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7 Life Changing Fat Loss Hacks You Aren’t Using

7 Life Changing Fat Loss Hacks You Aren’t Using

With all of the competing, confusing information out there, losing fat can seem almost impossible. Maybe you’ve tried every diet and fitness program in existence; or maybe you’re at square one, with no idea where to start – either way, I can help. In order to find a simple solution to weight loss, we need to go back to the basics. Fat loss doesn’t have to be about complicated formulas or eating foods you hate. In fact, armed with a few fat loss hacks, rediscovering the six-pack abs that faded a few Budweisers back is certainly doable.

Here are 7 things you can start doing today to make the process of losing fat more simple and enjoyable.

1. Karate Kick Your “Diet”

Diets don’t work.

Kind of a weird way to start off a list of rules about losing weight, right? But let’s be honest: diets aren’t fun. Massively restricted eating, carrying around tupperware containers (of food you don’t even like), and skipping out on social events? No thanks.

By encouraging a short-term mindset, diets may allow you to lose some fat quickly, but most people end up gaining all of the weight lost back (and more) when their “diet” is over.

Diets rely on willpower, which is actually quite unreliable. Most diets force you to “blacklist” all of the foods that aren’t good for you, like cake and pizza. Do you know what happens when you make something forbidden? You want it even more. You think about it constantly. And before you know it, you’re twelve slices into a deep dish wondering what the heck happened.

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Most often, dieters who suppress thoughts about food have the least success staying on track. Instead, they end up binge eating the very thing they were trying to avoid. So channel your inner Chuck Norris, give your diet a roundhouse kick to the curb, and embrace a more sustainable approach for losing fat. How can you do that? By following the rest of the fat loss ‘hacks’ you’re about to discover.

2. Avoid The “What-The-Hell Effect”

This concept, first introduced by dieting researchers Janet Polivy and C. Peter Herman, describes a cycle of indulgence, regret, and greater indulgence.

Here’s how this plays out in real life: you walk into the break room at work and notice some fresh doughnuts sitting on the table, waiting to be eaten. You start to think about how you’re trying to lose weight and be more fit, but before you know it, you’re halfway through glazed doughnut smothered with sprinkles.

Instead of stopping things right there, throwing the rest of your half-eaten doughnut away and going back to your desk for an apple, you think, “ah, what the hell, I’ve already blown my healthy eating for the day – I’ll just eat three more.”

doughnuts pic jumbo

    Sound familiar?

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    Instead of minimizing the harm by stopping an action that isn’t consistent with your goals and making the next best decision to get back on track, you compound one bad decision by make more bad decisions.

    Here’s what you need to do instead: no matter what happens, don’t throw yourself farther down into the gutter. Instead make the next best decision to get back on track with your goals.

    3. Stop Labeling Foods “Good” and “Bad”

    Chicken and broccoli are  “good” while ice-cream and pizza are “bad.” Sounds like a good idea, right? Actually – no. It would seem that by identifying which foods are good, and which are bad, you will be more likely to choose good foods and get closer to your fat loss goals.

    But that’s not usually how it works.  Labeling foods “good” and “bad” is actually making it more likely that you will make choices that lead you further away from your fat loss goals. In psychology, there’s something called “moral licensing”, which describes our natural tendency to feel justified about doing something bad after we feel like we’ve done something good.

    Instead of labeling foods as “good” or “bad”, consider your goals. Before eating a specific food, ask yourself if it will take you closer, or further, from your goals. This allows you to make good decisions without the negative effects of moralizing your food choices.

    4. Embrace Fast Food

    Is hitting up a drive-through a common experience for you? If so, sorry to disappoint, but this isn’t permission to do that more, and that’s not the kind of “fast food” that we’re talking about. Enter: made-for-you meals.

