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10 Easy Things You Can Start Today To Lose More Weight

10 Easy Things You Can Start Today To Lose More Weight

Let’s face it, losing weight is great but the process of making it happen absolutely sucks.

Whether you’re just losing a few pounds, or planning an entire body transformation, diet and exercise is always key.

But what kind of diet and exercise, and what else can you do to speed the process along?

Lots of things – and we’re going to give you 10 of the best.

In this short article we outline a combination of the best 10 diet, exercise and lifestyle hacks you can incorporate into your weight loss plan to start seeing the results you deserve, in a much faster time frame – this is what you need to know:

running

    1. Cardio Sucks – High Intensity Training Doesn’t

    Running on a treadmill for hours on end is literally one of the worst experiences you can have. If you don’t want to go to the gym today, this is probably why.

    But what if we told you that you can burn fat with just 10 minutes of hard work?

    It’s true. There’s an easier way to do this – High Intensity Interval Training.

    It’s essentially just sprinting and stopping for a small amount of time – but it is tough stuff.

    A good example of this is to imagine being on an exercise bike:

    • Set it to the lightest setting and pedal for 30 seconds
    • Increase the resistance to as high as you can handle and tough it out for another 30 seconds
    • Rinse and repeat for 10 – 15 minutes
    • Enjoy the burn!

    This is a great way to burn fat fast, and the science is there to prove it. For example, a 2013 study compared a group of men who cycled 40 – 60 minutes five times a week at a pace of 65% intensity to a group that did less than 12 minutes of HIIT 3 times a week.

    The fat and weight loss results were strikingly similar with the HIIT group only taking up a fraction of the time compared to the other groups long slow grind.

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    There’s even a evidence that shows those that train HIIT actually enjoy it more, and there’s a lot more benefits than just weight loss.

    calculator

      2. Clever Calorie Counting – Math Yourself Slimmer

      This one’s pretty obvious, but sometimes it can be hard to keep track of exactly what you’ve eaten, so we suggest keeping a log.

      Calories in vs. calories out is your ultimate weapon in losing weight quickly.

      Think about it. If your body needs X amount of calories to maintain its current weight, then X – 200 calories will shrink it down as it doesn’t have enough to maintain your current size.

      It’s straight forward as long as you keep track of your calories – but don’t go overboard.

      200 calories is a safe place to start – test it out for a few weeks (because you’ll be taking in 1400 calories less a week!) and see where your body stabilizes. If you want to lose more, take more out of your diet and little by little you’ll get closer to that body you deserve.

      green-tea

        3. Alcohol is out – Green Tea is in

        Booze is fun, but it’s packed with calories. The second liquid fun gets taken out of the equation you take a big step towards less calories in your overall intake.

        But you can take all that one step further.

        Booze will make you gain weight, but did you know there are drinks that will help you lose it? We’re not kidding, enter: Green Tea.

        Green Tea is one of the best fat burners around. Packed with catechins, Green Tea helps by inhibiting the enzyme in your body that suppresses norepinephrine – this is your body’s fat burning hormone, and the more of that circulating in your system the better.

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        There’s so many benefits regarding this herb. It’s so effective in fact that green tea has even been seen in one study to burn up to 5.7g of fat in a single cup. You go Green Tea!

        sugar

          4. There’s nothing Sweet about Sugar

          Sugar is one of the worst nutrients in your diet – if you can call it a nutrient.

          Although it tastes sweet, and makes any dessert pretty darn incredible – it will work against you in the long run.

          One of the main reasons sugar is just so bad is the nutrient profile. It literally has no benefits; no minerals, vitamins, amino acids or otherwise – it’s literally just powdered calories.

          On top of that it’s also addictive. Studies have shown sugar releases dopamine in your brain – the reward hormone, making you subconsciously wanting to take more of it. It works in the same way a drug does, and the end result is stubborn fat.

          Go after something sweeter than sugar, go get that body you’ve been working for.

          gym

            5. Lift Heavy – Get Lighter

            Contrary to what you may have heard, lifting weights is actually a good way to lose weight.

            One of the main things working out does besides building muscle, is increase muscle metabolism – and the faster your metabolism the more overall calories you’ll lose.

            The best exercises to get these results are squats and deadlifts. These work the bigger muscles in your body, like your back and legs which creates the most metabolic benefit – and the most weight lost!

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            vegetable

              6. Snack Strategically – Veg Out

              Snacking is one of the only things that is amazing and awful at the same time.

              Although it feels good to treat yourself between meal times, the extra calories aren’t going to do you any favors. There needs to be a middle ground – and vegetables are the best way to get there.

