Here’s the thing about weight loss: Going it alone is neither fun nor as effective as when you’ve got a little outside help. Trainers and fit-minded buddies can help push you to reach your fitness goals, but the right tools can help support your efforts, too. From food scales to activity monitors, these tools rank high on the customer satisfaction scale and keep your checkout total on the low. Once you’ve got your arsenal stocked, it’s only a matter of time before the weight starts peeling off.
If you’re investing in yourself, it would serve you well to invest in these life-changing weight loss tools that are just a few clicks away. And while you’re putting these health-happy items in your cart, consider adding any one of these 25 Eat This! Snacks Delivered to Your Door, too!
It’s tough for anyone to know exactly how much 4 ounces of chicken really is. Eyeballing about the size of your palm is an alright guess, but when it comes to weight loss, every calorie counts. Using a food scale is one of the most accurate ways to measure out proper portions of foods. With over 6,000 reviews, this scale has a near perfect 5-star rating. You can place food directly the scale (or use a container if need be) to hold food in place; this scale automatically subtracts the weight from any bowl used so you get the most accurate reading possible. Speaking of bowls, don’t miss these 30 Bowls For Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner—That Aren’t Soup!
When you set off on a diet, less is usually more in the beginning. Keeping meals simple by using only a few ingredients can make it easy to stay on track. However, sometimes simple can also translate to bland. Using a zester is a super easy and low-calorie way to pep up the flavor of your dishes, though. This classic zester can be used to extract flavor from hard cheeses, citrus fruits, onions, and ginger.
From sauteing and baking to salad dressings and dips, oils are essential in our food prep and presentation. The issue is that although oils like olive and avocado can be healthy, they’re incredibly calorie dense. Just one small tablespoon clocks in at 120 calories! Oil misters can help you cut back on those calories and then some. This particular mister dispenses oil or vinegar in a fan pattern, coating your food evenly and without any harmful propellants or chemicals. Avoid even more cals with these 25 Ways to Cut 250 Calories.
Simply having the right gear can make a world of a difference in your health goals. Latoya Julce, NYC-based trainer and 305 Fitness instructor, highly recommends having a yoga mat handy so that you can stretch out your muscles every single day. Doing so can enhance your body’s recovery from tough workouts —and, more importantly, prevent injuries so you can stay in the game. This mat is extra thick to help comfortably cushion your body on hard floors. It also comes with a sleek carrying strap, making it easy to store and tote around.
While it’s arguable that body weight is not the best indicator of overall health, it definitely helps to know where you stand if you are trying to drop a jean size—or lose weight forever. Weighing yourself helps keep you aware and mindful of your progress, and can also tip you off to any weight gain that may have flown under the radar. This scale gives immediate readings as soon as you step on and flaunts on-point accuracy, thanks to its high precision sensors.
Getting enough sleep can help you lose more weight, according to a study published in the journal Sleep. But do you really know just how much sleep you’re actually getting? Most activity trackers now include a sleep monitoring feature like this one, which can help you track the hours you spend in restful sleep mode versus tossing and turning. By becoming more aware of your sleep cycles you can then adjust your bedtime accordingly and watch the healthy benefits abound. Find out more sleep health tips with The Sleep Diet: 7 Habits of Highly-Rested People.
Pasta Measuring Tool
Pasta lovers, rejoice! This simple little tool is a total game changer. For a measly three dollars, this handy item can help you measure out appropriate portions of your favorite spaghetti. Fitting in noodles to your diet isn’t easy, but neither is giving them up altogether. This way you can limit your calorie intake and still enjoy the occasional spaghetti bolognese while staying on track with your weight loss goals.
When you’re walking for weight loss, activity trackers can be great tools—but many on the market can be quite pricey. At the end of the day, the goal of these fitness trackers is to make you more aware of your daily movement and to get you to move more throughout the day. A simple pedometer like this one will do just that. It’s lightweight and can easily be disguised by clipping onto your pants or belt loop.
Portion Control Tupperware
When it comes to weight loss, the most effective step you can take is to properly and accurately portion out your food. This Tupperware makes your job super easy by color coding each container to the type of food that should be placed in it. The easy-to-follow guide that’s included can help you portion out calorie-dense items like nuts or starches without you having to do the research on appropriate amounts. Once you get your portions under control, the weight will start melting away.
One of the 17 Unique Tea Accessories You Didn’t Know You Needed, this little item is the perfect companion for when you try out food journalist Kelly Choi’s The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse! (Test panelists lost up to 10 pounds in one week!)
