There are certain tools I discovered on my weight loss and maintenance journey that I cannot live without. Below are 19 tools I use regularly that have helped me be successful. Some of them are a lot of fun and make cooking interesting. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
One of the most important things to learn about when you’re trying to lose weight is portion sizes. You need the proper tools to do that and that includes measuring cups. I have four or five different sets of measuring cups in my kitchen. In fact, we have an entire drawer dedicated to nothing but measuring cups and spoons because we use so many so often. I have both plastic and metal measuring cups. I prefer the metal ones because they tend to last longer and not lose their shape in the dishwasher. Plastic can melt and bend in the high heat from the dishwasher.
Like measuring cups, measuring spoons are essential, particularly tablespoons. I think I use 3 or 4 tablespoon-sized measuring spoons per day (if not per meal). I have many sets of measuring spoons, some better than others. I find that metal measuring spoons tend to last longer and hold their shape. Plastic measuring spoons can get bent in the dishwasher from the high heat. I have many sets of these metal measuring spoons and won’t use anything else.
3. Food Scale
While measuring cups and spoons are important, a food scale is a critical tool for weight loss success. Some things you need to measure by weight, not volume, in order to get a correct serving size, e.g. chips. I am very careful to make sure I’m not short-changing myself or over-estimating portion sizes and a food scale is the best way to do so. My food scale lives permanently on my kitchen counter.
I meal plan and pack lunches for work every day. I have a variety of containers in many different sizes to accommodate the various types of dishes I like to pack. I use the meal serving size containers as my “standard” meal container. They fit perfectly in my lunch box for work. They also work well for leftovers as they hold individual serving sizes. I also love 2-ounce containers like you get with take-out for dressings, dips, and sauces. I buy them in bulk so I always have them to take to work in my lunch.
Years ago I bought a medical-grade scale from Health-o-Meter because I wanted to make sure things were accurate. It was expensive but I was all about exact weights. I recently bought the Fitbit Aria scale because it syncs automatically with the Fitbit app on my phone which helps with accuracy when I forget to write it down.
I try to drink a lot of water every day and to do so I need a big cup that keeps my drinks cold. I have several of these double walled Contigo cups, I use them at work to fill up with water throughout the day. The double walled design helps to keep drinks colder longer. I use them so frequently that even my neighbors had expressed interest in them during our weekly neighborhood happy hour. I got them two because I love them so much that I want others to love them as well.
Weight Watchers has been my go-to weight loss/maintenance plan for years and I will be a faithful fan of it as long as its around. I love the app on my phone because I can access it anywhere, track what I’m eating, look up any food I can imagine, and find support from the Connect community online.
I am a big coffee drinker, I look forward to it every morning. It’s low in Weight Watchers points and feels a bit decadent to me. I have one cup first thing then another for my drive to work. As a result I needed a fabulous travel coffee mug to keep my coffee hot during my commute. My husband and I have tried many different coffee mugs over the years and have found two that we both like.
My personal favorite is the Yeti Travel Coffee Tumbler but he likes the lid of the travel mug to be one that screws on and the Yeti’s lid does not.His favorite (and my second favorite) is the Thermos Travel Coffee Tumbler. It keeps coffee hot for awhile and has a spill-proof lid.
When I met my husband he had an electric tea kettle. He lived in Europe for several years and got in the habit of using one for boiling water for tea, cooking etc. When he came back to the States he bought one immediately. We have had one ever since although when we got married we “upgraded” to a Breville Tea Kettle as his was on its last legs. I use the kettle to boil water for tea, vermicelli noodles (for Shrimp summer rolls), etc. It has proven to be very useful.
At first I thought I was nuts for buying a travel food scale but it has really come in handy. I keep it in my purse and have used it a lot more than I thought I would. I use it a lot at work. If I’ve forgotten my lunch or have planned for it, I can go get rice in my office’s cafeteria and measure it at my desk using my scale. This is a good example of where weighing food is more accurate than measuring. If I measure rice with a measuring spoon I will stuff that thing so full it’s bursting (and also about 1-1/2 times the actual size of the serving). I have found weighing rice to be much more accurate.
11. Lunch Bag
I am always on the lookout for a good lunch bag. There are many options out there but the one I’m using currently is my favorite to date. I bring Sodastream diet Ginger Ale to work in 1/2 liter bottles and this lunch bag has a section for soda cans or small bottles like the Sodastream ones. The main storage compartment also holds up to three serving sized containers. I’m never without any kind of fruit or vegetable I would want in addition to my main meal. Until I find or make a better one, this is my favorite lunch bag to date.
We eat a good bit of tofu in my house and a good tofu press is essential for making tofu dishes. If I’m going to make something like Kung Pao Tofu Zoodles (recipe coming soon), I’ll put the tofu in to press in the morning and it’ll be ready by the time I get home from work. In a pinch I can press it once I get home from work but find the longer I press it, the better it is. I use the TofuXpress Tofu Press from Sur La Table.
13. Pineapple Corer
I love pineapple but hate cutting it because it’s so messy. I found this incredible pineapple corer based on someone’s suggestion on Weight Watchers Connect. It makes cutting a pineapple super easy with minimal mess. If you’re a pineapple fan I highly recommend this corer.
Microplaners are great kitchen tools. You can use them to grate cheese, ginger, spices, etc. I use mine a lot with ginger. It’s a wonderful tool and no kitchen should be without one.
I marinate a good bit of fish and find that this bag holder makes it so much easier. I’ve attempted using hands and teeth to hold the bags open but that gets messy quickly. I’ve also used this holder to put cake batter in plastic bags to “pipe” it into muffin tins. It helps to control serving sizes without spilling it everywhere like you would with a spoon. The plastic bag holder is a great addition to your kitchen tools.
16. Egg Cooker
On the Weight Watchers Freestyle plan, eggs are zero Points. As a result we eat a lot of eggs and were looking for ways to make cooking them faster and easier. We use this egg cooker to hard boil, soft boil, and poach eggs. It’s quick, clean, and requires minimal effort.
17. Instant Pot
I love my Instant Pot. I was skeptical at first that I would use it enough but those worries were quickly dismissed. I use it a lot for cooking rice, but also use it to steam artichokes, spaghetti squash, acorn squash, really any kind of squash. You can make soups, stews, cook meats, even make yogurt if you want to. It’s a very versatile tool and makes cooking a lot easier, especially on weekday nights.
The Spiralizer is another tool I didn’t know if I’d use much but took that chance. I’m glad I did because I love this thing. I make zucchini noodles, or zoodles, all the time. You can use them in place of or in addition to pasta. Either way the zoodles bulk up the meal and are zero Points to boot! I also use the Spiralizer for things like butternut squash or sweet potatoes which I then bake like I would french fries. The come out crispy with just enough sweetness. It’s a great way to get in your vegetables.
My husband bought me this nonstick frying pan for Christmas knowing we were eating so many more eggs. This pan is the best thing I’ve ever used. It’s nonstick and we both use it daily for omelets. We use it so much we don’t ever put it away anymore. It lives permanently on top of the stove. I can’t say enough good things about this pan.
There are many more tools I use in the kitchen on a regular basis however these 19 are the ones that get used almost daily. Many times are success is enhanced by having the right tools to help us along the way!