With any diet and fitness routine, you need to know your starting point in order to track your progress. Personal trainer, Travis Steffen recommends a body fat analyzer. He says it’s a better indicator of your body composition than a scale.
“Weight can be really deceptive because it’s comprised of not only fat, but lean muscle, bone, organs, blood, everything.”
But don’t throw away your scale. Used in conjunction with a body fat analyzer, it’s still a good way to track your progress and manage hydration.
“Before you work out, step on the scale,” says Steffen. “After you work out, step on the scale again.”
Each ounce of fluid lost during exercise should be replaced with water or a sport’s drink.
“Hydrating more often than you think you need to can control your appetite, control cravings and control portions during mealtime.”
Next on the list: A measuring tape. Again, this will give you a better idea of your true progress.
“Especially when you first start working out, you start putting on lean tissue while losing fat. But it weighs more than fat does, so it’s deceptive. People may think they’re gaining weight.”
The next tool is geared toward your mind, says Steffen as he pulls out his I-Pod.
“This symbolizes getting your mind on something else while you’re working out.”
Steffen calls it cognitive disassociation. I you’re listening to music or your favorite program, you’re less likely to think about the pain you may be experiencing during the last ten minutes on the treadmill.
“Yesterday I ran two miles farther than I should have because I wanted to finish up the episode of American Pickers I was watching.”
And last but not least, it’s the sugar free gum.
“I know you’ve been wondering about this.”
Keep it in your desk drawer, in your car or near the T.V. – wherever you tend to snack on impulse.
“A lot of people have a problem with eating when they’re bored or for something to do.”
The gum will keep your mouth busy and allow you to pay attention to your biological hunger.
“By that I mean what your body actually needs instead of what you want.”
You’ll also have fresh breath as you make your way toward your fitness goal.
Click here if you'd like to learn more about Travis Steffen.