(Photo by SMW)
Losing weight and trying to keep it off is tough business. It takes determination, sacrifice, and a hard-nosed attitude that can say, “No man. I’m not eating that. Not today… I know I love cake but I’m not doing it!”
If you’re able to fight the devil on your shoulder and win more often than you lose, who knows – you may just find a brand-new version of yourself you never knew existed. That’s what I did, and I’m so grateful.
I was able to lose about 65 pounds, lower my blood-pressure from the ‘let’s watch this’ range to the ‘nice work’ range, and eliminate aches and pains associated with carrying around so much extra weight. It’s gotta be one of the top 5 things I’ve ever done.
Even better is the fact that we have 4 other people in our family who were able to lose between 50 and 120 pounds – and keep it off.
Here is a list of 15 simple weight loss hacks that some or all of us have used to earn big results:
1) Use mustard instead of ketchup, ranch dressing, BBQ sauce, or any other topping. Mustard packs the flavor but has zero calories.
2) If you’re making burgers (or turkey burgers), make it a sandwich with lettuce rather than a bun. If you want to go crazy, don’t make a sandwich just eat the burger.
3) Get a good night’s sleep. It has been widely reported that sleeping less than the desired amount of time each night (7-9 hours) can promote weight gain by altering hormone levels and disrupting your body’s sleep/wake cycles. Take the science out of it and know that sleeping 7-9 hours can make you feel more like a human being… which is a win for you and those around you.
Add in the fact that less sleep can reduce productivity during the day and decrease many metrics in overall health, and this one becomes deeper than just losing weight.
4) Set a time to stop eating each night. I’m all for snacking on many healthy items throughout the day, but there comes a point in the evening when that can be detrimental. During sleep your body’s metabolic activity decreases for rest. As a product of this you’re burning less calories than you would during the day. If you are consuming a high number of calories right before bed then you’re giving your body an uphill battle during the evening. Those calories will not be used or burned, they’ll be stored in a variety of forms… One of which will be fat.
By setting a time (i.e. 1-2 hours before bed) to stop eating you can help to lessen the fat your body takes on in the form of excess calories.
5) “You can’t out train your mouth” – Tim Ferriss. Meaning weight loss takes place primarily in the kitchen and not the gym.
It is always easier to lose a calorie you never consumed Click To Tweet (that one’s from me).
I am a huge believer in both of these. I trained for years and still yo-yo’d between losing 10-15 pounds then gaining it back. I’d always say, “Well I’m putting on muscle and that weighs more than fat.” Although that may be true, I was just lying to myself. It wasn’t until I started tracking my calories and putting numbers into my plan that I actually started losing real weight.
That process started and finished in the kitchen. If you make good choices there, you’re setting yourself up for success.
6) Avoid foods that are described as, “creamy, fried, sweet, buttery, cheesy, and rich.” Instead try, “baked, grilled, or steamed.” You can still use spices to add flavor without drastically adding to the calorie count. Hey, there’s always mustard too…
7) When it comes to exercise, just do something. Walk for 15 minutes a day, do sit-ups or push-ups during commercials, do yoga right when you wakeup, 60 seconds of plank daily, some number of pushups per day… Find a thing and make it your own.
That little action can help you to burn calories and add muscle – which will allow you to burn more calories… Positive feedback loop, anyone?
8) Try a piece of fruit for a snack instead of a bag of chips or some ice cream. Fruit has sugar too… Who knows, you may come to like it more.
9) Find time to stand at work if possible. Compared with sitting at a desk, you’re able to burn more calories by doing so. You could also walk during a break or suggest walking meetings.
10) Put your snack in a bowl that way you don’t keep eating mindlessly. Important point – limit yourself to what’s in the bowl.
11) Drink water rather that sweet tea, soda, or other sugary drinks. Coffee and tea are low in calories too, just stay away from the whipped cream, sprinkles, excess creamer, and other sugary additives and you’re good to go. If you’re able to eliminate small numbers of calories in many places this can lead to big results.
12) Remove the temptation – don’t buy things at the store you know you shouldn’t eat. If Pringles are not in your cupboard it’s hard to binge. Besides, ‘once you pop, you can’t stop.’
13) Don’t go grocery shopping hungry. I am guilty of this one from time-to-time and I’m always upset with myself for two reasons: 1) I spend more money than anticipated and 2) I buy more sugary treats than we need. “But the cream sticks looked sooooo good behind the glass!” They taste good too, but that doesn’t make it ok.
14) Find a weight loss buddy. If you’re able to motivate and be motivated by someone else this can help you to stay on track. Also, by adding a tinge of competition it’s likely you’ll be more willing to stick it out through the tougher times.
15) Eat Fro-Yo (frozen yogurt) in place of ice cream. As with anything though – everything in moderation. Well… most things in moderation
Understand that sustained weigh loss takes time and that this is a lifestyle change much more than it’s a diet or a get skinny quick scheme. Like an addict is always in recovery, so too are you always aware of your goals – even after you reach them. However, the little gains from these 15 simple weight loss hacks when added together over time can lead to huge results!
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