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Last Updated on July 13, 2020

4 Simple Hacks to Lose Fat Fast (And Sustainably)

4 Simple Hacks to Lose Fat Fast (And Sustainably)

In the following article, I will be covering several topics that ‘cutting fat’ encompasses. For example, I will present exercise as a modality, as I have done in the past, namely due to the fact that it has substantial research and evidence to back it’s clear results.

What you should not look for in this article is a ‘magic pill’ or shortcut that will fast-track you to losing weight and cutting fat. Why? Because if such a pill even did exist, due to the fact that no lifestyle change has been made, there is a high-likelihood that any fat-lost will return quickly.

I’m going to quickly share an embarrassing story with you that’ll hopefully put some things into perspective…

The reason why I consider myself an expert in weight loss is because I’ve been progressing my own body composition for several years now.

Initially, I began the journey in 2012 – being about 40lbs/18kg overweight and looking for ways to cut fat quickly. I tried all sorts of fad weight loss modalities that claimed amazing results but simply didn’t work. Sadly enough, I briefly researched surgical (liposuction) to remove fat fast, but thankfully didn’t entertain that notion for long as I knew it came from unrealistic laziness.

Now when I examine the whole concept of liposuction, it has many flaws, namely that anyone undergoing such a procedure has not made sufficient life changes to actually sustain themselves after the operation. The body also undergoes trauma during the operation. Additionally, the body itself has not “worked” for its new composition, and therefor has a high likelihood of reverting back to the previous state.

The take-away here is that, if you want to lose weight, you will need to do the work. But you’ll enjoy it more and more as you progress – trust me!

After having lost the 40lbs/18kg of extra weight through exercise and how, when, and what I ate, my body fat percentage dropped to 7% – where I then began working my way back up in weight but as muscle.

Over the last 2 years, I have been focusing on developing 20lbs/9kg of lean muscle mass – which I estimate will be achieved by 2022 of course through further exercise and dietary habits.

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I’m writing the below suggestions after having initially gone through the process of losing weight quite effectively.

These steps to losing weight are quite simple:

1. Have a Proper Attitude

Your attitude is one of the most important aspects of the entire weight loss process, and deserves first placement on this list! It encompasses your mental fortitude to create a plan and strategy, and set things in motion in a way that the result is inevitable.

How do you determine which result is ideal for you? Look within your thoughts and see what it is you feel you cannot accomplish and then challenge that – envision yourself as the epitome of that which you seek. That which you can conceptualize you can achieve!

Do you want to align to that healthier, stronger, happier version of yourself? It’s already there! This is the attitude – let’s go.

2. Exercise with a Strategy

Some people reading the heading of ‘exercise’ may immediately want to scroll past and continue reading to the next recommendations, however, those people would be missing out on the true potential exercise has in store for not just losing weight but fortifying your mental attitude.

The best way exercise can support your weight loss efforts is by utilizing Intermittent Fasting or Time Restricted Eating (which we’ll get into under the heading eating) in conjunction with workouts. The exercise strategy should be in the direction of cardiovascular workouts before and after weight lifting training.

A general example of a 60-minute session could look like this:

  • Warm-up cardio workout 10-15 min
    Exercises: quick pace walk, jog, run, bike, elliptical, stairs etc.
  • HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) where not only do you burn more calories, but the effect of all that intense exertion kicks your body’s repair cycle into hyperdrive. Meaning you burn more fat and calories within 24 hours after a HIIT workout compared to a steady-pace run.
    Exercises: sprints, speed bike, sped elliptical, running stairs/hill sprints, plyometrics, burpees etc.
  • Weight lifting training 30-45 min
    Exercises: squats, deadlifts, bent over rows, dumbbell press, bench press, leg press, cable work etc.
  • Cool-down cardio workout 10-15 min
    Exercises: slow pace walk, light jog, casual bike, elliptical etc.

