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The One Thing That Can Make Or Break Weight Loss

The One Thing That Can Make Or Break Weight Loss

Would you ever send your child to a school or university that didn’t keep track of grades? Would you watch a sport that didn’t keep score? Would you trust a financial adviser who takes your money and never provides you with statistics regarding how your investment is performing? Data and statistics are pretty useful in determining a win vs. a loss aren’t they?

It’s a wonder why so many people refuse to track what they are eating! Tracking your daily food intake is a very useful way to attach data that can be used to analyze your dietary success or failure. The common reasons for the refusal to attach any meaningful data to your weight loss:

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“It’s too difficult.”

This may have been the case a couple years ago but now that most people have smart phones and internet access it is extremely easy to accurately track your intake. It’s as simple as downloading an app or creating a profile on a website and you’re set. The amount of pre-loaded food and the ease of which it is to find make this extremely easy now…especially for people who tend to stick to the same food/meals on a daily or weekly basis.

“I don’t have time to track my food.”

At first there’s a bit of a learning curve but even with that this is no longer a valid argument thanks to modern technology. At most you’re going to spend 5 minutes per meal finding and tracking your meals… and even that is probably an exaggeration. As you hit your groove you’ll probably find it takes less than 5 minutes per day to track!

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Great, it’s easy and quick… but what’s the point?!

Like your finances or your favorite sports team… if you don’t have the data you’re left guessing when adjustments are needed. If your weight loss stalls how do you know what adjustments to make if you don’t really know where you are currently? You can decide to cut back on sugar, or fat, or carbs or just eat less… but without knowing your current intake how do you really know what less is? Without any meaningful data you’re left guessing.

Do you really want to trust this process to a guess?

I don’t. Luckily it’s easier than ever to take control of your weight loss and start managing the data wisely.  All you need to do now is perform a simple search for a calorie tracker and start tracking!

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Check out this article for more info on finding your starting point and finding the perfect diet for you!

Featured photo credit: Yoga/Jean Henrique Wichinoski via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 14, 2019

7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

From Atkins to Paleo to eating gluten-free despite not being one of the rare few people afflicted with celiac disease, fad diets are everywhere. It drives me crazy because I believe these diets do more harm than good. Your body is made up of a variety of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, and losing weight healthily isn’t possible when you fill your body with unnecessary synthetic plastics, sugars, and powders. There’s no easy button in life.

What you need to do is exercise, which isn’t very appealing to many people. Workouts take work, so there’s already a stigma involved in going to the gym. Starting a healthy workout regimen becomes easier when you make it fun. If you want to live long and prosper, get off the couch and try these methods to turn your workout into a playout.

1. Take the scenic route.

Walking is an easy way to transition to a healthy lifestyle, and it’s free. Not only do you burn calories (check out this calculator for how many calories you burn based on your weight), but you see the world in a different way. Hiking in nature is great if you have access to it, but don’t let living in an urban area deter you from walking.

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Whenever I’m creatively stuck I get my head straight by walking a couple of miles. It’s also how I discover new paths, meet new people, and stumble upon hole-in-the-wall spots I never would have found otherwise. You could drive past the same place every day and never appreciate the beauty, nor even notice it’s there.

2. Distract yourself.

No matter what exercise routine you choose, use the time to meditate. You may wonder how marathon runners are able to put so many miles on their bodies. It’s because the pain from running that you avoid is something they’ve learned to harness to enter a transcendental state. If you’re aware of the benefits of meditation and exercise but don’t have time to do both, you can combine them, killing two birds with one healthy stone.

3. Listen to music or podcasts.

There are few experiences in life more pleasurable than turning up the music and drowning out the world around you. With so many podcasts and music apps available on your smartphone, you can easily find entertainment options perfectly suited to your personal tastes. Never worry what people may think of you when working out;instead, crank up the volume and get lost in your own world. You’ll be in shape before you know it.

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4. Bring a friend.

Some people can’t go anywhere alone. While I highly recommend dining out and seeing a movie in a theater alone, having company while exercising is very helpful. It allows you to pace yourself with someone else, and gives you a coach to motivate and push harder than you may have on your own.

Many exercises are safer when done with a friend, and some sports can only be played with another person. Involving others in your goals can mean the difference between success and failure. Just remember to continue exercising if the other person flakes, or they’ll be in control of your health.

5. Accessorize.

There are accessories that can make exercise easier, and sometimes buying a new toy can add some much-needed fun to your routine. With apps like RunKeeper and Nike+, your smartphone is capable of tracking your vitals and progress. Wrist weights can add a new dimension to your workout, and, if you exercise at night, a headlamp can help you see what’s in front of you so you don’t trip.

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For urban runners and power-walkers, one of the biggest obstacles is other people. It’s difficult to get in your meditative zone and enjoy your music when you constantly have to dodge people. To resolve this vexing issue, Runbell, a startup in Tokyo, has developed the runner’s version of the bicycle bell. With this lightweight brass bell warning people you’re approaching from behind, you’re free to maintain your transcendental state while continuing your workout. Head to their Kickstarter campaign to pledge your support.

6. Compete.

A little healthy competition can motivate you to push yourself further in your workout regimen. There are apps like Zombies, Run! which turns your run into a video game, and MyFitnessPal which allows you to connect with others in the exercise community. Whether you’re directly competing with a friend, an online community, or against your previous self, setting goals is the key to reaching them. Running with no destination can feel like an impossible task, and it’s easy to get distracted.

7. Relax.

The best part about exercising is how much you enjoy the downtime. If you think laying on your couch all day is enjoyable, it has nothing on that hour you spend as a couch potato after a rigorous workout. Jay-Z said it best, “in order to experience joy, you need pain.” The harder you push yourself while exercising, the better you’ll feel when you’re relaxing.

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With that said, don’t relax too much, or it loses the effect. It’s okay to indulge every so often. Treat yourself to some junk food you’re craving, imbibe a drink here and there, and spend a day vegging out on your couch. Staying healthy doesn’t have to be torture. Just turn down when you can and dedicate some time to better the health of your body. You only get one.

Featured photo credit: tpsdave via pixabay.com

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