3 "Simple" Hacks to Jumpstart Fat Loss
Making changes is not easy. Habits, emotions, and general laziness can upend even the best intentions. This is especially true when it comes to the foods we put into our body and the exercise we do, or don't, complete.
Let's start this article off with a little thought experiment...
Right now, think back to the last time you were lying in bed, all snuggled up and ready to sleep. You had decided that enough was enough and you were going to get up early and go to the gym. You even laid out your favorite outfit.
And then the alarm went off and you snoozed all the way until you had just enough time to throw yourself together and get to work on time...The only work out you could muster was working out the excuses in your head as to why you were still parking your car when the morning's financial meeting began. Maybe you'll work out more frequently if you were unemployed?
How about that morning promise to yourself to eat healthier; to choose the salad over the sandwich, avoid happy hour temptation, and to go to bed before midnight. You really want this. YOU DESERVE IT.
But then the day started, your favorite song didn't play on your satellite radio during your rainy morning commute. Then, your flirty co worker smells like an Abercrombie store, and damn it the kale just didn't look fresh at the salad shop... So, you got the chicken cheesesteak, and the fries, and the sugar-laden coffee after that. Oh, and then you said yes to just "one" beer after work. Soon enough you were at a different bar singing "Love on the Brain" and making eyes with that coworker over your 4th shot of cheap tequila that's in the well.
Like I said, it isn't easy.
But that doesn't mean it isn't simple. In fact, making changes in your life are incredibly simple. They just require 3 ingredients:
Actual desire for change (not just results)
Patience with the process
A plan of Action
I can't force you to want anything so deeply it wakes you up in the morning. I can't make you love spinach salads or push/pull programming. I can't change the way you see yourself, or the world, or this entire thing we call life.
But I can be here to remind you that time is ticking and the last thing you want to do is meet the other versions of who you could have been as you slip away and take your last breath. How many of "you" took the time to commit to change?
I also can't make you more patient. Judging by the amount of horns I've heard from my 30th story balcony in Miami while writing this very article - no one is patient. Simply put, I can't make you take a deep breathe and understand that anything worth having takes a bit longer to get...
But I'll be your biggest fan and support you if you ask...
I CAN, however, help you with 3 simple hacks to improve your ability to lose weight. I can give you additional tools to unleash into your life. Remember, simple isn't easy...but it is doable.
Flip your Meal Design (2 Veggies, 1 Protein, 1 "Other")
In America especially, the protein has long been considered the centerpiece of the meal. For obvious reason, it is filling, has the potential to be full of flavor, and is a necessary nutrient for every function of life.
More deviously, it's importance was pounded into the American psyche via lobbying firms, clever marketing, and intense messaging from the meat and dairy industry since the 50's. Most families in America describe their meals as a (insert protein) and (insert side dishes).
Don't forget to beat your....ahhh nevermind.
That doesn't make you a bad person, and I'm sure St. Peter understands the desire for a good short rib. But this mindset has you seeing vegetables as a secondary element of the human diet...an error that leads to the overconsumption of grains, potatoes, and processed foods as side dishes in place of the highly valuable vegetables.
So, from now on - construct your dinners by selecting two vegetables (of different colors) first. Choose something leafy and green as the base and add in some color with tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, or carrots. For serving sizes, think about an open hand of your palm as the serving size for both.
Then, you'll select the protein source. This will be the highest calorie density of the meal, most likely, but be mindful of preparation (regardless of whether it is vegan, fish, dairy, or meat). Avoiding frying foods or preparing them with too heavy of sauces or creams
Lastly, you'll select the "OTHER" part of your meal. It could be sliced avocados, a bowl of beans, a bed of pasta, or mashed potatoes. This is the smallest portion of the meal too.
This "flipping" of the meal would ensure you saw 6 servings of vegetables per day (if you ate in the traditional "3 meals per day" method). This will boost your fiber, vitamin, mineral and antioxidant intake. As a result, you'll have more energy, burn more calories via digestion, eat less processed junk from a lack of hunger, and provide your body with the necessary building blocks for enzymes and hormones.
Sounds like one hell of a simple trick of the trade if you ask me...
Flip your meals, flip your body composition.
2. Water before all Food
You'd be surprised, and maybe even blown away, if you learned about all the times that you ate food when you were actually thirsty. Without getting into the intricate science that is the link between your brain, your digestive system and your metabolism - just know that it's not a flawless loop. Especially so in a world in which food and clean water is more readily available than ever.
So, let's check in with ourselves from now on. Let's build awareness between a lack of hydration and a lack of nourishment.
Before EVERY meal drink an entire glass of water.
One, this will put some fluid into your stomach which will aid in digestive processes once food does come. Two, the weight of the water will trigger a small sense of fullness, which can help prevent overeating. Lastly, the water might just solve the problem by providing necessary hydration, alkalinity, and weight into the system.
This method is ESPECIALLY important if you find yourself reaching for a snack instead...
Before you buy the chips - drink a glass of water with electrolytes.
Before you buy the sugary candy bar, cookie, or drink the "fancy coffee/latte" - drink a glass of water and get some sunlight.
Before you grab the bagel in the morning - drink a glass of water and some fruit.
Put simply, water is the catalyst to life. Start with the fundamental element of life itself and don't be surprised when your results begin to look more like your dreams.
3. Walk 5 every 50
Every 50 minutes throughout the day (spent sitting) should be broken up with 5 minutes of walking around.
It could be as simple as walking around your home (if you still work remotely), taking a trip to pass along a message in the office (instead another unnecessary email), or simply leaving where you are and walking for 5 minutes. That's 300 seconds - nothing in the grand scheme of our day.
Add it up over a traditional "8 hour work day" - and you have 40 minutes of aerobic activity.
Add it up over a traditional "14 hour day" - and you have 70 minutes of aerobic exercise.
Add it up over just 6 days - and you have 350 minutes of aerobic exercise.
And so on...
That is the power of "compounding fitness".
Add in 3-4 intentional exercise bouts via resistance training, HIIT workouts, yoga, Pilates, spin, or running and suddenly you are spending 8-10 hours of your week being active. That much activity will absolutely enhance your metabolic output, even at rest, increase your lean body mass, and utilize fat as fuel while you recover.
That sounds like a simple way to actually change your body composition, doesn't it?
Never said it was easy, but I promise it isn't hard.
All of these tips are designed to get you ahead of the game. They aren't going to come naturally at first, but neither did walking or talking in complete sentences, did it? Remember the first time you drove a car?
Shit, I took out a mailbox my first week with the right-side mirror.
Now, I whip around with confidence and awareness of the road in front, beside, and behind me.
You can do this. But you have to realize that EVERYTHING you WANT is on the other side of EVERYTHING you don't want to GIVE UP.
Interested in more simple tricks like this?
Be on the lookout this August for my new Online program "Compounding Fitness". Featuring incremental workout design, incremental dietary changes, and intentional lifestyle and mindset switches - Compounding Fitness has already helped dozens of sample clients get healthier without completely disrupting their "normal" life.