Tools of the trade

There are several items that made our new lifestyle successful.  The bottom line is this:  if you’re going to use a Calorie Tracker (we use an iPhone app called Tap&Track) to watch your daily intake and if you are going to track your fitness goals then you really need to be able to measure out your food and your body measurements.

Here are a few items we found to help measure food weight, body size, and body fat. We even took these items on the road with us and they endured 4 months of non-stop touring.

The measurements don’t lie!  Since this tape has a little peg that locks in, we get very exact measurements without having to grow a third arm.  It has a locking mechanism and a release button that makes it a little easier to use in tough places…like around your bicep as your trying to work the tape with your weak hand!

Like many tape measures it’s compact nature makes it really easy to throw in a backpack\man purse and take on the road with you.  We found ours for $5.06 at Amazon.com:  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000G7YW7Y/ref=ox_ya_os_product

Outside of seeing results people use the whole body measurement tracker to ensure that their diet and exercise routine is in fact doing what they want whether that be to lean up and lose inches or to build mass.  We track our size every two to three weeks to see if we need to adjust our diet and\or our weight\reps\routine.

This little gem helps us keep track of our Body Fat.  We take the measurements then enter them in a website that helps us with the calculations (Linear Software).  We got ours for $4.89 at Amazon.com:  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000G7YW74/ref=ox_ya_os_product

And again this is huge in helping me determine where I’m at with my diet and exercise routine.  In late October of 2011 I got down to 10.89% body fat and seemed to plateau there through mid-November.  Strange thing was, I still lost some size (thank you MyoTape!).  Between listening to my body, reading some articles at Beachbody.com and Teamripped.com, and logging my numbers I decided that the best course of action was to switch from the “Fat Shredder” (50% protein, 30% carbohydrates, 20% fat) and move up to the next level in the P90X Nutrition guide that would give me 10% more carbohydrates daily (thus cutting %10 protein making my overal daily percentages 40% protein, 40% carbohydrates, 20% fat) along with bumping my caloric intake up just a slight bit.  End result:  I ended my plateau because I simply needed more energy so I could not only work harder in my workouts but, in this case, finish them without excessive breaks!

This is how we weight out our portions at home and on the road (yes in the truck).  Although it’s a little touchy when going down the road hitting all the bumps.  Yet this little dude is durable!  We picked ours up for $25 at Amazon.com:  http://www.amazon.com/EatSmart-Precision-Digital-Kitchen-Silver/dp/B001N07KUE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315594341&sr=8-1

It just doesn’t make much since to log your daily caloric intake if you can’t give an honest representation of the food you are eating.  For instance, the first time I loaded the scale with 4 ounces of chicken breast I was like, “holy smokes!”.  I never would have guessed that 4 ounces of chicken was THAT much meat!  My point is this:  we could be taking in too many or too few calories and thus hampering all the hard work and effort that we are already putting into this.  Don’t let $25 keep you from maximizing your efforts!

I know I’ve hammered this point over and over but I’m just making the assumption that those of you reading this are made up of the same hard headed materials I am made up of…that’s why I went for a whole year doing either Insanity, P90X or a P90X-Insanity Hybrid losing only 10 pounds and 8% body fat.  For crying out loud I lost nearly that much in 31 days when I put ALL the pieces together!!!  If you are going to ROCK IT…then Bring It!

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