Whether you’re looking to lose 10 pounds or 50, your journey ahead is bound to be challenging. But don’t let that deter you from getting started! As the experts, we know that there are some simple things you can do that make the transition to dieting and getting fit effortlessly seamless.
The first step? Arm yourself with the proper belly-fat-fighting weapons. These gadgets, tools, and items will all add fuel to your get-slim fire by setting you up for success. Stock up on these essentials and you’ll start to see the scale tip in your favor. Once you’re armed and ready to finally win the battle of the bulge, also be sure to scope out these 50 Little Things Making You Fatter and Fatter so you don’t undo your hard work!
Etekcity Digital Body Weight Scale
First thing’s first: Get a scale! It’ll show you where your journey began and help you on the way, according to a Cornell University study. Researchers found that people who weigh themselves daily and track the results are more likely to lose weight and keep it off than those who check in less often. The method “forces you to be aware of the connection between your eating and your weight,” senior author David Levitsky said in a press statement. “We think the scale also acts as a priming mechanism, making you conscious of food and enabling you to make choices that are consistent with your weight.
2. Insulated Water Bottle
Hydro Flask Vacuum-Insulated, Stainless Steel Water Bottle, 24-Ounce
Staying hydrated can help you fill up, fend off false feelings of hunger, keeps your metabolism humming, reduces bloat, and saves you hundreds of calories when you choose it over other sugary drinks. The easiest way to ensure you’re getting enough water is by always carrying a water bottle with you. Your best bet is an insulated bottle like Hydro Flask’s that can keep your drinks cool for hours while you go about your day.
3. Food Journal
Moleskine Classic Colored Notebook
We’re not saying you have to count calories and record your food intake religiously, but keeping track of what you put in your body may help you realize where unnecessary calories are coming from and make it easy to see what you can cut out. Plus, having to document that you ate a donut makes you less likely to go for it, now doesn’t it? In the first days of your diet, record in your journal how certain foods make you feel. Do you feel bloated after eating grains? Constantly feel congested after a scoop of ice cream? These might be signs of a food intolerance or allergy, which could be contributing to extra inflammation, a weakened immune system, and weight gain.
4. Alarm Clock
ZHPUAT Morning Clock with Temperature Monitoring
Time to rise and shine! Research shows dieters who stick to the same sleep-wake cycles are more rested and less apt to have their diets undermined by exhaustion-induced munchies. In fact, some studies have found that sleep-deprived people consume about 300 more calories a day than their well-rested counterparts. Yikes! Counteract that by setting an alarm clock for the same time each day, even on weekends or days off. And yes, blue-light-emitting phones that disrupt sleep hormone production don’t count. We like this model by ZHPUAT because it also lets you know the temperature in your room!
5. Meal Prep Containers
AmazonBasics Bento Lunch Box
Weekly meal planning can ensure you gain control of your overall food intake. The most successful dieters work with a rotation of just a few go-to meals and snacks—because when your tummy is rumbling, spontaneously figuring out what you should eat typically ends with grabbing the closest item you can grab (healthy or not). Prep your meals and snacks in advance on Sunday and store in these portable, compartmentalized, portion-control containers so you can always have ready-to-eat healthy foods with you. Get started with check out our Realistic Flat-Belly Meal Plan for a Healthy Week. (Psst! We even reuse leftovers!)
6. Probiotic Supplements
MegaFood MegaFlora Plus
One reason many people tend to regain lost weight is because they don’t take the time to mend their gut health. Years of eating inflammatory foods like fats and sugars can derail your belly biome to the point where it actually causes weight gain. Contrarily, mending your gut may help the pounds melt off: a study in the British Journal of Nutrition discovered that when obese women were given a daily probiotic supplement on top of a calorie-restricted diet to lose weight, their average weight loss was significantly higher than women who followed the same restricted diet but were given a placebo. Our go-to brand is MegaFood’s supplement with a variety of probiotic strains or check out these 14 Healthy Foods With Natural Probiotics.
7. Chopping Board
Epicurean Recycled Poly Cutting Board
Totally Bamboo 3 Piece Bamboo Cutting Board Set
Successful weight loss starts at the home. And that means it’s time to get cookin’! Start with the basics and stock up on cutting boards. For raw meats, we’re fans of Epicurean’s Recycled Plastic Cutting Boards as it can be dish washed often. Not only do they keep bacteria out, but they’re also made from recycled milk jugs—so they’re eco-friendly, too! As for your fruits and veggies, go with a set of bamboo cutting boards like those from Totally Bamboo. The soft material is easy on your knives, and because the plant is fast growing, also eco-friendly!
8. Chef’s Knife
Shun Chef’s Knife, 8-Inch
Speaking of knives, be sure you have a good one! With all that chopping of fresh fruits and veggies, you’re about to do, you’ll be happy you have a knife as good as Shun’s.
9. Oil Spritzer
Misto Brushed Aluminum Olive Oil Sprayer
Although there are a number of flat-belly healthy oils we love, the key to using any oil is moderation—especially since a tablespoon is around 120 calories. A Misto makes it easy to spritz an entire dish without overdoing it.
10. Travel Mug
Contigo Autoseal West Loop Stainless Steel Travel Mug, 20 oz
We know you rely on your java on a daily basis, but dessert-like coffee creations have no place in your get-slim program. These frankencoffees can contain as much as 600 calories and 88 grams of sugar when you order a large size—Starbucks S’mores Frappuccino, we’re looking at you. Save yourself the empty calories without losing out on that energizing jolt of caffeine by brewing your own cup of joe (or steeping a bag of tea) at home. Carry it to work in this leak-proof travel mug by Contigo!
