Today’s guest post comes from Tom Hines. He is the Co-Founder of NutritionGeeks.com, a retired USAPL powerlifter, a youth wrestling coach, the father of 3 amazing boys, and interested in all things health.
Dropping weight is more than running 10 miles a day and counting every calorie. We need lots of little life hacks that fit our personalities. Let’s be honest, thousands of small, insignificant decisions got us unhealthy, so let’s turn the tables. Here are some weight loss life hacks in no particular order:
Go to a farmer’s market – This has the opposite effect as walking into a convenience store… just try walking out of there without buying something good for you. There’s also something special about meeting the people who grow your food, it’s a connection you can’t with your cereal box.
Keep an activity and food journal – If you’re like most of my friends, you’d say you have GREAT memory. I have news for you, you probably don’t. Writing down how poorly you’re really eating, can be the reminder you need. You might be shocked at just how many sodas you drank last month, or how many times you went thru the drive-thru. Plus, you might find yourself making better choices…I mean who wants to have to write down “1 supersized burger, large fries, and a jumbo soda”?
Bench your office chair – Using a stability ball is great for your core, and you can’t help but move around more. While strengthening your core is great for your lower back, too much ball too soon will likely leave with a sore back, so ease into it. Standing at your desk is another great option and you don’t have to buy a special desk to get started. Just find something to set your keyboard, mouse, monitor on. Just think how lazy everyone else will feel.
Go to bed at the same time every night – Most of us need 8-9 hours of sleep each and every night to function at our best. Not only are you less likely to make an effort when you’re tired, but sleep is directly associated with metabolism and appetite. Sleep deprived people are hungrier… really, I’m not making this stuff up.
Get a dog (if you like dogs) – Dogs are like live-in personal trainers. “Walk with me.” “Play with me.” “Go outside with me”. I will nag the crap out of you, but in the cutest way and you will love me for it!
Stop drinking soda and fruit juice completely – It’s just a wild guess, but I’d bet at least 10% of overweight Americans could lose the weight if they just stopped drinking soda. A 24 ounce bottle has 80 grams of sugar. Fruit juices may sound healthier, but they’re not. And neither is diet soda.
Drink more water – If straight water is just too boring, try lemon water or a cranberry drink sweetened with stevia.
Use a diet supplement – Diet supplements are NOT the silver bullet, nor are they snake oil. Used correctly, diet products offer a nice edge in your favor. Some of the products I’d look at are blends like Synedrex, or individual ingredients such as green coffee bean extract, alpha lipoic acid, CLA, green tea extract, and garcinia cambogia.
Take a cooking class – The less processed food you can eat the better. It’s just that simple.
Enter a 5K run – Or better yet, enter a 5K with a group of friends or co-workers. It’s motivating to have something tangible to work for, other than just losing X pounds. It’s only 3.1 miles, you can do this.
Cut out all refined sugars for a month – You’ve already stopped drinking soda, how hard could it be? I’m not talking about a low carb diet. If you’re not already, this will really get you in the habit of reading labels.
Park next to the RVs at the back of the parking lot – You will never have to fight for another parking spot and the walk will do you good.
Use a pedometer – Now that we’re parking so far away and recording our daily activity, it only makes sense to buy a pedometer. Challenge yourself each day and work toward the coveted 10,000 steps per day mark. Here’s a great pedometer for under $10.00.