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10 Ways to Boost Your Weight Loss Productivity

10 Ways to Boost Your Weight Loss Productivity

How productive are you in your most commonly inhabited environments? For most of us, this is either work or home. By making sure that your surroundings are conducive to healthy decisions and actions, you can boost your weight loss productivity and really entrench healthy habits and a healthy living mindset. Here are some ideas for your office and your home.

Home

Reorganise your pantry. One of the first things I did when I started losing weight was clear all the crap out of my pantry. Believe me, just not having it there makes a huge difference–we’ve all mindlessly chewed our way through a whole pack of biscuits without actually being starving hungry to begin with.

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Make treats hard to get. Try to reach a stage where it is possible to have treats in the house without needing to eat them all at once. It’s important not to deprive yourself of everything that you love! Just try making it difficult to access in order to lessen the temptation to eat it–put that pack of biscuits right at the top of your tallest cupboard.

Make your workout clothes accessible. If they are easy to grab and throw on, you can start making that mental adjustment when it comes to exercise, turning it from something you don’t like to something you might actually enjoy.

Get some home workout equipment. Working out at home is easy, cheap and fun. It’s also a great opportunity to practise moves you’re not sure about or feel too self-conscious to attempt in a gym or park. Buy some dumbbells and an exercise mat and stash them in a corner of your living room–by making it easy to do some exercise at home, you’re more likely to give it a go.

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Hang up some motivating photos or outfits. Maybe you’ve got a pair of beloved jeans you want to fit into again, or a photo of yourself 10 kilos smaller that’s really motivating you to lose weight. Put those things–things that form part of your motivational toolkit–somewhere prominent, so you’re always being reminded of what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.

Work

Get moving. Visit the toilet that’s one level up from you in your office building, go and stand outside to get some air, take phone calls standing up–every hour or so, if you can, do something that makes you get up from your desk and move around.

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Drink glasses of water. Aside from the obvious health benefits of drinking lots of water, refilling a glass several times a day is a good way to get up from your desk regularly–water also helps keep hunger at bay.

Stock up on healthy snacks. Avoid the vending machine temptation and fill a drawer with things like raw nuts so you’ve got something healthy to snack on. Go one step further and pack yourself little portions of nuts so that you don’t end up chowing down on a whole bag!

Fill the work fridge with healthy lunch foods. If you’ve got access to a work fridge, fill it with healthy lunch ingredients–cottage cheese, avocado, lean protein–so you can make yourself a healthy lunch at work.

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Ask for a standing desk. These are becoming more common and widely available, and they’re a great solution to the increasingly talked about health risks of sitting down all day. Chat to your boss or HR and see if you can get one–and if you can’t, then try to move around at work as much as you can.

Make your environment conducive to healthy behaviour, and it will naturally follow. It’s productive, it’s practical and it’s easy!

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Last Updated on June 20, 2019

Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

There’s nothing quite like picking up a guitar and strumming out some chords. Listening to someone playing the guitar can be mesmerising, it can evoke emotion and a good guitar riff can bring out the best of a song. Many guitar players find a soothing, meditative quality to playing, along with the essence of creating music or busting out an acoustic version of their favourite song. But how does playing the guitar affect the brain?

More and more scientific studies have been looking into how people who play the guitar have different brain functions compared to those who don’t. What they found was quite astonishing and backed up what many guitarists may instinctively know deep down.

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Guitar Players’ Brains Can Synchronise

You didn’t read that wrong! Yes, a 2012 study[1] was conducted in Berlin that looked at the brains of guitar players. The researchers took 12 pairs of players and got them to play the same piece of music while having their brains scanned.

During the experiment, they found something extraordinary happening to each pair of participants – their brains were synchronising with each other. So what does this mean? Well, the neural networks found in the areas of the brain associated with social cognition and music production were most activated when the participants were playing their instruments. In other words, their ability to connect with each other while playing music was exceptionally strong.

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Guitar Players Have a Higher Intuition

Intuition is described as “the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning” and this is exactly what’s happening when two people are playing the guitar together.

The ability to synchronise their brains with each other, stems from this developed intuitive talent indicating that guitar players have a definite spiritual dexterity to them. Not only do their brains synchronise with another player, but they can also even anticipate what is to come before and after a set of chords without consciously knowing. This explains witnessing a certain ‘chemistry’ between players in a band and why many bands include brothers who may have an even stronger connection.

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This phenomenon is actually thought to be down to the way guitarists learn how to play – while many musicians learn through reading sheet music, guitar players learn more from listening to others play and feeling their way through the chords. This also shows guitarists have exceptional improvisational skills[2] and quick thinking.

Guitar Players Use More of Their Creative, Unconscious Brain

The same study carried out a different experiment, this time while solo guitarists were shredding. They found that experienced guitar players were found to deactivate the conscious part of their brain extremely easily meaning they were able to activate the unconscious, creative and less practical way of thinking more efficiently.

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This particular area of the brain – the right temporoparietal junction – typically deactivates with ‘long term goal orientation’ in order to stop distractions to get goals accomplished. This was in contrast to the non-guitarists who were unable to shut off the conscious part of their brain which meant they were consciously thinking more about what they were playing.

This isn’t to say that this unconscious way of playing can’t be learnt. Since the brain’s plasticity allows new connections to be made depending on repeated practice, the guitar player’s brain can be developed over time but it’s something about playing the guitar in particular that allows this magic to happen.

Conclusion

While we all know musicians have very quick and creative brains, it seems guitar players have that extra special something. Call it heightened intuition or even a spiritual element – either way, it’s proven that guitarists are an exceptional breed unto themselves!

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Featured photo credit: Lechon Kirb via unsplash.com

Reference

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