              Here’s the great thing about vegetables – they’re low calorie, full of vitamins minerals and fiber, and guess what? They’re filling!

              The next time you feel yourself itching to get the snack draw, why not serve yourself a full bowl of steamed veggies? Healthy greens like broccoli, cabbage and beans are great choices, and they all help stave off hunger.

              Morning

                7. Wake Up Earlier

                If you love lie-ins you’re going to hate this section because guess what? Waking up earlier helps you lose weight.

                In an interesting study by Northwestern University found that in a group of 54 volunteers, those that were exposed to the most light during the day from waking up early saw a bigger reduction in their overall BMI.

                And plus being awake and moving around more than when you do usually can’t hurt either.

                waterfall

                  8. Freeze off the Fat – Cold Showers!

                  Nobody likes a cold shower, but everyone like losing weight – and studies have shown that the two are pretty connected.

                  When you put your body in a colder environment – like a freezing shower, it compensates to warm you up – and the main way it does that is by burning fat.

                  A study from 2009 showed that cold showers can increase fat burning by up to 15 times as much as a warm shower – they did the math and it worked out (based on average shower time) around 9 lbs a year in fat loss through cold showers!

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                  watch

                    9. Punch the Clock on Weight Loss – Intermittent Fasting

                    Another tip for fast dieting results is to remember it’s not always what you eat, but when you eat it.

                    Intermittent Fasting is an incredible example of that. By giving yourself a window throughout the day of when you’re allowed to eat, you can rapidly speed up your weight loss journey. That means for the rest of the time you’re taking in absolutely no calories, only water.

                    There are several ways you can do this, but the most popular is the 8 hours off, 16 hours on. That’s 16 hours of fasting with only 8 hours to eat all your daily calories.

                    It’s an interesting approach and has been seen to reduce insulin levels, preserve muscle tissue (while burning fat), lower blood pressure and improve metabolism.

                    It’s also incredibly convenient if you prepare your meals in advance.

                    chili

                      10. Start to like it Hot

                      Lastly, chili pepper is a great nutrient to have in your diet if you’re looking to lose more weight.

                      This all boils down to the capsicum in the nutrient – this is the compound that give the fruit its ‘heat’. These hot foods help achieve a state of thermogenesis in your body – which causes your body’s core temperature to rise.

                      This is where you lose more weight. With a higher core temperature, your body kicks into gear and starts to cool and regulate itself. This process requires a lot more calories to perform, allowing you to burn more calories without lifting a finger! It couldn’t get any easier.

                      Summing Up

                      So there you have it, 10 easy tips you can start today to lose more weight.

                      We think there’s a lot to be said for cutting out the booze and sugar, those calories really add up. But what about you? Which do you think are the best tips up here, and can you think of any more that you think should be on this list?

                      Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to like us on Facebook for more fitness tips.

                      Featured photo credit: Bikini Colors/Rafael Antonio via flickr.com

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                      Saul McArthur

                      Copywriter

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                      Last Updated on March 30, 2020

                      Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (And What to Do About It)

                      Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (And What to Do About It)

                      Feeling tired all the time?

                      Have you ever caught yourself nodding off when you’re watching TV, listening to someone drone on during a meeting or even driving a car?

                      I know I have, especially when I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive.

                      Feeling tired all the time may be more widespread than you think. In fact, two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week.[1]

                      If you’re tired of feeling tired, then I’ve got some great news for you. New research is helping us gain critical insights into the underlying causes of feeling tired all the time.

                      In this article, we’ll discuss the latest reasons why you’re feeling tired all the time and practical steps you can take to finally get to the bottom of your fatigue and feel rested.

                      What Happens When You’re Too Tired

                      If you sleep just two hours less than the normal eight hours, you could be as impaired as someone who has consumed up to three beers.[2] And you’ve probably experienced the impact yourself.

                      Here are some common examples of what happens when you’re feeling tired:[3]

                      • You may have trouble focusing because memory and learning functions may be impaired within your brain.
                      • You may experience mood swings and an inability to differentiate between what’s important and what’s not because your brain’s neurotransmitters are misfiring.
                      • You may get dark circles under your eyes and/or your skin make look dull and lackluster in the short term and over time your skin may get wrinkles and show signs of aging because your body didn’t have time to remove toxins during sleep.
                      • You may find it more difficult to exercise or to perform any type of athletic activity.
                      • Your immune system may weaken causing you to pick up infections more easily.
                      • You may overeat because not getting enough sleep activates the body’s endocannabinoids even when you’re not hungry.
                      • Your metabolism slows down so what you eat is more likely to be stored as belly fat.

