According to the 2013 Market Research Report, the Weight Loss/Obesity Management Market was worth $265 billion in the year 2012 and is expected to reach $361 billion by 2017. That is a lot of money. This total is a projection of what will be spent on fitness equipment and gym memberships, functional foods and drinks, diet pills, and weight loss surgeries. It’s a money making business that excels on marketing in a way to entice you to spend your money.
With so many options, how do you know what is worth the investment? If you enter weight loss into a search you are likely to find myriad books, pills, neoprene belts and suits, creams, scales and more.
Here is my short list of worthwhile gadgets, toys and tricks.
Wheat Free Vegan Cookbook
I’m not vegan, but I am always looking for new ways to enjoy vegetables. These books will be filled with veggie rich recipes that aren’t going to be standard salads and side dishes. There isn’t a particular one that I recommend; there are many to choose from and you should be able to find one in any bookstore. The reason I like wheat free (or gluten free) vegan cookbooks is that you can always add meat, wheat or dairy easily if you choose and these books have new ideas to get you out of your habitual food routine.
Calorie Counting Device
Most people have smart phones so the easiest thing to do is to install a calorie counting app. This will help you if mindless eating and/or portion control are your obstacles. There are many to choose from, but I used Lose It! when pregnant to help me keep track of what I was eating. Most of these apps allow you to enter in a desired weight goal and give you a calorie recommendation to help you get there. I used it so that I didn’t eat for two. It helped me stick to a plan to gain 25 pounds slowly and gradually over my second and third trimesters without over doing it or not gaining enough.
Kitchen counter scale
You can’t know how many calories you are putting on your plate or in your mouth if you don’t accurately measure them. Use cup measures, scales and measuring spoons to help you stick to the portion intended. If you purchase a scale, I recommend one that has a tare option to remove the weight of the container from your total. I use a cup measure once a month to measure out portions and I’m always amazed at how “off” my eyeball guestimates become every time.
Pedometers are simple tools to help record and motivate movement. The recommendation to walk 10,000 steps per day can be traced back to a business slogan 30 years ago, but it has proved to be pretty accurate as a goal. Arizona State University Department of Exercise and Wellness came up with the following definitions: <5000 steps/day equates to a “sedentary lifestyle”, between 5000-7499 steps/day is considered “low active”, 7500-9999 is considered “somewhat active”, 10,000-12,499 steps/day classifies and individual as “active” and above 12500 steps/day is considered to be “highly active”. I’d spend the money to get a good pedometer. Inexpensive ones lose their accuracy really fast and are jostled very easily. You want to stay fit, so ensure the steps counted are real steps.
Remember, marketing companies know how to sell things and they prey on your fears and genuine desire to have weight loss be easy. Keep in mind, there are no tricks or gadgets that will help you lose weight. The recommendations above are to help you be aware of what you are eating and how much you are moving. Weight loss happens from a combination of exercise, calorie deficit, mindfulness, positive attitude and sustained effort.