Weight Loss Accessories
When it comes to working out for weight loss, more often than not, people are concerned more about the bigger gym equipment than the smaller equipment to help them achieve their goals. While this type of equipment, such as treadmills, elliptical machines, rowing machines, and air bikes, can help you lose weight and tone up, it is just as important to take a look at the smaller workout accessories. Not only do these lightweight weight loss accessories serve to make your gym life more comfortable, but they are also functional enough to assist you in achieving your body goals.
What are weight loss accessories?
Weight loss accessories are also known as fitness/workout accessories. They include the range from clothes to workout equipment and are all useful in making your workouts more efficient, prevent injury, and in some cases, even adding more resistance to your exercises.
What are the best weight loss accessories for you?
Calorie Counting app
The first and most effective part of a weight loss journey is your food intake. Making healthier food options will not be effective for your goals if you do not reduce your caloric intake. According to the CDC, for gradual and steady weight loss, you should aim to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week (16).
This in part can be done by cutting your calories by 500 to 1000 cals a day (3500 to 7000 calories a week) (8). At the beginning of your weight loss journey, it is important to have a reputable calorie counting app to help you keep track of your food intake. Such an aid will be useful in keeping you within your recommended energy intake for the day, helping you shed those extra pounds.
A Fitness Tracker
While some people think that fitness trackers are not important, we believe that there is enough use of them to prove their worth as an investment for efficiency in losing weight. Investing in one of these weight loss accessories could actually be beneficial to your fitness goals. Some of the benefits of these trackers include
1. Motivate you to move – Most trackers can be set to vibrate on a schedule and will then vibrate if you have been sitting for too long, reminding you to move. This is a good thing for people who work office jobs or have a habit of spending a lot of time in the seat while online or watching their big screen tv.
2. Tracking distance – Since they are fitted with a GPS tracker, they are especially beneficial for runners and cyclists. You can easily track your progress, which can motivate you to run/cycle further and in less time.
3. Automatically logs your workouts – Whether you are running, walking, going up stairs, or cycling, the device automatically picks this up and logs it in. This is an especially cool feature if you want to keep track of your steps for the day.
4. Data sharing – Sometimes, people find it easier to work out in groups; this system is a fantastic motivational and accountability system. Trackers can be set with a data sharing option that allows you to share your progress with anyone you are doing a challenge with, or your physician (10).
Weight lifting belts
You have probably seen this belt on the guy in your gym who looks like he can break a large watermelon over his biceps. Though it may seem like this is for avid strongmen only, the use of this belt is not limited to professional weightlifters. Weight lifting belts are used to reduce the stress on your lower back and prevent back hyperextension while lifting in an upright position and doing overhead lifts, respectively.
The weight belt compresses the abdominal cavity contents, providing more support in front of the bones of the lower back. Its best use is for when doing exercises such as squats, deadlifts, and military presses (17). It is important to note that this belt should not be confused with a waist trainer.
While waist trainers have gained popularity in recent years, they are not the one of the kinds of weight loss accessories that you should invest in. Not only do they not give you better posture, an hourglass, or even aid in weight loss, but they pose tremendous health risks, such as breathing problems, rib fractures, shifted internal organs, as well as causing acid reflux and other digestive issues (9).
Body fat weighing scale
When many people are looking to lose weight, the first thing they do is run out to purchase is a bathroom scale. This is understandable because, after all, who does not want to wake up and see that the pounds are dropping? However, standard bathroom scales might not be the best weight loss accessories to monitor your progress (5). When you first start to work out, you shed fat and begin to gain muscle.
Muscle and fat weigh the same, but muscle is denser than fat tissue, meaning that you might look smaller but weigh more. Anyone who does not realize this could be disheartened by thinking that their diet and exercise are not working. Since regular bathroom scales cannot differentiate between fat, muscle, blood, or organs, it is best to get a body fat weighing scale. Seeing the percentage of your body fat going down is better than wondering how to reduce your weight.
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Water is so important in weight loss. It is known as a natural appetite suppressant, increases calorie-burning, helps muscles function, improves connective tissues, joints move correctly, and keeps one’s organs working effectively. It is also important to note that drinking water directly helps with burning fat. Without it, the body cannot properly metabolize stored fat and carbohydrates (6).
Bluetooth earbuds or wireless headphones
Hands up if you have a workouts playlist saved on your phone. Some people prefer hip-hop, while others are more inclined to listen to upbeat pop music while working out. Despite your personal preferences, we can certainly agree that good music can motivate you and so positively impacts your workout. Good bluetooth earbuds or wireless headphones can be a good idea as you do not have to battle with loose wires while doing your cardio or lifting some free weights.
