight loss program, you will be able to visually see the results of your efforts. Remember, when you look at your body on a daily basis, it is easy to miss the small changes that are taking place.

Additional Tools to Help Keep Your Weight Loss Program on Schedule

Additional tools designed to support your weight loss efforts include tools that monitor your daily caloric intake and expenditure. These tools are excellent in that they provide you with data that assists in making sound decisions, and allow you to make modifications to your weight loss program as you progress.

  • Calorie Counter Calculator: Calorie counter calculators are designed to keep track of your daily caloric intake. Calorie counters determine the total number of calories consumed from a meal, and some models even break down the amount of protein, carbohydrates and fat as well. There are handheld models as well as online calculators (typically free) available for your use. Furthermore, calorie counters can provide you with a general idea of the number of calories you are consuming from a single meal and throughout the day. This will allow you to tailor your weight loss program to a specific daily caloric intake level, and thereafter monitor your actual caloric intake to ensure that you are not exceeding your daily limit.

  • Physical Activity Calculator: A physical activity calculator allows you to monitor the number of calories that you are burning through any physical activity. Handheld and online physical activity calculators are available. Physical activity calculators are an excellent weight loss tool and work well in conjunction with calorie counter calculators. By using both types of calculators, you will be able to track both your caloric intake and expenditure. This will allow you to know your caloric deficit on a daily basis.

    Remember, for each caloric deficit of 3,500 calories, you will lose 1 pound of excess body weight. For example, if you create a 500-calorie deficit per day, in 7 days your total caloric deficit will be 3,500 calories. This will produce a 1-pound reduction in excess body weight.

Body Mass Index Calculations

Although considered a tracking method, a whole section is necessary to assist you on calculating your Body Mass Index (B.M.I.). Body Mass Index is a number calculated from a person's weight and height. B.M.I. is a useful tool for determining if an individual is underweight, overweight or within the medically-approved weight range for their height. For additional information on Body Mass Index, what it means, how to use it in your weight loss program, and how to calculate your personal B.M.I., please reference the article entitled Determining Your Optimum Weight Using the Body Mass Index Approach. Below is an example of how to calculate your personal Body Mass Index level.

Calculating your B.M.I. is a quick way to determine if you are overweight, underweight or within a healthy body weight range. However, if you are performing weight training exercises to compliment your weight loss efforts, it is important to remember that lean muscle tissue weighs more, by volume, than fat. The B.M.I. approach does not take this fact into account, and may be inaccurate in determining your optimum weight as a result.

This being said, the recommended B.M.I. range for a normal person should be between 20.7 and 26.4 for adult men and 19.1 and 25.8 for adult women. Table #1 below represents a B.M.I. scale that is specifically designed for adult men and women only, and can be used to determine your personal B.M.I. value. To calculate your personal Body Mass Index please visit our fitness tools section located in Determining your Personal Body Mass Index.

Quantitative Body Mass Index (BMI)
Adults Women Men
Anorexic Less than 17.5 Less than 17.5
Underweight Less than 19.1 Less than 20.7
Ideal Weight 19.1 - 25.8 20.7 - 26.4
Marginally overweight 25.8 - 27.3 26.4 - 27.8
Overweight 27.3 - 32.3 27.8 - 31.1
Very overweight or obese 32.3 - 35 31.1 - 35
Severely obese 35 - 40 35 - 40
Morbidly obese 40 - 50 40 - 50
Super obese 50 - 60 50 - 60

weight loss tools

In order to increase the probability of achieving your personal weight loss goals, it is imperative that you create a set of precise short and long term goals that include your specific weight loss goals, a definitive timeline in which to achieve your weight loss goals, and the exact approach and methods in which to do so.

Losing weight and keeping it off can be a challenging proposition that can lean to frustration, depression, and ultimately, failure. This need not be the case, as effective weight loss can be a methodical process that is predictable and achievable through focus, determination and will power.

To increase the probability of achieving your personal weight loss goals, it is highly recommended that you use as many weight loss tools as possible.

Weight loss tools are designed to increase your understanding of safe and effective weight loss, provide immediate feedback, monitor your progress, and allow you to stay on schedule.