5 Must-Haves for Starting a Fat Loss Plan
When it comes to losing weight, shedding fat etc. we have a lot of factors working against us. Like the constant flow of baked goods and snacks at the office. The sudden and delicious doughnut fad taking over Chicago. And PIZZA.
MOST LIKELY TO RUIN YOUR DIET
So if your goal is to take on fat loss in the new year, now is the time to dust off your Amazon Prime and take a few easy steps to set yourself up for success. Having (or doing) everything on this list helped me recently lose 11 pounds without too much struggle.
1. Get a Food Scale
The thought of weighing my food used to make me cringe. I'm not that kind of control freak. But the fat loss plan I was on highly recommended measuring your food to ensure the right amount of protein, carbs and fats. So I did, and guess what? I discovered that sometimes I'd been eating up to DOUBLE the amount of protein that my 5'3'' body needs. We can't even talk about the carbs.
I got a cheap scale (two, actually. Don't destroy yours like I did.) and after a few weeks of weighing, I had a good sense of the right amounts just by eyeballing it. This skill comes in handy when you're at a restaurant. Eating out is the fastest way to sabotage your diet, and it's not totally your fault. 92% of American restaurants serve oversized portions.
Etekcity Digital Food Scale - Super easy to use, comes with batteries. Cheap enough.
Perfect Portions Digital Nutrition Food Scale - I haven't used this, but it comes highly recommended in my nutrition circles. Pricey, but the stored nutritional facts make measuring macros a lot easier.
2. Meal Prep Containers
You're going to need Tupperware. Like, A LOT of Tupperware. A huge key to success is planning and prepping at least some of your meals ahead of time so you can resist eating out, ordering in or doing a face plant in a pizza. I messed around with the cheap plastic kind but then got a little sketched out by their frequent visits to the microwave. And they're just not built to last. So I bit the bullet late one night when I should've been holiday shopping and ordered glass containers. Now I don't have to worry about god knows what leaching out of them into my food and bonus, they're more attractive when taking up all that space in the fridge.
Glass Meal Prep Containers - I got a smoking deal on these and they've held up well to freezing, dishwashers and a reheat in the oven (lid off for that one!). They don't nest into each other, so keep that in mind if your tight on storage room.
3. Healthy and Portable Snacks
I'm a freelance consultant, so sometimes I don't have a lot of regularity in my week. My backpack stays stocked with clean snacks so I don't get stuck with a vending machine lunch. Here are a few of my ol' reliables.
EPIC Bars - Meat bars! Great protein counts and I live for the Spicy Sriracha Chicken bars. You might get some side eye from coworkers when you break out a random meat snack after a meeting but you gotta do what you gotta do.
Fuel for Fire - They call it a smoothie, I call it convenient adult baby food. Each pouch is a mix of fruits and/or veggies and have no added sugar. At 10-11g of protein per serving, it'll do in a pinch.
4. A Decent Water Bottle
While the jury is still out on whether you really need 8 glasses a day, I can't imagine any fat loss plan that isn't encouraging you to up your water game. I struggled with water intake at the beginning of my recent fat loss plan. I'd be at the client, in long meetings, and would wind up going hours without a sip. Easy solution is to start lugging around your own water bottle. I'm a fan of glass and good design, so this is my choice:
Retap Eco-Friendly BPA Free Glass Bottle - I mean, you can even buy sweaters for your glass water bottle. ALL IN.
5. All of the Protein
Not a little. Not a lot. ALL OF IT. My nutrition plan recommends a shit ton of protein powder to fuel workouts and to keep muscles happy and recovering well (if your goal is to lose weight, not muscle). How much you ask? I bought about 6 pounds of Whey Protein and 4 pounds of Casein Protein to last the course of my 12-week cut. Depending on your size, you may need to almost double that. The cost will make you sad. But like everything on this list, it's worth it to get the results you want. There are so, so many flavors and brands to choose from so you may need to try smaller sizes before you commit to the big tub. Here is what I used.
Tera's Whey Protein, Fair Trade Dark Chocolate - This is by far my favorite tasting protein powder. Alas, it's a little too pricey when I'm using this much but I highly recommend.
Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein, Double Rich Chocolate - The old stand by. Saw me through a lot of intraworkout shakes and breakfast smoothies.
Optimum Nutrition Casein Powder, Chocolate - This slow-digesting protein powder is recommended as your last meal of the day or right before bed. It's a little thicker than regular protein powder, so I made it into a pudding every evening. It sounds weird, but I began to really look forward to it.