Some 'must-haves' to help with sustainable weight loss

Here's a list of everyday equipment you can buy cheaply which can help you to build a sustainable health routine. I've provided links to Amazon in the UK (as that's the easiest way) but feel free to shop around, obviously.

TAPE MEASURE.

Because you will be putting on muscle and burning off fat, it's important to not only keep a track of your bodyweight, but also your body measurements. An inch of muscle is more dense hence weighs more than an inch of fat. So, when you don't seem to be losing weight on the scales, you can check your waistline, thighs, chest etc. and see where you are progressing.



WEIGHING SCALES

Sometimes known as 'bathroom' scales, these are a must if you wish to track your overall weight loss. Make sure to weigh yourself at the same time at least once a week:
  • In the morning
  • With as little clothing as possible
  • After a 'movement' is preferable
Record your weight each week or daily and log with a 'trending' app such as Libra or similar.



Food Scales

The best way to keep track of your 'calories in' is by weighing your food portions and measuring your fluid intake. If you use a fitness tracking app like MyFitnessPal, you will need to be able to accurately gauge your daily calorie intake and the only real way to do that is by weighing EVERYTHING until you reach a point where you can tell what 200g of Pasta looks like or just how many ounces that steak really is. Believe me, guesstimating just doesn't work and will leave you over eating and may lead to you losing patience. A measuring jug should be used until you know how much water/milk/beer your glasses and cups at home hold.


Once you've weighed yourself in pounds, stones or kilos then it's time to take your measurements. I measure the following areas once a week:


Waist
Belly
Chest
Thighs (largest diameter)
Calves
Arms (biceps/triceps)
Forearms


    I then update my 'Middle Aged Spreadsheet' with these measurements so I can see what has changed. Sometimes I've put on weight since the previous week but lost 1/2 an inch off my waistline. Then, when I get to my quads (thighs) I find I've put 1/4 of an inch of muscle on. Bearing in mind that the Quads make up the largest muscle group in the body, you can see where the weight has come from.

    *You can use a fitness app instead to track your measurements but please do weigh and measure yourself before you start any health/weight loss/muscle gain plan - it allows you to track where you are going right and what areas you need to improve upon. 

    Dumbbells

    Get a good set of dumbbells but don't be tempted to go too light. In order to break down muscle tissue, raise your testosterone levels AND burn some fat, you want to start working out with a set of weights you can do a 'curl' with between 8 and 10 times comfortably. However, as you progress, you need a way of increasing that weight/difficulty.


    Barbells

    Whilst not an absolute must when starting out, at some point you will feel you've gone as far as you can with the dumbbells and need to increase your workload. I've found somewhere like Argos in the UK is fine for picking up cheap weight sets. The best routines to do for fat burning are 'compound exercises' (i.e. using groups of muscles) which include Squats, Military Press and Bench Press. To do these properly, you'll need a bar!


    Resistance Bands

    Literally just giant rubber bands in various thickness to give more resistance when you try to stretch them. You can use them on their own or incorporate them into a dumbbell workout to make the weights feel 'heavier'.



    Pull up bar

    It can be quite difficult to build up your back muscles on home equipment - especially if you want that nice 'V' shaped torso, so it's an idea to invest in a doorway mounted pull-up bar. The benefits of these are that you can install them in almost any doorway (check dimensions before buying) and they're quick and easy to put up.


    I got mine from Amazon for about £15 >

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ultrasport-2-Way-Door-Pull-up-Chin-up/dp/B008BQ6WQQ/