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10 Life Hacks to Lose Weight
Losing weight is no easy feat but it’s definitely not impossible with a few tricks here and there. Here are 10 weight loss hacks to help you drop the pounds.
10) Don’t tell anyone you’re trying to lose weight
How many times have you been following your meal plan religiously only to be confronted with a dinner party that you MUST attend and face the persistent pressure from family and friends to eat?
Our advice for you is to keep your weight loss goals a secret. Sometimes the people closest to you can be disabling especially if they themselves are unhealthy and it doesn’t help that the culture here shows love and generosity through food, which impedes weight loss goals.
Your action plan is to grab a plate, load up on salad, some lean protein if available, and for a final touch, to distract anyone who suspects that you’re watching your weight and hope to God you go unnoticed (you will). Most importantly, whatever you do, don’t say the dreaded word “D” diet.
9) Eat at home before going out to any events
You don’t have to isolate yourself and completely control your environment to lose weight. It’s hard to avoid parties and mandatory family gatherings which are hallmarked with the abundance of food. Our advice? Arm yourself against these temptations by always having a meal BEFORE you go out.
Going to a dinner party hungry puts you in an immediate high risk situation because your natural biological needs are competing with your ability to make a conscious decision. In fact, research has shown that decision making on an empty stomach is considered “reckless behavior” because when you’re hungry, your body is producing ghrelin – a.k.a the hunger hormone – which has been linked to induce poor decision making and impulsive behavior. A well known 2010 study even showed that when metabolic states are not stable (feeling hungry), men in the study took way more risks with money than the men who were full.
Be in synch with your body and give it a proper meal before attending any special events. That way, you’ll switch off the raging sugar monster inside of you, turn on your brain, look at a piece of cake, and firmly say “not today”.
8) Choose smaller plates and cutlery
Weather you’re at a dinner party or at home, always try to pick smaller plates and cutlery. The dessert ones usually work because they are more representative of proper quantity. It’s a fantastic optical illusion that you can implement to trick your mind to perceive that you’re eating more since reducing the “white space” around a circle makes portions appear to be larger.
Research from Cornell University confirms our theory and adds that large plates not only make us overeat but also makes us think we ate less! In addition, using small spoons or forks will force you to slow down when you’re eating, allowing more time for your brain to trigger fullness as research shows, it takes 15-20 minutes for your brain to understand when you’ve had enough food.
Pick small plates and slow down.
7) Don’t drink your calories
For some reason, soft drinks, juices, and even smoothies became a routine part of almost every meal. We’ve seen people order a fruit cocktail smoothie while chowing down on an already greasy Shawerma, have an ice cream filled Pina Colada with pasta as their main dish, and several other unhealthy combinations. Liquid calories are sugar-packed sneaky culprits that pack the pounds without you noticing. In fact, research has shown that the body does not detect liquid calories the same way it does solid foods since drinking more does not usually lead you to eat less and may in fact make you compensate more with eating. Another study from Harvard University showed that women who had sweet beverages such as sodas or fruit punch once or more per week added 358 calories daily and significantly gained weight!
To be clear, some smoothies are great but they are considered as meals on their own and not as side drinks. If you have to drink something with your meal, go for water. But whatever you do, do not mindlessly drink a ton of sugar and then wonder why you’re gaining weight.
6- Turn off all electronics when you’re eating
Eating in front of the television is – in our opinion- one of the worse habits of the 21st century. The following is one the best tips we can give you to practice with eating and your life in general: you must start to become more mindful of your behavior. Technology distracts us and puts us under stress and anxiety while mindfulness means being aware of yourself and living in the moment. Being more mindful with eating means that you get in touch with your biological relationship with food, recall the process it took to grow that piece of fruit, the workers hand that picked it, the distance it traveled, the nutrients it will give your body, and take a moment to thank God for these tiny yet essential blessings. Growing research is indicating that mindful eating is a successful method in reducing weight problems. Eating with technology weather it’s your phone, iPad, or television distracts your attention from your hunger and satiety nerve signals and robs you of that peace, quite, and daily experience with nature that you so desperately need especially if you’re living in an urban environment. Give eating the ritual and respect it deserves and keep all your electronics away from the dinner table.
5) Fix your sleep
This tip truly emphasizes our focus to foster a complete lifestyle makeover. Studies have shown that one of the main predictors of weight gain is irregular sleeping patterns and people should aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep everyday. If you have a habit of going to bed at midnight or after, and waking up early then you did not give your body the proper rest it needs. If your habit it to sleep late, and wake late then you are destroying your optimal biological functions. Work on fixing your sleep cycle and it will go hand in hand with your eating cycle because they all contribute to an overall enhanced way of life. Start by gradually waking up 30 minutes earlier each day and within a week or two, you will have fixed your sleep cycle and greatly improved your weight loss chances and most importantly, your overall health and well-being.
4) Always keep a snack handy
Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.
If you’re someone who has a busy schedule and is trying to lose weight, it’s paramount to always have something to eat planned and prepared. Aside from your regular meals -which also need to be prepared before hand- make sure you always have an extra snack ready to go with you. You never know what the day might throw at you, a meeting might run late, an errand might come your way, or you may decide to pay a sudden visit to a friend or family member. You’re bound to get hungry and it’s always better to be prepared.
3) Take progress picture
Nothings says weight loss like a before and after picture! The scale will always be your most honest indicator of weight loss. However, numbers on the scale are known to fluctuate depending on water retention, constipation, and many other reasons. A fun and great way for you to truly SEE a difference is to take progress pictures and track your success. Take the first picture on day 1 of your meal plan from the side and front and continue doing so on a weekly basis. Compare the photos each week and you will be amazed. Not only will you feel proud of yourself, but you will also hold yourself more accountable since you are able to see how much your body is changing.
2) Water! Water! Water!
We’re sure you’ve heard this one before but it still deserves emphasis. Drinking water is essential to your health and not drinking enough water has been proved to be a cause for obesity. Numerous studies have linked drinking water as a valid contributor to weight loss by either reducing your calorie intake, inhibiting appetite, and improving your metabolic functions to burn more calories. Not to mention it’s affect on revitalizing your skin by washing away toxins. A simple way to make sure you’re drinking enough is to notice the color of your urine; it should be odourless with a very light yellow lemonade color. Drink a minimum of 2.5 to 3 litres of water everyday and you will have scored yourself a universally agreed upon health habit.
1) Forget motivation! Focus on building habits.
Speaking of habits, how many times have you heard someone say they’re just not motivated to stay healthy? It’s a reasonable problem; thats why truth worthy support systems are important, but it’s not an excuse. Don’t wait for motivation! Motivations is a false dream and hope that after years of bad health habits, you will suddenly wake up and be excited to go to the gym. Instead, build small goals and commit to them until they become a routine (i.e.: drinking 2 glasses of water before every meal). Some research suggests that it takes 21 days to build a new habit, others say it takes more but either way, creating small habits starts by building neural pathways that are ready to perform a new action and moving from the learning stage to the habituated stage until the behaviour becomes automatic. If you’re ever feeling unmotivated and tempted to go off track, remind yourself that it’s not about that! Focus on one task at a time and remember that you’re building this automatic machine in your brain that you will rely on for all your successful goal completions. Welcome motivation when it’s there, but never wait for it because habits can be way more powerful and effective.