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7 of the Best Diet Hacks You’ve Never Heard Of

7 of the Best Diet Hacks You’ve Never Heard Of

It’s no secret that the key to staying fit is eating healthy and getting plenty of regular exercise. While these are surefire ways to help you lose weight, there are also some special, more unknown, diet hacks that could also help you shed a few extra pounds. Go ahead and try them out for yourself if you’re hoping to lose a little weight this year…

1. Eat five or six small meals per day instead of three big meals

It used to be standard to eat three big meals in your day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. However, research[1] has shown that it’s best to eat five or six smaller meals throughout the day instead if you’re trying to lose weight. Why does this work? Well, it turns out that every time you eat a meal, your body’s metabolism revs up. It starts a new cycle due to the thermic effect of the food you’ve just consumed, so some of the calories you eat get burned just because of the digestion process.

The foods you eat do have an impact on this as well. For example, lean protein triggers a thermic effect of up to 30%,[2] which means you burn 30% of the calories you eat from those lean proteins you’ve consumed. Fatty foods and foods with refined carbohydrates have a low thermic effects, coming in at only 3%.[3] By eating a lot of these foods, it’s going to cause you to see weight gain as a result.

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So, if you want to accelerate your body’s natural rate of calorie burning, you want to eat those five or six smaller meals as opposed to three big meals. Eating smaller, more frequent meals can also help to control cravings and can keep your energy levels high.

2. Eat off a blue plate

This diet hack sounds a little weird, don’t you think? While you may be convinced that the color of your plate doesn’t have an impact on weight loss, studies[4] have shown it can help you eat less. It was found that when a food’s color contrasts with the plate it was served on, people tend to consume fewer calories. The reason a blue plate is suggested is because not that many foods are blue.

Having a plate that contrasts in color compared to your food gives the appearance that you have a larger portion than you actually do. If you don’t believe it, give it a try yourself. The next time you’re preparing dinner at home, put your food on a plate that is a contrasting color from the dinner you’re serving. For example, if you’re having spaghetti with marinara sauce, ditch the red plates and go with another color instead.

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3. Play a game to ward off cravings

We’ve all experienced those afternoon food cravings, whether you’re dying to get your hands on something salty or something sweet. Giving into those cravings isn’t conducive to losing weight. So, when you feel those cravings coming on, you should play a game instead. And yes, we’re giving you permission to break out the video games.

A 2014 study found that visual-based tasks, such as playing games, can actually decrease the feelings of cravings.[5] This means that the next time you’re itching to get your hands on a bag of potato chips, you should reach for your phone instead. Play a game of Angry Birds or Candy Crush to take your mind off of the cravings and minimize the strength it has over you.

4. Put a mirror on your fridge

The last place you’d think to put a mirror is in your kitchen, but it turns out that it could be one diet hack that will help you shed a few extra pounds. Apparently, looking at ourselves before we open up the fridge can help us to lose weight and make better food choices. It’s a powerful reminder of our goal to change our bodies and can easily influence your decision. After all, you don’t want to let yourself down, do you? Hang up a mirror somewhere in your kitchen or on your fridge to stop yourself from giving into unhealthy food temptations.

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5. Count your macros

Counting macros goes beyond just counting calories, which can be a frustrating task for many people. However, if you want to lose weight, it’s a good idea to be aware of exactly what you’re putting into your body. Instead of just counting calories, counting macros encourages you to count the macronutrients within a food (the grams of proteins, carbs, and fats). You have to consider your macros in conjunction with your daily calorie goal and watch the ratios of each.

Macro dieting can help you get better with portion control and show you exactly where they’re coming from. You’ll start to see just how much of an impact the foods you eat have on your body overall as you start to make healthier choices with the foods you eat. Once you start to count macros and customize a plan for your body, you’ll see yourself losing body fat within only one month.

6. Use the “burn or burn” technique

This next diet hack is one that will have you working out on a regular basis without any protesting. It’s called the “burn or burn” technique. Intrigued? Here’s what you need to do… First, you’ll want to pick a workout routine that you’d like to stick to whether that’s hitting the gym or doing a home-based workout. Then, you need to block off time in your schedule for your workout, which is essentially making an appointment with yourself. If you don’t block off the time, you probably aren’t going to commit to the workout.

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Next, find a $100 bill. You could use another denomination bill, but it will need to be an amount that you would hate to lose, such as $50 or $20. You’ll also need to get yourself a lighter and a wall calendar. The next step is to take the $100 bill to the calendar on the day’s date and put the lighter somewhere nearby where you will see it. This gives you a choice every day. You can either burn off the calories during your workout or you can burn your money.

Now, it’s obviously illegal to burn money, but the threat of burning your $100 bill is designed to motivate you to work out. The whole reason this works is because we hate the thought of losing money. That loss is a good motivation to get you to stick to your workout routine and burn off those calories instead of watching your money burn.

7. Eat food high in water content to make you feel fuller faster

Did you know that if you start a meal by eating foods that have a high water content, it helps to promote fullness? It also helps to slow down the digestive process and you’ll be less likely to overeat. Beans, legumes, vegetables, and fruits are just some of the foods that are high in water content. Try starting your next meal by eating one of these so you don’t have to worry about eating too much of the calorie-dense foods on your plate.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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Dan Scalco

Director of Marketing

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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