Just getting started cooking for yourself while counting calories? I wouldn't have gotten as far as I have without these five tools.
There's not much I can say that hasn't been said before - in fact, there's more solicited and unsolicited weight loss advice on the internet than we collectively need - but nevertheless, here's what I would do if I were starting out again.
- Download a calorie-tracking app. By far the most important step. I prefer MyFitnessPal (I would go as far as to say it changed my life) but if you prefer LoseIt, or some niche Android app, that's cool. Make sure it's easy to use and at your fingertips.
- Get a scale. For years, I avoided owning a scale. I thought weighing myself would make me more anxious, more obsessive, even depressed. As hard as it was to get started, without data about my daily weight, I could not have stayed on track.
- ... and then get a food scale. Hear me out - a food scale is necessary to accurately track your food. Your eyeball estimations are not accurate. Your measuring cups are not accurate. Weighing your food doesn't have to be a pain; it's actually easier than using 5 different measuring cups and bowls. This is worth $10.
- Take starting pictures. I did not do this, but I wish I had. How will you see how far you've come and take pride in your progress if you can't recognize where you started? Clothes on, clothes off, whatever you're comfortable with - just take a minute to snap a few full body selfies.
- Find someone to talk to. It's hard to do this alone, and you need someone who has your back on hard days. Maybe that's your family, maybe that's your friends, maybe it's Weight Watchers, maybe it's Reddit. Yes - you heard me right - I really recommend checking out the community at /r/loseit and /r/1200isplenty.
As they say, YMMV; don't be afraid to adjust your approach as you learn what works for you.