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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

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Dan Scalco

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Last Updated on January 17, 2019

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

Listen carefully:

We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

1. Pray Daily

You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

3. Smile Often

Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

4. Organize Your Working Desk

A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

How do you do that? This is my formula:

First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

8. Go Exercise

Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

The Bottom Line

It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

More Resources About Mindfulness

Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

Reference

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