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    Thanks to places like Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and other health food stores, it is possible to get the convenience of fast food while staying on track with your fat loss goals. Instead of stopping at a fast food restaurant, swing by a health food store and hit up the fresh salad bar or grab one of the many made-for-you meals like grass-fed chili or cooked chicken, steak, and fish – along with along with different vegetable and bean medleys, fresh salad fixings and more.

    When eating typical fast food, it can be easy to knock down a few thousand calories of the scrumptious – yet artery clogging – cuisine in a matter of minutes. Ditch the ‘old’ fast food and embrace the new, healthier version and everything – from your health to your waistline – will benefit positively.

    5. Use A Smaller Plate

    Some people who struggle to lose weight have what I call “potluck” syndrome. They have good intentions, but fall into the trap of thinking, “If I can fit it on one plate, I’m good to go.” Aiming to reduce calorie consumption by avoiding seconds can be an effective plan, but it doesn’t do much good if you overcompensate the first time around.

    A simple fix: use a smaller plate. Instead of using a typical dinner plate, try opting for a salad plate instead. Salad plates are typically a bit smaller than a dinner plate. A smaller plate equals less space to put food, which in turn, means you will consume less calories overall.

    Vegitables and Salad On Small Plate Stokpic

      Pro tip: Now that you’re using a smaller plate, don’t fall victim to “potluck” syndrome by taking your food vertical (i.e. don’t stack your food so that you can fit more on your smaller plate).

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      6. Set a Timer

      When is the last time you actually took the time to enjoy the intricate tastes and textures of your food? By eating slowly, you are better able to not only enjoy your food, but you’ll also improve your “hunger awareness.” Slowing down allows you to override the irrational, emotional side of your brain and think about what, and how much, you are eating.

      As a general rule, if you’re meals aren’t taking at least 15 minutes to consume, you need to slow down. If this turns out to be a significant challenge for you, set a timer on your phone and aim to pace your eating. As an added benefit, slow eating may improve your relationship with the people you spend your time with because you’ll actually have time to talk about something that matters when sitting across from them for an extended period of time.

      7. When You Eat, Just Eat

      Most people spend all of their time focusing on what they are eating and not enough on how they are eating. Confused? Here’s what I mean… Are you eating in your car on the way home from work? In front of your TV? Your desk at work?

      Eating while doing other things – like watching TV, driving your car, or working on a computer – can easily distract you from how much food you shove down your pie hole. But instead of blaming this lapse on a lack of willpower, it may be more effective to change your environment.

      When you eat, just eat. Don’t stare at a screen or drive or do anything else distracting. By focusing on one thing at a time – in this case eating, you will be more aware of how much food you are eating and better able to identify when you are full.

      Oh, and about the Doritos – get all of that garbage out of your house. No matter how strong you think your willpower is, most people will make the choice of least resistance. If this means ripping open a bag of chips that you have in your cabinet instead of making a well-balance meal; you’re going to take the easier route.

      Conclusion

      When you follow the fat loss hacks discussed above, an interesting thing happens. Losing weight and “dieting” starts to become less of a torturous process of obsession and restriction and more about making good choices most of the time and doing what you can to not sabotage yourself in the process. The best part is, none of the strategies outlined above are difficult to understand and all can be easily implemented, starting today.

      Featured photo credit: Kevin Schmitz via unsplash.com

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      Last Updated on August 12, 2019

      12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

      12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

      Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

      But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

      I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

      Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

      1. Nuts

      The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

      Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

      Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

      Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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      2. Blueberries

      Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

      When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

      3. Tomatoes

      Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

      4. Broccoli

      While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

      Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

      Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

      5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

      Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

      The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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      Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

      6. Soy

      Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

      Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

      Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

      7. Dark Chocolate

      When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

      Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

      8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

      Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

      B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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      Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

      Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

      To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

      9. Foods Rich in Zinc

      Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

      Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

      Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

      10. Gingko Biloba

      This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

      It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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      However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

      11. Green and Black Tea

      Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

      Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

      Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

      12. Sage and Rosemary

      Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

      Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

      When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

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      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

      Reference

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