Are you finally ready to drop those unwanted pounds? Well, with today’s modern resources you can do it – and without being hungry! They key is knowledge and today’s technology makes reaching your goal easier than ever before. It took me almost 10 months to do it – but I’ve finally achieved my New Year’s resolution to shed 25 pounds! While that may seem to be extraordinarily slow, I can tell you that I did it with very little sacrifice and without going to bed hungry once. Plus, statistics show that weight that comes off slowly has a better chance of staying off.
So if you’re ready to finally scratch “lose weight” off you list of to-do items, here are some modern-day tools that will help you build your ideal body. It worked for me – give it a try!
Smart phone apps
Looking for some daily encouragement and inspiration? There are plenty of weight loss apps ready to fill the bill. I used Noom, but others such as My Fitness Pal and Fooducate are just as good. These apps send you daily weight loss tips, recipes and reminders to help you keep your eye on the prize. They also recommend the daily amount of calories needed in order to suit your specific activity level – and allow you to log your meals to keep track of how many you have left for the day. This has been very helpful in allowing me to know which foods I can eat without worry, and which ones need to be enjoyed in moderation. Plus, if you absolutely have to have that gourmet cupcake, go ahead – you’ll know exactly how many calories are left for the day and simply have to plan accordingly to keep yourself on track. The power is in your hands! The app also encourages you to eat 3 to 6 meals a day, taking your body out of starvation mode and back into a healthier way of living.
More food + less weight = happiness.
There are plenty of great low-calorie foods on the market to keep you satisfied without the guilt. Many of them come in pre-packaged serving amounts that you can just pop in your purse or pocket to enjoy on the go. Here are some of the gems that I’ve discovered:
Needing a sweet sensation?
Keebler Fudge Stripes Cookies – come in 100 calorie snack packs. Perfect with a cup of coffee for a quick and guiltless mid-afternoon pick me up.
Dannon Light and Fit Greek Yogurt – only has 80 calories but is much thicker and more satisfying than regular yogurt. Comes in a variety of flavors – my favorite is strawberry cheesecake – it’s like dessert in a cup!
Weight Watchers Giant Chocolate Fudge Bars and English Toffee Crunch Bars – 100 calories of refreshing goodness.
Fiber One Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars – only 90 calories (and the fiber helps you stay full longer).
If salty/crunchy is your thing:
Cheez-it Snack Mix – 100 calorie packs are savory and delicious.
Blue Diamond Wasabi and Soy Sauce Almonds have a crunchy kick – and one serving (a whopping 28 almonds) is only 180 calories. Plus almonds are known to be super heart-healthy.
Mary’s Gone Crackers – or Stacy’s Bagel Chips – with hummus. If you’re a chip person (like me) this satisfies chip/dip cravings without derailing your goal.
Wheat Thins – Now come in a variety of flavorful options, such as Spicy Buffalo, Ranch and Chili Cheese – all with just 140 calories a serving.
Wearable technology such as fitness trackers are also great to increase your awareness of your lifestyle strengths and weaknesses. Worn on your wrist around the clock, these devices reveal how many steps you take in a day (10,000 or more is optimal), how many calories you’ve burned, and even analyze your sleep patterns to offer suggestions for feeling more energetic and well-rested. Yes, they encourage you to move more in order to meet a daily minimum – but they can also make you feel a bit better about your current routine as well. Last week, running short on time, I skipped the gym in order to complete other home related tasks such as mowing the lawn and grocery shopping. Normally I would feel guilty about missing the workout – but my fitness tracker revealed that I managed to take over 13,000 steps that day (more than a trip to the gym). So you don’t have to do it all – as long as you’re doing something! (A nice revelation).
As for brands, I bought a Polar Loop (currently the only tracker that records your heart rate when combined with a heart monitor strap), my husband has a Jawbone UP24 and my son a Fitbit. All of them work great – but each has its own unique areas of top performance. Do your research to find the perfect one for you.
My Secret (Smoothie) Weapon
One amazingly wonderful thing that I found – that I will continue to use well beyond any weight concerns – is the Nutribullet. I’m sure you’ve seen these advertised as a way to up your intake of fruits and vegetables. The machine is awesome – but there is one smoothie recipe that is absolutely amazing. Both nutritious and delicious, this libation was originally created as the perfect “after workout” drink (high in protein to help in recovery) but I noticed that it actually make me “feel better” almost instantly. My mind was clearer for days after having one, and my energy and endurance was definitely increased. It’s my new “secret weapon” and ironically the only smoothie I make (but I try to have one at least twice a week). The combination of protein and carbs makes it satisfying and the sweetness of the peanut butter feels more like a treat than an obligation. I highly recommend it!
Peanut Butter/Banana Smoothie
2 cups of raw Kale or Spinach
1-2 cups of Blue Diamond Vanilla Flavored Almond Milk
1 Banana (I like to freeze the bananas first)
1 tbsp of Peanut Butter
1 tsp of Hemp Seeds
There’s a lot of hype about weight loss supplements (it’s a billion dollar business). Since everyone’s chemical disposition is different, you’ll have to try these for yourself to see if they work for you – but I did my own experimentation and here’s what I found:
Raspberry Keytone – May have helped slightly with weight loss (but admittedly I used it early in the process when weight naturally comes off more easily). I experienced a slight allergic reaction with this product (itching) and decided to bail out of the experiment.
Cambogia Garcinia– Supposedly “highly effective” when combined with colon cleanse pills (according to internet reports). I found no personal positive results at all.
Green Coffee Bean Extract – Nada.
Hydroxycut Gummies – This is the only product that seemed to live up to its hype. The weight loss was still slow – but did seem to move a little faster while using this product. They are “stimulant-free” so they won’t make you feel jittery like many of these products can. I found it worth the investment.
Green tea – Packed with antioxidants, green tea reportedly speeds up your metabolism and suppresses your appetite. While any green tea will work, but I’ve become addicted to Arizona Green Tea with Ginsing. Single serve packets are easy to carry and offer a great energy boost when combined with an ice-cold bottle of water. I love them and have one every day at lunchtime.
Move it to lose it
This may be the one “old fashioned” reality that still applies to reaching and keeping your ideal weight. In order to be healthy and strong we have to move. But how you move is entirely up to you. That’s why it’s important to find something that pleases you. As much as I would love to be one of those agile and elegant runners who parade down my street on a regular basis, my body is just not going to do that. But as a kid I did love hitting a tennis ball around. I decided to go “retro” and took lessons at the local rec center. Not only have I fallen back in love with something from my past, but I’ve found something that will help me support my new healthy lifestyle (and made some good friends in the process). Discover what works for you. No one way is better than another. Walking is awesome – just try to keep it fresh by checking out new areas and enlisting some walking partners.
This isn’t about being a perfect size 6. It’s about feeling good in your own skin – and being able to fully enjoy this wondrous life that we’ve been given (without aches, pains and limitations). It’s about your outside matching who you truly are on the inside. You are the captain of this ship – so decide today to set charter for new and adventurous shores. You can do it – and you deserve it! Let modern technology and convenience function as your North Star to help you reach your destination once and for all!
**Please Note: Although I’ve outlined specific products here, these are my own personal opinions and I have not been paid my any of the companies mentioned.**
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Marci Wise is the award-winning author of Pain, Passion & Purpose. Copyright © 2014 marciwise.com. Material is copyrighted but free to repost as long as proper credit is listed, including our website address.