7 Tools for Your Weight-Loss Survival Kit

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Happy New Year!
If you're reading this, you're probably gearing up to make 2013 your healthiest, fittest year yet. Although weight loss takes a lot of old-fashioned hard work and basic knowledge, it never hurts to have a few extra tools in the box to help you out along your journey. Here are seven essential items for your ''weight-loss survival kit'' that will help you build a healthier life this year, one goal at a time.

   The SparkPeople Cookbook: Love Your Food, Lose the Weight [Paperback]

This collection of more than 160 all-new recipes will streamline your healthy-cooking efforts. With a focus on real food, generous portions and great flavor, these recipes are not part of a fad diet. Instead, they help you focus on making smart choices and eating foods you love to help you meet your healthy-living goals.

  The Spark: The 28-Day Breakthrough Plan for Losing Weight, Getting Fit, and Transforming Your Life [Paperback]
In this groundbreaking book, you'll find the best weight-loss tips from millions of SparkPeople members who have lost weight, kept it off and reached other goals. ''The Spark'' outlines a breakthrough formula that combines nutrition, exercise, goal setting, motivation and community, which has helped people change their lives beyond just the number on the scale.
SparkPeople: Total Body Sculpting DVD

This all-in-one DVD features fat-burning cardio and multi-joint strength exercises in three distinct workouts: A ballet-inspired barre routine (using a chair), an equipment-free fat blaster and a heart-pumping dumbbell workout. Whether you're a beginner, intermediate, or advanced exerciser, Coach Nicole will help you along the way as you work out at your own pace.

Polar RS100 Heart Rate Monitor and Stopwatch

One of the most common mistakes new exercisers make is failing to reach the ideal intensity level during cardio workouts. Guidelines say that aerobic exercise should be ''moderate'' or ''challenging,'' but it can often be hard to know how to gauge that intensity on your own. Using a heart rate monitor lets you know exactly how hard you're working, and it will put you on the fast track to better results!
Fit & Fresh Lunch on the Go

Preparation is the name of the game when it comes to eating right at work. Yes, you might have to take a few extra minutes in the morning (or at night) to pack yourself a healthy lunch and pre-portioned snacks. However, after you start to eat better and feel better at work, you'll see that it's worth the time. Using a container system can help eliminate some of the mess and hassle of bringing a packed lunch while helping the environment at the same time.
CamelBak BPA-Free Better Bottle with Bite Valve

No matter how you pour them, eight glasses of water every day is a lot of liquid. Even knowing about the many benefits of meeting your daily H2O quota—increased fat-burning, healthier skin, better digestion, fewer cravings—doesn't make drinking it (or the increased bathroom visits) any less of a struggle. Using a convenient re-usable water bottle can help you keep track to meet your intake goals while at work, running errands or during exercise.
SparkPeople Fitness Starter Set
If you're unsure of how to begin a new fitness plan, this starter set is a great way to jump right into it! This versatile kit includes a stability ball, resistance band, pedometer and a DVD with unique and challenging workouts to try at home. This kit is great for both beginners and advanced exercisers, and you can modify your workouts as you get more fit. As a bonus, all of the equipment is portable, which means that you can take your fitness routine with you wherever you go!

What tools have you found to be most helpful along your weight-loss journey?

