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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 July 8, 2020

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

1. Understand Yourself Better

Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

2. Keep Track of Small Changes

I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

3. Become Aware of What Matters

As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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4. Boost Creativity

The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

6. Process Life Experiences

When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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7. Stress Relief

In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

8. Provide Direction

Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

9. Solve Problems

Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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10. Find Relief From Fighting

Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

11. Find Meaning in Life

Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

12. Allow Yourself to Focus

Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

14. Let the Past Go

I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

15. Allow Freedom

Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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16. Enhance Your Career

Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

18. Catalog Your Life for Others

No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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