If you have trouble sticking to a normal portion of pasta, then it’s time to try the guilt-free alternative. This hand-held spiralizer makes it easy to turn veggies into fun-to-eat spaghetti shapes that resemble pasta. Top with your favorite sauces and you can enjoy a healthy, lower calorie, more nutrient dense meal that will bring you closer to your weight loss goals. Once you get a spiralizer, try it out on any of these 21 Mouthwatering Spiralizer Recipes.
Although they’ve stood the test of time for all your baking and cooking needs, measuring cups are nothing short of miracle workers when it comes to matters of weight. An extra scoop of granola or too much shredded cheese can be the difference between losing one pound or gaining two. Keep measuring cups and spoons close by when you’re whipping up your meals and you’ll see the weight loss results follow suit. These collapsible cups also make it easy to take on the go and measure out your portions when you’re not at home.
When you cook your food in oil, you run the risk of overloading on hidden calories. Steaming your veggies is possibly the healthiest way to prepare them and if you’re careful to watch the cooking time they won’t end up as soggy as boiled ones. This collapsible steamer has a unique design that can fit different sized pots and will also fold back up for easy storage.
Many of us fall back on juices, sodas and sports drinks throughout the day, but even if they are calorie-free, they won’t hydrate you as well as trusty H20. A study published in the journal Obesity also shows that drinking more water can lead to greater weight loss. The silicone grips on this handy juicer make it easy to squeeze a healthy dose of lemon or lime into your glass and pump up the flavor or to get on the detox water bandwagon.
Water Bottle With Consumption Monitor
We know now that drinking more water can help you reach your weight loss goals faster and can also boost your overall health, but it’s not always easy to keep track of our total ounces throughout the day. This bottle is insulated to help keep your H20 cold, but its greatest feature is that it tracks the amount of water you consume throughout the day to help keep you accountable and to encourage you to drink more when necessary.
It takes time to prepare and set aside healthy meals during the week, and most people don’t have that spare time to do so. (Psst! Check out Meal Prep Sunday: 25 Tips to Cook Once, Eat for a Week if you have time tonight!) Investing in a veggie chopper will cut your food prep time way down and scale your weight loss results way up as a result. This tool can chop anything from fruit and veggies to boneless meats, herbs, and nuts. It’s hand powered and dishwasher safe, which makes the clean up that much simpler.
Popcorn Air Popper
Snack time can often be a huge pitfall for most of us when it comes to weight loss. Crunchy, salty, calorie-laden, sugar-ridden temptations are around every corner. However, if you arm yourself with the right snacks —or rather the right tools to prepare the right snacks —you’ll be one step ahead of your cravings. This air popper is simple to use and can help prepare a healthy bowl of low-calorie, high fiber popcorn for you to much on when your belly starts rumbling. And then take it up a notch with these 20 Delicious Ways to Dress Up Popcorn.
Whether it be a protein shake after the gym or your morning smoothies that’s packed with antioxidant foods, whipping up a healthy shake is a great way to get more nutrients into your body. Using regular sized blenders can sometimes run the risk of blowing portions out of control, so it’s best to stick with a personal blender like this one. The great part about this blender is that it uses a portable bottle as the blending vessel which can double as your on-the-go cup.
Portion Controlled Portable Storage Jars
These cute stackable jars can help portion out healthy, yet calorie dense snacks like nuts and dried fruits and can also keep your protein powder or vitamins handy. They lock tight so there’s little chance of leaks, and their small size fits easily into any purse or gym bag.
Though these may flash you back to the 80s, fitness bands are one of the simplest ways to stay fit when you have no time to get to the gym. Break them out when you’re watching TV and do some strengthening exercises for your shoulders hips, arms, legs, and glutes. These professional grade bands come in four different resistance levels and can help increase your flexibility, strength, and tone muscle without adding bulk.Sponsored StoriesRecommended byCAPITAL ONE SHOPPINGBefore you renew Amazon Prime, read thisPOST FUNRare Photos Show Us Who Meghan Markle Really IsHOME – BLOOD PRESSURE SOLUTION : BLOOD PRESSURE SOLUTION4 Worst Blood Pressure MedsBETTERBEFood Items You Should Never Buy At Costco, Here’s Why10 Foods to Eat to Never Get Sick, Say DoctorsDr. Fauci Says if You Did This, “Assume You Are Infected”If You Feel This You May Have Already Had COVID Says Dr. FauciThe Worst Peanut Butter to Eat, According to a Dietitian
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If sustainable weight loss is on your to-do list in 2020, look no further. Our experts have identified the very best weight loss pills and diet supplements to help you assist or jumpstart your weight loss journey this year.
How do weight loss pills work?
Weight loss pills work in a variety of different ways.
