Which gadgets can really help you lose weight this winter?

If you've been struggling to lose weight for a while, you may find changing your approach can be useful. One of the ways of doing this is to add new tools and gadgets both inside and outside the home, allowing you to try something new and fresh, which can hopefully change your results.

In the home

During the winter, it can be quite difficult to find the motivation to cook, especially after a long day at work. With the long, dark nights, it is all so very easy to find yourself reaching for a ready-meal from the freezer or to order a takeaway to eat in front of the TV. However, if you are trying to lose weight, takeaways and ready meals will almost certainly have an adverse effect on your efforts.

One of the most effective tools you can buy to change this is a slow cooker. You can pick a basic model up from around £15, and it allows you to have a delicious and healthy meal ready to eat when you get home from work.

Along the same lines is a soup maker, which simply needs filling with vegetables. They are a fantastic way of helping you get your five-a-day, often in under 30 minutes.

Another potentially useful tool is an air fryer, although these can be quite expensive. They allow you to cook food with little-to-no oil, and so they can be an extremely healthy way to prepare a meal. There are often deals available on air fryers, and so savvy shoppers are quite likely to find a bargain.

With all of these tools, you are quite likely to produce an excess amount of food, so having plenty of food containers will allow you to freeze your leftovers. It's also a great way of ensuring you don't need to buy ready meals in future, too.

Finally, you may want to try a smoothie-maker, although you really need to be careful what you put into it. Fruit juice drinks sold in the shops often contain really high levels of sugar so should generally be avoided, and even pure fruit juice should only be consumed in small quantities (one glass a day with a meal). Smoothies can also lead to over consumption as most people would struggle to eat everything that goes into a smoothie in one sitting, and yet can drink it without a problem. If you have raised blood sugar, you should be particularly cautious. Instead, smoothies should be a rare treat rather than an everyday occurrence.

Outside the home

While the change in weather can reduce our motivation to cook, it may have an even more adverse effect on the desire to exercise. Activity apps can help to reverse that, providing encouragement and helping you track your progress. If you are out exercising, you also need to think about your footwear, especially in slippery conditions when running or hiking, so good trainers or supportive boots are a must.

If you are out running, you don't need to settle for a humble water bottle, either. Fruit infusion water bottles allow you to stay hydrated and increase your fruit intake at the same time, and are generally available from around £5. If you prefer something more leisurely and have some soup left over, a food flask is a perfect addition to your rucksack while out walking.