                      Are you saying that feeling tired can make me overweight?

                      Unfortunately, yes!

                      Feeling tired all the time can cause you to put on the pounds especially around your waist. But it is a classic chicken and egg situation, too.

                      Heavier people are more likely to feel fatigued during the day than lighter ones. And that’s even true for overweight people who don’t have sleep apnea (source: National Institutes of Health).

                      Speaking of sleep apnea, you may be wondering if that or something else is causing you to feel tired all the time.

                      Why Are you Feeling Tired All the Time?

                      Leading experts are starting to recognize that there are three primary reasons people feel tired on a regular basis: sleep deprivation, fatigue and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

                      Here’s a quick overview of each root cause of feeling tired all of the time:

                      1. Tiredness occurs from sleep deprivation when you don’t get high-quality sleep consistently. It typically can be solved by changing your routine and getting enough deep restorative sleep.
                      2. Fatigue occurs from prolonged sleeplessness which could be triggered by numerous issues such as mental health issues, long-term illness, fibromyalgia, obesity, sleep apnea or stress. It typically can be improved by changing your lifestyle and using sleep aids or treatments, if recommended by your physician.
                      3. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a medical condition also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis that occurs from persistent exhaustion that doesn’t go away with sleep.

                      The exact cause of CFS is not known, but it may be due to problems with the immune system, a bacterial infection, a hormone imbalance or emotional trauma.

                      It typically involves working with a doctor to rule out other illnesses before diagnosing and treating CFS.[4]

                      Always consult a physician to get a personal diagnosis about why you are feeling tired, especially if it is a severe condition.

                      Feeling Tired vs Being Fatigued

                      If lack of quality sleep doesn’t seem to be the root cause for you, then it’s time to explore fatigue as the reason you are frequently feeling tired.

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                      Until recently, tiredness and fatigue were thought to be interchangeable. Leading experts now realize that tiredness and fatigue are different.

                      Tiredness is primarily about lack of sleep.

                      But fatigue is a perceived feeling of being tired that is much more likely to occur in people who have depression, anxiety or emotional stress and/or are overweight and physically inactive (source: Science Direct).

                      Symptoms of fatigue include:

                      • Difficulty concentrating
                      • Low stamina
                      • Difficulty sleeping
                      • Anxiety
                      • Low motivation

                      These symptoms may sound similar to those of tiredness but they usually last longer and are more intense.

                      Unfortunately, there is no definitive reason why fatigue occurs because it can be a symptom of an emotional or physical illness. But there are still a number of steps you can take to reduce difficult symptoms by making a few simple lifestyle changes.

                      How Much Sleep Is Enough?

                      The number one reason you may feel tired is because of sleep deprivation which means you are not getting enough high-quality sleep.

                      Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of high-quality, uninterrupted sleep per night. If you’re sleep deprived, the amount of sleep you need increases.

                      So, quantity and quality do matter when it comes to sleep.

                      The key to quality sleep is being able to get long, uninterrupted sleep cycles throughout the night. It typically takes 90 minutes for you to reach a state of deep REM sleep where your body’s healing crew goes to work.

                      Ideally, you want to get at least 3 to 4 deep REM sleep cycles in per night. That’s why it’s so important to stay asleep for 7 or more hours.

                      Research also shows that people who think they can get by on less sleep don’t perform as well as people who get at least seven hours of sleep a night[5] So, you should definitely plan on getting seven hours of deep restorative sleep every night.

                      If you are not getting 7 hours of high-quality sleep regularly, then sleep deprivation is most likely reason you feel tired all the time.

                      And that is good news because sleep deprivation is much simpler and easier to address than the other root causes.

                      It’s also a good idea to rule out sleep deprivation as the reason why you are tired before moving on to the other possibilities such as fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which may require a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

                      4 Simple Changes to Reduce Fatigue

                      Personally, I’m a big believer in upgrading your lifestyle to uplift your life. I overcame chronic stress and exhaustion by making these four changes to my lifestyle:

                      1. Eating healthy, home-cooked meals versus microwaving processed foods or eating out
                      2. Exercising regularly
                      3. Using stressbusters
                      4. Creating a bedtime routine to sleep better

                      So, I know it is possible to change your lifestyle even when you’re working crazy hours and have lots of family responsibilities.

                      After I made the 4 simple changes in my lifestyle, I no longer felt exhausted all of the time.

                      In addition, I lost two inches off my waist and looked and felt better than ever.

