We all want to get healthier/skinnier/toned etc without putting in much effort. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could just snap our fingers and have our dream body?
Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that. While it’s gratifying and super good for you to finish a workout, sometimes the 45 minutes you put in at the gym three days a week isn’t enough activity for an otherwise inactive desk jockey.
These diet hacks and activity ideas alone won’t give you your dream body. However if combined with a proper nutrition, they can definitely get you further than if you didn’t incorporate them.
So if your progress has slowed, take a look at these life hacks to give you the boost you need with minimal effort.
Ok, cauli has a bad rap. And I know that. But it makes a great snack for when you shouldn’t eat.
I steam about two heads every week and toss it in a ziplock bag. When it’s almost dinner time and I’m starving, it’s the perfect diet hack to tide you over. It’s also a great option for when I think I’m a little bit hungry before bed yet don’t need to eat anything. Steamed cauliflower has a buttery, creamy mouthfeel, which is why I don’t tire of it and it’s satisfying to snack on when I know I don’t need it.
Every time I cook some ground beef, chicken, pork etc, I take out another package of meat to thaw. When it comes to cooking, thawing meat is the one thing that really de-motivates me from making a meal. If there’s thawed meat in the fridge already, then that’s one less obstacle to a healthy meal.
When you feel good, it’s easier to exercise and eat well. When you feel bad, that’s just one more excuse that you have to skip your workout or choose sugar.
Getting enough sleep makes you happier, more energetic, less hungry, and able to remember and learn more easily. Lack of sleep can also raise your cortisol levels, which can hamper weight loss efforts or increase probability of weight gain. At the most basic level, sleeping makes your life easier is one of the few diet hacks that involve food. So do it.
Eat Protein for Breakfast
Research has shown that eating protein for breakfast leads to weight loss. Why? Because protein is filling, satiating, and causes you to eat less at later meals.
So swap your oatmeal for protein oatmeal. Or eggs. Or hash. Eat a steak for breakfast if that’s what you want.
Ok, you might not like what I say for this one. But here goes… If you’re in a place where there’s absolutely nothing healthy, just don’t eat.
This would apply to certain situations of course, like Christmas shopping and there’s no good fast food around, a road trip where everyone else wants to eat at Sonic (I’ve looked, there’s nothing remotely healthy there). I’m assuming that the next meal will be healthy and helpful in getting you to your goals.
Being hungry isn’t always bad. I confess that I hate being hungry, but in reality, it’s not an emergency. You won’t go in to starve mode by missing one meal. As long as this is not a regular occurrence and there’s healthy food in your future, just skip.
You burn a lot more calories standing instead of sitting. If it’s possible, you should definitely try to get a standing desk at work. A lot of companies have policies to provide them, so just check with the appropriate department. If you work from home, it’s pretty easy to make one.
It’s interesting because not only do you burn more standing, but you’re more likely to walk around often whether it’s to the bathroom, get water or paper from the printer.
Wear a weighted vest
Ok, you might not have a weighted vest. But I’m sure you have a backpack. Fill that sucker full of books while you do the laundry, wash the car, garden or cook. Even though you aren’t directly performing strength exercises, you’ll get stronger (and increase bone density) by carrying around that extra weight.
Just make sure to stand up straight, contract your core and don’t let your back hollow out. Don’t start out too heavy if you aren’t in good shape.
Pull up bar
Every time you walk through the door, do a few pull ups. Even though it’s only a few, you’ll get stronger without a huge time commitment.
Get busy while you’re waiting
A lot of life is spent waiting. Think about all the times you rush to the doctor, only to sit in the waiting room for 10 minutes. Or stand there waiting for the water to boil. Or stand while you’re brushing your teeth.
Instead of waiting, use that time for good. Do some body weight squats while you’re brushing your teeth or pushups while waiting for water to boil. Try a wall sit while you floss and calf raises or single leg balances when you’re waiting for the bus.
Exercise during commercial breaks
How many times have you skipped your workout during the day because you were exhausted, stressed, or needed family time? Get some of that time back when you sit down to the TV at night. Commercials run an average of 1-2 minutes. Use that time to do squat jumps, crunches, jumping jacks or stretches.
How often are you on the phone at work or home? Instead of sitting to chat, pace around while you talk. It’s an easy way to sneak in more activity without dedicating extra time to your workout.