Weight loss - the tools for success

Permanent weight loss is the aim for anyone who is not content with their current size and shape. It's worth remembering that exercise and a healthy balanced diet must be part of any weight loss program but if you are eating more calories than you are burning off the result will be stored fat. Of course, it's not easy losing weight and a great way to help your dieting is to use a variety of weight loss devices, such as step pedometers, fat monitors and calorie counters. That way you can set goals and monitor your progress. This will give you the encouragement you need to carry on with your weight loss program.

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Calorie trackers are electronic devices that help you keep track of the calories of all the food you eat. Some are so sophisticated they can even track fats, carbohydrates, cholesterol, sodium, sugar, fibre and protein intake. A small mobile calorie counter will usually have a large pre-installed database of food types and their calorie count. These devices will also be able to calculate restaurant dishes.

Fat loss or body monitors are hand-held gadgets that use micro-electrical currents to measure your body fat.The fat is measured via a small current that passes the body where it meets resistance and that measure is what is used to make the body fat calculation. This will allow you to determine what percentage of your body weight is fat and which is lean tissue. This way you can track the progress of your diet. As a rough guide, a body fat of 15 to 18% is normal for men and 20 to 25%.

Pedometers count steps. Step counting is a great way to keep active and doesn't require you to be super-fit or spend cash on gyms or expensive exercise equipment. You can aim to increase your steps day by day. The more complex pedometers calculate and display other information such as distance, calories burned, speed, elapsed time, steps per minute, and function as a stopwatch and alarm. Some pedometers even have fancy features such as talking, playing music or reading your heart rate.

Calipers are used for a skin fold measurement. Under your skin there is a layer of subcutaneous fat, and the percentage of total body fat can be measured by taking the skin fold at selected points on the body with a pair of callipers. There are three to nine different measurement sites on the body: triceps, subscapula and biceps.

Scales are the most basic and common way to determine your weight. Things have come quite a long way since the days when you put a penny in a machine at the local swimming baths though. These days there are gadgets that measure your weight, calculate your body fat and BMI, then chart and graph your info.
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