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                      I was so excited that I wanted to help others replace stress and exhaustion with rest and well-being, too. That’s why I became a Certified Holistic Wellness Coach through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute.

                      Interestingly enough, I discovered that Dr. Sears recommends a somewhat similar L.E.A.N. lifestyle:

                      • L is for Lifestyle and means living healthy including getting enough sleep.
                      • E is for Exercise and means getting at least 20 minutes of exercise a day ideally for six days a week.
                      • A is for Attitude and means thinking positive and reducing stress whenever possible.
                      • N is for Nutrition and means emphasizing a right-fat diet, not a low-fat diet.

                      The L.E.A.N. lifestyle is a scientifically-proven way to reduce fatigue, get to the optimal weight and to achieve overall wellness.[6]

                      And yes, there does seem to be an important correlation between being lean and feeling rested.

                      But overall based on my personal experience and Dr. Sear’s scientific proof, the key to not feeling tired all of the time does seem to be 4 simple changes to your lifestyle.

                      L — Living Healthy

                      Getting enough high-quality sleep every day is the surefire way to help you feel less fatigued, more rested and better overall.

                      So, whether you’re sleep deprived or potentially suffering from fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you probably want to find a way to sleep better.

                      In fact, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body isn’t getting the time it needs to repair itself; meaning that if you are suffering from an illness, it’s far more likely to linger.

                      As unlikely as it sounds, though, fatigue can sometimes make it difficult to sleep. That’s why I’d recommend taking a look at your bedtime routine before you go to bed and optimize it based on sleep best practices.

                      Here are 3 quick and easy tips for creating a pro-sleep bedtime routine:

                      1. Unplug

                      Many of us try to unwind by watching TV or doing something on an iPhone or tablet. But tech can affect your melatonin production due to the blue light that they emit, fooling your body into thinking it’s still daytime.

                      So turn off all tech one hour before bed and create a tech-free zone in your bedroom.

                      2. Unwind

                      Do something to relax.

                      Use the time before bed to do something you find relaxing such as reading a book, listening to soothing music, meditating or taking an Epsom salt bath.

                      3. Get Comfortable

                      Ensure your bed is comfortable and your room is set up for sleep.

                      Make sure you room is cool. 60-68 degrees is the ideal temperature for most people to sleep.

                      Also, it’s ideal if your bedroom is dark and there is no noise.

                      Finally, make sure everything is handled (e.g., laying out tomorrow’s clothes) before you get into your nice, comfy bed.

                      If your mind is still active, write a to-do list to help you fall asleep faster.[7]

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                      Above all, be gentle with yourself and count your blessings, some sheep or whatever helps.

                      This article also offers practical tips to build a bedtime routine: How to Build a Good Bedtime Routine That Makes Your Morning Easier

                      E — Exercise

                      Many people know that exercise is good for them, but just can’t figure out how to fit it into their busy schedules.

                      That’s what happened in my case.

                      But when my chronic stress and exhaustion turned into systemic inflammation (which can lead to major diseases like Alzheimer’s), I realized it was time to change my lifestyle.

                      As part of my lifestyle upgrade, I knew I needed to move more.

                      My friends who exercise all gave me the same advice: find an exercise you like to do and find a specific time in your schedule when you can consistently do it.

                      That made sense to me.

                      So, I decided to swim.

                      I used to love to swim when I was young, but I hadn’t done it for years. The best time for me to do it was immediately after work, since I could easily get an open swim lane at my local fitness club then.

                      Also, swimming became a nice reason for me to leave work on time. And I got to enjoy a nice workout before eating dinner.

                      Swimming is a good way to get your cardio or endurance training. But, walking, running and dancing are nice alternatives.

                      So find an exercise you love and stick to it. Ideally, get a combination of endurance training, strength training and flexibility training in during your daily 20-minute workout.

                      If you haven’t exercised in a while and have a lot of stress in your life, you may want to give yoga a try because you will increase your flexibility and lower your stress.

                      A — Attitude

                      Stress may be a major reason why you aren’t feeling well all of the time. At least that was the case with me.

                      When I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive, I felt chronically stressed and exhausted. But there was one thing that always worked to help me feel calmer and less fatigued.

                      Do you want to know what that master stress-busting technique was?

                      Breathing.

                      But not just any old breathing. It was a special form of deep Yogic breathing called the “Long-Exhale Breathing” or “4-7-8 breathing” or “Pranayama” in Sanskrit).