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My list would be a bit different... my computer for spark people, recipes and blogging. my fitbit for counting steps, my walking shoes, a water bottle, a food scale, my lunch bag and containers, my crock pot for rice and beans. Report
Must have music to work out. Report
A food scale Report
can't really afford much but do the best I can with what I have Report
well i am at 130 lbs and i don't have any of these mentioned items that you listed in this blog. all I need is God, the gym, my husbands support , and sparkpeople friends, and my other friends and family.
I don't eat much i have been eating small meals each day
in my opinion; what works for me won't work for the next person. everybody is different you just have to find what works for you and stick with it. Report
Measuring cups and food scale were KEY for me as a beginner. Then I got other things later. Report
Like BUBBLEJ1 I'm frugal and don't need stuff. Lots of free videos on Youtube. Report
My measuring cups and journaling what I eat....Journaling helps you to see what you have eaten over the course of the day, and whether or not you REALLY needed that particular food item, or just wanted it. Then you can come up with an alternative if the item was "empty calories". Report
The first tools of my success have been the food scale, measuring cups/spoons. Not only good for tracking purposes, they serve as a means to learn what a good portion is for when they are not readily available. Second would be a tracking system, such as the SP app on my phone - it's such a blessing! Third, (the hardest) is consistency and accepting that you're not always going to be perfect. Making good strides in the long haul is what will make you successful in the future! Report
i think that tracking is my best tool. Tracking what foods I eat and the type and amount of movement. I get this feeling that if I do not write it down, it doesn't count. Ha! my body knows, even if my mind trys to forget. Report
Food scale, Ipod, a really good pair of shoes, comfortable clothes, friends, and my blog. It's a private blog, but it has helped me open up not only about my feelings, but about how I have those feelings. Report
If you asked 100 different people, you'd get 100 different answers. Everybody finds their own motivation....some people would say that the "right" water bottle of lunch kit DOES make the difference! Others, like BubbleJ1 below won't consider these items essential at all. But each of us has our own path to walk....hopefully in the right shoes for the job! For me, I do like my fave water bottle, the Klean Kanteen. But my favorite essential items are my Wii fit and my new Fitbit Zip. Love that little thing! Report
Like others have said a scale and measuring cups/ spoons and a good pair of shoes and access to fitness info. I find that there is a lot of commercialism creeping into this site (most of these are sold at this site ) - I NOTICED I can NO longer download the videos - afraid someone won't buy the DVD then? Report
My Fitbit One and a food scale! Report
A good pair of running shoes and my I-Pod. A food scale IS very helpful in so many ways. My DVR to record Gilad programs (when I can't get outside to work out!), and this time of year--WARM gloves and long underwear! Report
Running shoes, good bra, and my iphone Report
I don't see how these are essential items. I've lost 40lb and I haven't got any of them
- Any old drink bottle will do... It just has to hold water
- Any old container will do for packing lunches... It just has to hold food
- No equipment is needed beyond a good pair of shoes
- No need to buy an expensive HRM, mine was $30 and does what I need it to do

I could go on, but I think I have made my point. Report
Fitness clothes...outdoors & indoors.
A journal of exercise activities, ST, weight checks.
Spark People, friends, resources. Report
The most important tools I've got are:
my running shoes
my mp3 player
my dog (and her leash)
I agree that a food scale is probably the most important thing - after a nutrition database to go with it! I love Spark's database, that and the recipe calculator are the 2 main things I use. That and BRUTAL HONESTY. On those 2000-2500 calorie days over the holidays, I don't lie to myself. I record everything I eat (yes, guacamole and chips, cookies, etc). Otherwise, what's the point? I can't figure out if my regimen is working if I'm not honest about what goes in (and out through exercise). Report
Great article! Definitely getting the Fit & Fresh Lunch container. Report
I think every dieter should have a decent quality food scale, with a tare function. I have one of the Polder brand. It is easy to figure out exactly how much you are eating. Simply put the plate one the scale, press "tare" to cancel out the weight of the plate, and start adding foods, pressing tare between each one to determine the weight of the foods. Report
I wanted to buy the Spark fitness starter kit, but it has not been in stock for a while. Ended up getting some of the items elsewhere. Report
Good starting list. As for the lady who says the Starter is never available...all the items are standard stuff and can be purchased pretty much anywhere. Report
I really love a chest-strap heart rate monitor! It shows when you need to slow down or work harder :) Report

I have been trying to order "SparkPeople Fitness Starter Set" ever since I joined SP Sept. 19, 2012. It is NEVER in stock and I have even contacted SP and their supplier. The supplier even sent me a response saying it would be available the last part of December 2012. Very frustrated to say the least. I don't appreciate being lied to!!! Report
my treadmill and my weights are my biggest tools I use. Also music to keep me moving.... Report
Love the notebook idea diva_incognito! I love the Fitbit One. It has been a great tool to have! Report
A good old fashioned NOTEBOOK! When I'm not near my computer, say on a trip or at the store, I bring along a small pocket notebook. In this notebook there is motivation (when I get into the icecream aisle), and a small pencil handy when I need to write down a thought or two. People just assume I'm adding to my grocery list, so it's discrete, and effective! Report
Thanks for a great list of things to help with our weight loss journey
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