11. Lunch Box
PackIt Freezable Uptown Bag
Ordering lunch out every day is not only a waste of money, but it also puts a significant portion of your nutritional decisions in the hands of restaurants and fast food joints, who don’t keep your weight-loss goals a priority. Save cash and calories by brown-bagging lunch to work every day and carrying homemade snacks instead of picking up energy-dense junk from the store. We’re fans of Pack-It’s fashionable lunch bag that comes complete with its own cooling pack (and doubles as a great handbag)! Just throw it in the freezer, take it out to pack your lunch, and it’ll stay chilled for up to 10 hours.
12. A New Hobby
You Can Draw in 30 Days: The Fun, Easy Way to Learn to Draw in One Month or Less
Often enough, people eat out of boredom rather than actually physically being hungry. To prevent that from happening, learn to distract food cravings by taking a walk outside, calling a friend, or indulging in a new hobby—like drawing! When you begin to hack away at the tie between emotions and food, you’ll start to see a change in your lifestyle, and it’ll be easier to make healthy food choices moving forward. You can even use your food journal to start doodling drawings of new veggies, like a carrot!
13. Workout Shoes
For Women: Asics Gel-Quick WK 2 Walking Shoe
For Men: New Balance Men’s MW411V2 Walking Shoe
Your weight loss journey will take many steps, so make sure you’ve got the right shoes for the job! So when you’re walking for weight loss grab a new pair of sneakers and hit the pavement. These picks will keep your feet feeling great, even if you’re working on upping your mileage.
14. Yoga Mat
Gaiam Print Premium Yoga Mat
This exercise tool isn’t just for namaste-ing at sunrise. You can also use it to do ab work, plyometrics, or push-ups. And, perhaps most importantly, use it to “breathe!” David Zinczenko, author of Zero Belly Smoothies tells us, “Stress is a powerful trigger for weight gain. When you’re stressed, your body increases its production of the fat-storing hormone, cortisol, and can even wreak havoc on your calorie-burning metabolism.” When you feel yourself pulling out your hair, reach for your mat, do a couple down dogs, and practice your breathing.
15. Warm-Temperature Light Bulbs
GE Align PM Lighting Bulb
As we’ve mentioned before, sleep is key to successful weight loss. And one of the major factors in hurting a restful night of ZZZ’s is the light from our phones and computers. The blue light emitted from these electronic devices has been found to inhibit melatonin production. Melatonin is the hormone responsible for regulating sleep rhythms. Besides keeping your electronics out of the bedroom, you can also invest in light bulbs like this one from GE. It emits a warm light that bathes your room in a warm glow so as to not disrupt your melatonin production before bed. To help you snooze better, also read up on these 30 Things to Do 30 Minutes Before Bed to Lose Weight.
16. Smaller Plates
AmazonBasics 6-Piece Dinner Plate Set
A typical portion of food on a large plate may appear smaller than it really is, which may trick your brain into thinking you need more food. Invest in a set of plates, like these from AmazonBasics, which are smaller than average and can make food servings appear significantly larger. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that this tactic tricks your mind into thinking you’re about to consume more calories than you really are, suggesting that feeling full may be based on the perception of food quantity rather than solely based on caloric intake. If you eat off large plates on the reg, it might be one of the 30 Reasons You’re Always Hungry.
17. Stop Watch
Timex Ironman Sleek 50 Classic Mid-Size Watch, with Lap Counter and Countdown Interval Timer
Time to work out! This Timex has everything you’ll need to get in shape: a lap counter, a countdown interval timer that repeats for however many sets you need, an alarm clock, and of course, it tells the time.
OXO Good Grips Handheld Spiralizer
Swap out those noodles for zoodles! A spiralizer turns almost any veggie into faux noodles with just the crank of a handle. This swap will save you 50 calories per cup and provides you with an extra serving of veggies in place of traditionally nutrient-lacking, refined-flour-based pasta. Once you toss it with sauce and toppings, you’ll never know the difference. We like mixing zoodles with pesto, blistered tomatoes, and chopped grilled chicken, and our spiralized carrots with a spicy sriracha and soy peanut sauce. This is one swap of 36 Easy Ways to Cut 50+ Calories.
19. Fruit Bowl
DecoBros Wire Fruit Tree Bowl with Banana Hanger
Bad diet decisions happen when you’re (1) hungry and (2) unprepared. Instead, keep a bowl of fruit on your counter to serve as an easy, visible reminder of your healthy food choices. Your new favorite grab-and-go snack will help you up your cancer-fighting antioxidant intake and enough fiber and water to stave off diet-derailing hunger pangs.
KitchenAid 5-Speed Blender
Who knew rapid weight loss could be at the touch of a button? Blenders are a game-changing appliance that every time-strapped dieter needs. Not only can they bring together a nutrient-dense smoothie in seconds, they can also be used to mix up healthy soups, protein shakes, pestos, simple sauces, nut milks, and chia puddings.
21. Protein Powder
Vega One All in One Nutritional Shake Tub, French Vanilla
Don’t let picking out a protein powder feel like it needs as much skill and insight as a wine connoisseur at a Michelin rated restaurant. We’ve got you covered. We like to go with a vegan protein powder, like this one by Vega because plant protein is more slimming and less inflammatory than the milk-derived products. Vega is made up of six servings of greens, probiotics, antioxidants and 50 percent of your daily intake of food-based vitamins and minerals. Whether you like throwing it in your smoothies, shakes, or a fresh batch of cookies, protein powder is a great way to up your intake of the hunger-quelling, muscle-boosting macronutrient.