Armband phone holder
These armbands are probably one of the most useful weight loss accessories for women. Much of women’s workout gear does not always have pockets. Since not everyone has the luxury of having their phone off even during a workout, this could mean missing an important call from work, children, or nanny. If this does not happen to be something you need to worry about, these armbands are also useful as a safe slip-proof place to keep your phone as you listen to music while in the gym or out on a run.
Yoga or exercise mat
While some people don’t think that these mats are an important part of your home workout or gym routine, we believe that it is a good idea for you to invest in one. It provides stability on most slippery surfaces, adds some extra padding between your body and the ground, and conveniently sets you up with a clean surface for you to work out on. No matter how well your gym is cleaned, you really do not want to be rolling around on that floor. It is also important to note that the difference between a yoga and exercise mat is the thickness, with the yoga mat being thinner than the exercise one.
Most people prefer using apps to log in their food as it is a quick, simple, and effective way of doing so. However, some of these apps can be limiting in what you can add on them. A food journal, on the other hand, can be whatever you want it to be.
Benefits of having a physical food journal include noting down what, how much, and when you are eating. The benefits go further in that, this system lets you include factors such as where you are when you eat, what else you are doing as you eat, your feelings during this time, and who you are eating with (27).
This helps you track your eating habits, enabling you to easily identify your unhealthy food habits
This might be an odd item for inclusion in a weight loss accessories list, but these containers can make a huge difference in your weight loss. Meal prepping is one of the most sure-fire ways to keep you from reaching for the ‘wrong’ foods and snacks.
After a long day of work, no one wants to think about having to cook, so having ready to eat meals will prevent you from reaching for your phone and ordering that calorie-packed pizza. Some of the most popular meal prepping methods include make-ahead meals, batch cooking, individually portioned meals, and food prep aka ready-to-cook ingredients (14).
Insulated lunch box/bag
This is especially important for anyone who does not work from home. During lunch, most people will make their way to a restaurant, fast food cafes, or a food truck to find their lunch. While you might choose what looks like a healthy order off the menu, more often than not, these meals are full of saturated fats and sugars.
Insulated bags will help you keep your healthy homemade meals hot until whenever lunchtime rolls around. Plus, with this system, you will know exactly how many calories you have consumed for the meal.
Portion control is an important part of losing weight. It has been suggested that bigger plates make food look smaller, which leads to overeating since you pile more food on your plate. Swapping your usual plate for a smaller one will influence you to eat smaller portions and thus fewer calories (1).
A powerful blender
Green smoothies have become a massive trend in weight loss and fitness. Since these smoothies are made up of mainly fruits and vegetables, they are a good way for many people to consume their micronutrients. While micronutrients are not highly regarded in weight loss, it is still best to ‘eat the rainbow’ for a healthy daily dose of minerals and vitamins (21).
Whey and plant-based protein powders
While these powders cannot be considered as the magic answer to weight loss, consuming a protein shake a day is a great way to reduce your calorie intake. A protein shake can be used as a meal replacement, and since proteins keep you fuller longer, they keep you from snacking as a side benefit, helping you shed the extra pounds by keeping your total caloric intake on target. Not only do they decrease your hunger and appetite, but they may also increase your metabolism, help with muscle growth, prevent muscle loss, and metabolic slowdown from dieting (12).
Weighted jump ropes
Skipping ropes are amazing weight loss accessories that anyone can use to lose weight no matter their level of fitness. Jumping rope for just 30 minutes a day can help you burn anywhere from 300 to 444 calories depending on your weight (4). Using a weighted jump rope instead of an ordinary rope can increase the number of calories burned and provides you with an upper body workout. This is due to the extra weight provided by a heavier rope (23).
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Many people do not consider yoga as a way to lose weight, but depending on the kind of yoga that you do, you could lose anywhere from 180 to 460 calories in an hour (11). Yoga straps will help with some of the complicated stretches in this exercise. Even if you are not a yoga practitioner, you can use the straps for stretching to increase the range of motion in your joints, decrease the risk of injury during exercise, and reduce stress (18).
Also known as wrist straps, they are great for weight lifters as they help stabilize the wrist to prevent hyperextending and promote proper wrist placement under the bar. They can also improve the size and strength of a certain muscle group. Wrist straps are used for exercises such as deadlifts, barbell rows, rack pulls, and more (15).
Ankle and wrist weights
As the name suggests, these weights are worn around the ankles or wrists. The former are beneficial for exercises that target the leg and hip muscles as they place a greater weight on the targeted muscles as they have to work harder to move a heavier weight against gravity leading to greater muscle activation. As for wrist weights, these are a fantastic option for anyone dealing with a weak grip caused by arthritis or stroke and can’t hold dumbbells (22).
These look like battle armour vests with a broad strap that wraps around your middle to keep the vest in place. They are best used when doing cardio and bodyweight exercises as they help increase your heart rate, making you burn calories that much faster (26). Please note that these specific weight loss accessories should not exceed 10% of your body weight for safety reasons.
