I belong to a FREE weightloss website called Lose It! I lost my entire 25 lb excess there. It is just a place where you record all of the calories you took in by eating, the calories you expended by exercise and compared it to the budget of calories you got for the day thanks to a calculator you set for yourself. Just record what you did and you will see what you have left for the day.
You can make friends on Lose It, compare meals and recipes, encourage each other, get new ideas for ways that you can, well, Lose It. They have an excellent book on the subject, sell a scale which records your weight automatically and sends it to Lost It, and there is a souped up pedometer called a Fitbit which you can wear and it records your footsteps for the day and records how well you sleep at night, too! I don’t have the scale, I thought it was a bit steep, the Fitbit is about $100 and I have one and think it is worth it.
The most useful tool I have for measuring my weight loss and workouts is the heart rate monitor. I have a Polar FT7 and it cost me about $80. It tells me my heart rate, how many calories I burned working out, how long I spent at it, what zone I am in, and keeps all of the information stored for me for months. It probably isn’t surgically precise but if I use it every day it gives me a real good approximation of my calories in and out and lets me compare my daily activity rate. For instance, Zumba! makes me work as hard as possible. I only need one Zumba! class a day to make my calorie needs. Weightlifting, on the other hand, only usually gives me 3/4 of my calorie burn, so I supplement it with half an hour of elliptical working to get up to the minimum of 400 daily calories in exercise I need.
There are lots of different websites to help you lose weight, I just started off with Lose It! and really like it. Polar isn’t the only heart rate monitor, there is even an app on the iPhone for a heart rate monitor. Look around at your local sporting goods store and see what suits you best.Some heart rate monitors can tell what your rate is from the touch of your fingers, most are chest strap kind of devices. I like the chest strap because it’s simpler and easy to use: just wet it, strap it on and go.
I don’t get paid by (sponsored by) any of these people or institutions or any that I will be mentioning in the future. This is all unvarnished and independent things that I have learned.
I lost 25 lbs from January 2011 to June 2011. It came off about a pound a week and I have managed to keep it off for 6 months. It has not been real hard but you do have to work on it. These are the things I learned when I was going through my diet, I hope they work for you.