- They block your body’s absorption of calorie-containing macronutrients. Some weight loss pills, like orlistat, block the absorption of fat or carbohydrates. This keeps your body from transforming these calories into body fat.
- They curb your appetite. By regulating your hunger hormones, weight loss pills can keep you from consuming excess calories.
- They increase your metabolism. Other diet supplements speed up the metabolism, which helps you burn calories more efficiently.
For Paul Claybrook, MBA, MS, CN, Certified Nutritionist at SuperDuperNutrition, the most effective ones contain a variety of ingredients that work in different ways. With this in mind, here are our experts’ favorite weight loss pills.
The best weight loss pills and diet supplements
Claybrook recommends Hydroxycut. Since its 2013 reformulation, Hydroxycut contains a variety of ingredients to aid in weight loss, including appetite-suppressing lady’s mantle extract and metabolism-boosting green coffee bean extract and one of our experts’ top weight loss supplement ingredients: caffeine.
According to Forrest Przybysz, MBA and founder of Nootropics Resource, caffeine is “a natural, and popular, mental and physical performance enhancer.”
“Caffeine is present almost all weight loss pills and is an excellent ingredient in any weight loss supplement as long as the dosages are safe,” continues Przybysz.
Today, Hydroxycut remains one of the best-selling weight loss supplements in the U.S.
Claybrook also recommends over-the-counter Alli, whose active ingredient orlistat is a natural inhibitor of pancreatic lipases. In essence, explains Robert Thomas, MSc, RD and Co-Founder of Sextopedia, drugs containing orlistat—like Alli but also prescription Xenical—work by preventing your body from absorbing calories from fat and converting them to body fat.
Studies have shown that Alli can help increase weight loss and reduce blood pressure, though Alli and orlistat-containing drugs have also been linked with gastrointestinal side effects including oily, loose stools. Patients can reduce side effects by reducing their intake of fatty foods while taking Alli.
Claybrook also recommends glucomannan supplements for weight loss, which are produced by a number of brands including Now Foods and Nature’s Way. Water-soluble fiber glucomannan is extracted from the konjac yam; when taken in supplement form, it expands in the stomach, increasing feelings of fullness and keeping you from consuming more food than you need. One 2013 study was unable to conclusively prove glucomannan’s efficacy as a weight loss supplement, but it did show it was well-tolerated by study subjects.
4. Green Tea Extract
Weight loss supplements containing green tea extract have been shown to boost weight loss thanks in large part to the presence of L-Theanine, a naturally occurring amino acid.
Registered Dietitian Shawn Wells, MPH, LDN, RD notes that green tea extract and theacrine, an alkaline found in Chinese tea, both promote thermogenesis and increase metabolic rate and energy expenditure, which, in turn, promotes weight loss – “similar to caffeine, but with fewer side effects.”
“In the term caloric equation of ‘energy in’ vs ‘energy out’, they allow for more energy to be expended,” he continues, “helping you achieve a caloric deficit a lot easier than having to exercise or severely restrict food intake.”
Dr. NavNirat Nibber, ND and Medical Advisor at Advanced Orthomolecular Research, notes that the flavonoids from green tea—but also saffron and quercetin—can help speed up the metabolism by improving liver function. She also notes that they are known to support cellular metabolism and thus weight management. She recommends other hormone support supplements like cinnamon and chromium, which has been shown to help the body balance blood sugar, in tandem with this extract.
Dangers of weight loss pills and diet supplements
When it comes to weight loss, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Claybrook notes that not all supplements work well for all people.
“For example,” explains Claybrook, “caffeine is a bad choice if you already drink lots of coffee. Chromium probably won’t help much if your body already balances blood sugar well.”
Some pills aren’t just ineffective; they could be dangerous and do more harm than good. These include ephedrine, which has been banned for over-the-counter use in the U.S. since 2004 due to the amphetamine-like effects of the supplement. Nibber also cautions against spasmodic “weight loss” teas, which work by causing spasms along the GI tract but can actually lead to insufficient nutrient absorption.
“This can result in conditions such as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO),” she says, “which would exacerbate any weight fluctuations or hormone and immune dysfunctions.”
Diet pills and supplements you should skip:
- Phentermine, which can have negative effects for those with high blood pressure or heart issues
- Fenproporex, a stimulant that may cause heart arrhythmia and even sudden death. It is not approved for use in the U.S.
- Synephrine/bitter orange, which has been linked to symptoms ranging from headaches and high blood pressure to heart attack and stroke.
Whichever weight loss pills you choose, our experts agree that no pill will work on its own. “Any diet supplement is just that, a supplement,” says Claybrook. “It will help you reach your goals, but its effects are not great enough to somehow cancel poor eating habits or lack of exercise.”