Working out, while it is beneficial for weight loss, can be quite taxing on your body. Since not everyone can afford to get a massage after a workout, getting a foam roller can be a way of giving yourself a massage. While these rollers cannot be considered direct weight loss accessories, they are still important. They help you relieve muscle tightness, soreness, and inflammation, and increase your joint range of motion. Sore and tight muscles can affect your ability to work out the next day, making you fall off your schedule (25).
Suspension resistance bands
If you are looking for a killer workout for weight loss, then it might be time to introduce some suspension training to your training. These weight loss accessories are not only portable, but they are fantastic for bodyweight exercises and provide a killer workout for your core muscles (19).
Compression garments come in the form of tops, tights, sleeves, and socks. While they are mostly used after surgery (medical-grade compression garments), and by endurance athletes, they can also be used for weight loss. These clothing can be used as weight loss accessories by obese/overweight people and beginners who are new to exercise.
They not only compress your muscles against your frame, minimizing micro muscle tears caused by muscle vibration and oscillation, but they also aid in muscle recovery by enhancing circulation during and after exercise (7).
Weight lifting gloves
These are amazing weight loss accessories as they (20)
- Prevent you from getting blisters and calluses
- Relieve pressure placed on your hands when lifting heavy weights
- Improve your grip on weights
- Offer wrist support when lifting heavy weights
These bands are all the rage these days, and they are the perfect weight loss accessories as they are an affordable, convenient, and lightweight tool to train all your major muscles. Not only do they include resistance training to your routine, but they can also be used for multiple exercises, and they boost bodyweight-only workouts (13).
Not having the proper footwear can lead to many foot-related injuries such as ankle strains and fractures, bunions, and corns. However, not all exercises require the same kind of shoe (3)
1. Runners – They have special shoes designed for them. They reduce the impact of each step by providing a specific cushion for the heel and forefoot.
2. Walking shoes – They have a heavier, round, and stiff heel which provides support for the heels and toes
3. Weight lifting – It is best to look for a shoe with a flat and sturdy base
These are the perfect weight loss accessories for men and women. A gym duffel bag is the most convenient way to keep all your workout clothes and other gym necessities. When correctly packed, they make your life easier as you never have to stop in the morning, or after work, to look for where your outfits and other accessories are.
For married couples, their rings are among the most important physical signs of their commitment to each other. However, these rings are quite fragile and can slip off and get lost or get dented while working out. Even worse, your precious ring can lead to ring avulsion, which can strip off and damage finger tissues, muscles, tendons, and bones. To avoid this, you can trade-in your expensive wedding ring for a silicone one which not only looks like an actual ring, but it is also safer for you while in the gym (24).
What are the best weight loss accessories for men?
All of the above weight loss accessories are all good for men. If you are looking for a gift idea for a friend, husband, or boyfriend who loves fitness or is looking to lose some extra pounds, any of the above products can make a great present.
What are some weight loss accessories for women?
- Sports bra – This clothing item may just be the most important thing for any woman looking to start working out. Bouncing breasts in the gym will not only cause stares, but they can also be distracting to you and quite painful, especially if you have a large chest.
- Hair ties – Women with longer hair can find it hard to workout with hair falling all over their faces or sticking to them once they start sweating. Pack of hair ties are simple yet thoughtful weight loss accessories.
- Bag organizers – For many women, their lives are in their handbags, and the same goes for their gym duffle bag. A simple organizer can make a huge difference to her.
- Workout tights with pockets – Unlike men’s clothes, women’s clothing rarely come with pockets. Tights with pockets are great accessories as they can help with somewhere to store your phone.
Do weighted accessories work for weight loss?
Yes, they do. While most of them might not directly affect weight loss, like free weights weight machines, they inadvertently help you shed the extra pounds indirectly.
What weight loss accessories are most helpful?
All weight loss accessories are considered as helpful and they will positively impact your weight loss journey. However, if you unsure about which products to get, we suggest that you start with the following
- Calorie counting app
- Exercise/yoga mat
- Resistance bands
- Proper footwear
- Fitness tracker
- Meal prep containers
These are perfect cost-effective fitness accessories for any beginner. You can slowly, with time, add to your collection.
The best way for you to do this is to look at what you need to do to lose weight. Look for options that fit within your budget, and those that will be most beneficial to your chosen exercise routine and diet.
The Bottom Line: Should you invest in weight loss accessories?
Yes, you should. These items may seem small and insignificant, but in the long run, they will make a massive difference in your weight loss journey. After all, losing weight is not only about the gym, but also about diet, dedication, and in some cases, convenience.
Remember to just buy the essentials at first and not to splurge on getting everything on this list. If you are still unsure of what accessories to get, speak to a trainer at your local gym, and they will direct you on the best things to buy. Be sure to speak to a doctor before making any changes to your diet and exercise.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any medical conditions. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
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