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                      Here’s how you do “Long-Exhale Breathing”:

                      1. Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight and your hand on your tummy (so you know you are breathing deeply from your diaphragm and not shallowly from your chest)
                      2. Breathe in deeply and slowly from your diaphragm with your mouth closed while you count to 4 (ideally until your stomach feels full of air)
                      3. Hold your breath while you count to 7 mentally and enjoy the stillness
                      4. Breathe out through your mouth with a “ha” sound while you count to 8 (or until your stomach has no more air in it)
                      5. Pause after you finish your exhale while you notice the sense of wholeness and relaxation from completing one conscious, deep, long exhale breath
                      6. Repeat 3 times ensuring your exhale is longer than your inhale so you relax your nervous system

                      This type of “long-exhale breathing” is scientifically proven to reduce stress.

                      When your exhale is twice as long as your inhale, it soothes your parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates the relaxation response.[8]

                      Plus, this is a great technique for helping you get to sleep, too.

                      N — Nutrition

                      Diet is vital for beating fatigue – after all, food is your main source of energy.

                      If your diet is poor, then it implies you’re not getting the nutrients you need to sustain healthy energy levels.

                      Eating a diet for fatigue doesn’t need to be complicated, time-consuming though.

                      For most people, it’s just a case of swapping a few unhealthy foods for a few healthier ones, like switching from low-fiber, processed foods to whole, high-fiber foods.

                      Unless your current diet is solely made up of fast food and ready meals, adjusting to a fatigue-fighting diet shouldn’t be too much of a shock to the system.

                      Here’re 9 simple diet swaps you can make today:

                      1. Replace your morning coffee with Matcha green tea and drink only herbal tea within six hours of bedtime.
                      2. Add a healthy fat or protein to your any carb you eat, especially if you eat before bed. Please note that carb-only snacks lead to blood-sugar crashes that can make you eat more and they can keep you from sleeping.
                      3. Fill up with fiber especially green leafy vegetables. Strive to get at least 25g per day with at least 5 servings (a serving is the size of your fist) of green vegetables.
                      4. Replace refined, processed, low-fiber pastas and grains with zucchini noodles and whole grains such as buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, oats, amaranth, millet, teff, brown rice and corn.
                      5. Swap natural sweeteners for refined sugars and try to ensure you don’t get more than 25g of sugar a day if you are a woman and 30g of sugar a day if you are a man.
                      6. Replace ice cream with low-sugar alternatives such as So Delicious Dairy-Free Vanilla Bean Coconut Ice Cream.
                      7. Swap omega-6, partially-hydrogenated oils such as corn, palm, sunflower, safflower, cotton, canola and soybean oil for omega-3 oils such as flax, olive and nut oils.
                      8. Replace high-sugar yoghurts with low-sugar, dairy-free yoghurts such as Kite Hill Plain Yoghurt with 1g sugar or Lifeway Farmer Cheese with 0g sugar.
                      9. Swap your sugar-laden soda for sparkling water with a splash of low-sugar juice

                      Also, ensure your diet is giving you enough of the daily essential vitamins and minerals. Most of us don’t get enough Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, Calcium, Iron and Magnesium. If you are low on any of the above vitamins and minerals, you may experience fatigue and low energy.

                      That’s why it’s always worth having your doctor check your levels. If you find any of them are low, then try to eat foods rich in them.

                      Alternatively, you might consider a high-quality multi-vitamin or specific supplement.

                      The Bottom Line

                      If you are tired of feeling tired, then there is tremendous hope.

                      If you are tired because you are not getting enough high-quality sleep, then the best remedy is a bedtime routine based on sleep best practices.

                      If you are tired because you have stress and fatigue, then the best remedy are four simple lifestyle changes including:

                      • Enough High-Quality Sleep with Bedtime Routine
                      • Regular Exercise You Love
                      • Stress Reduction with Long-Exhale Breathing
                      • Fatigue-Reducing Diet

                      Overall, adopting a healthier lifestyle Is the ideal remedy for feeling more rested and energized.

                      More Tips to Help You Rest Better

                      Featured photo credit: Cris Saur via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      [1] YouGov: Two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week
                      [2] National Safety Council: Is Your Company Confronting Workplace Fatigue?
                      [3] The New York Times: Why Are We So Freaking Tired?
                      [4] Mayo Clinic: Chronic fatigue syndrome
                      [5] Mayo Clinic: Lack of sleep: Can it make you sick?
                      [6] Ask Dr. Sears: The L.E.A.N. Lifestyle
                      [7] American Psychological Association: Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
                      [8] Yoga International: Learning to Exhale: 2-to-1 Breathing

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