Getting and staying in shape doesn’t require much “stuff”; a good attitude, motivation, some breathable clothes/shoes and some heavy ass weights to move. But like any hobby you can make it as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be. Personally, I dislike wasting money so if I buy anything I make sure it’s worth the cost. I’ve compiled a page of EG’s recommended sites, products, and services that I’ve found helpful. These are my personal recommendations because after searching and trying everything these are my go-to’s.*
Kitchen needs: Food Scale, Measuring cups, Tupperware, Blender, Rice Cooker
It’s no coincidence that food and nutrition are the first things needed to be addressed. Before you can gain or lose any weight you need to understand exactly how many calories are on your plate for every meal. Go to Amazon and pick yourself up a scale and some measuring cups. You no longer just slop food onto your plate. Every meal should be measured out by scale or with measuring cups.
Which leads to the Tupperware. Meal prep can save you tons of time throughout the week so make sure to have lots of containers! Locking lids are personally my favorite. They are tough and can withstand the abuse of me dropping them constantly. If you want to go cheaper just grab yourself any old set. Just make sure you buy various sizes for your meals and you’ll be fine.
I really hesitated with putting a blender on this list but decided to include it. While non-essential, I use mine almost daily. Sometimes I’m crunched for time in the morning and use it to make a smoothie for breakfast. Other times I’ll blend up whey, oats, peanut butter, spinach, and chia seeds into my post workout shake to add some extra calories and taste. It comes in handy and has more than paid for itself time and time again.
Last but certainly not least is a good quality rice cooker. Holy Cow! For the first 5 years of training I would eat rice and chicken almost daily. Cooking rice use to be a chore and the taste and texture was god awful! That all changed when I finally decided to buy a rice cooker. Set it and forget it. I typically prepare the rice cooker as I’m on my way to the gym. When I get back the rice is fluffy and ready to eat! I cannot stress enough how amazing this is since rice is THE staple carb for both bulking and cutting diets. I recommend getting one with a brown rice and steamed veggies mode.
Phone Apps: MyFitnessPal
Now that you’re all ready in the kitchen you’re are going to need a way to track your food. MyFitnessPal has a lot of applications from macro tracking to weight trending. I use it to record what I eat throughout the day. It allows you to scan barcodes, search their extensive database, or input food macros manually. Also you can set daily goals of calories and macros to ensure your diet is on point! An absolute necessity.
Bodybuilding.com is the one stop shop for just about any supplement you need. They have great prices, quick shipping and excellent sales. I buy all my supplements from BB.com. To say that they are just a supplement store would be a huge understatement! In addition to the store there is a huge database of programs (many of which will be put to the test on this blog), articles, recipes, challenges, transformations, etc. I’m assuming we have already heard of bodybuilding.com but for those who haven’t make sure you check them out!
Gear: Shoes, Fitbit
The shoes you wear will depend on your training style. If you’re a runner then you already understand the importance of a good pair of shoes. If you just are wearing your old tennis shoes you are going to have some severe problems. Seriously! If you plan to run a lot you need to invest in a good pair of running shoes! Even if cardio isn’t your thing then grab yourself a nice pair training shoes with hard soles and a small drop (heel to toe) for squatting and deadlifting. I’ve tried just about every shoe brand on the market and I am absolutely sold by Nike’s shoes. Stylish, durable and comfortable. Currently I’m using Free 5.0 for my running shoes and Free trainers 3.0 for my lifting shoes. (Hey maybe one day I’ll write some reviews on all my training shoes)
Last but not least is a worthwhile little gizmo called Fitbit. I use the Fitbit Charge+ HR. Now counting how many steps I took in a day was sort of worthless to me but I found having my heartrate readily visible while I ran and lifted beneficial. I use the lap time feature on every run I take. It summarizes time, distance, calories burned, and avg heartrate which can be used to track your fitness level and go work towards improving. Finally, the sleeps monitor is very informative! I ended up adjusting my sleep schedule according to all the data Fitbit collected while I was catching some Zzzs.
*Full Disclosure – Some of these companies are what you call an affiliate link, others aren’t. In no way, shape, or form would commission based links affects who is on this page or any EG post. These are my essential products and services that have proven themselves to me and I only advocate products and services that I actually use myself. If you would like to help out the blog please use the referring links but remember, it is fully optional.