Exercising this way will focus the bulk of your efforts towards weight loss and cutting fat – and if you’ve been fasting during exercise, you’ll reap awesome fat loss benefits!

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The exact exercises you should focus on, in my opinion, are getting your big movers (muscles) firing because those will support maximal fat burning.

Examples of training that hit the larger muscle groups are mentioned above (squats, deadlifts, leg press etc.) and generally fall under moderate-to-heavy (40-80%+ of one’s maximum) weight lifting.

I cover various training programs and modalities on my YouTube channel — Adam Evans, and invite you to subscribe or have a watch. Otherwise, feel free to browse my other Lifehack articles!

3. Eat the Right Food at the Right Time

When you exercise (run, bike, lift weights, swim etc.), while in a ‘fasted state,’ your body will seek-out stored fat deposits to use for energy, rather than utilizing any sort of food or drink you have consumed. The post-absorptive state lasts until 8 to 12 hours after your last meal, which is when you begin to enter the fasted state. It typically takes 12 hours after your last meal to fully enter the fasted state, however I suggest 14 hours after exercising and during your fasting time (while in a fasted state).

In most cases, the body fat which will burn off quicker will be around the belly, mid-section, as much of people’s stored fat tends to be in that region. When applying fasting and exercising, your body goes deep into belly fat deposits — areas that normally may be inaccessible while you are consuming food with or without exercise.

The point of fasting is to open the doorway to burning fat that has been hanging around for years and you have struggled to get rid of it — also known as ‘stubborn fat’.

When it comes to your actual meal time (‘eating window’ in fasting terminology), I highly suggest consuming foods that are easily digestible for you and hit all of your macro-nutrient (‘macros’), as well as some of your micro-nutrient (‘micros’), targets.

What I mean by this is that you will need to consume adequate protein, carbohydrates, and fats in order to support proper muscle-growth and development as well as weight loss.

Beyond hitting your macros, it’s important to get your micros as well – much of which would be covered with a daily multivitamin and other supplementation which I have mentioned in earlier articles such as the best weight loss supplements.

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Keeping your daily caloric intake below maintenance is also critical to losing weight, and keep in mind when you exercise, you are burning more calories so you will need to eat more to ensure you aren’t flat out starving yourself – that’s not what this is about! Your goal should be to maintain approximately a 10% caloric deficit; if your daily maintenance with no exercise is 2,000 calories, you would consume approximately 1,800 calories within an eating window (after fasting).

If you are exercising, then let’s say you have brought the daily maintenance from 2,000 calories to 3,000 calories because you have burned 1,000 calories while exercising, well simply apply 10% of 3,000 calories to arrive at a deficit of -300 which would position your target at 2,700 calories for the day. Eating this way ensures your body is supporting its recovery and fuelling itself for the next day of fasting and exercise.

When I’m being totally efficient with fasting and my eating window, I consume about 3 meals within a 6 to 8 hour span. There’s a way of doing this to avoid bloating, feeling sluggish, or simply not feeling like eating further and I have experimented with different approaches.

If I consume light macro and micro-nutrient dense foods, it yields the best results in the short and long term. Foods such as Wild Alaskin Salmon with a side salad, or brown rice, or in some cases potatoes work really well to satisfy me but not leave me feeling totally full. This is an important aspect of eating in general — to be satisfied but not full, this means your body has received adequate sustenance without stressing itself in the digestive process.

Many people struggle with Intermittent Fasting, or Time restricted eating, because they stuff their face as soon as the eating window begins, and they consume heavy foods like bread or even fast food. The take-away here is to keep it clean and simple, you can season a chicken breast so many ways to make it different each time.

The same goes for all the various types of fish from Salmon (which I’ve mentioned) to Cod, Tilapia, Haddock, Halibut, Bass, and more! You can also experiment with different types of Steak, and I suggest sticking to the leaner cuts if you are looking to lose weight – such as Top Sirlion, or Striplion, rather than the fattier Rib-Eye or Prime-Rib (as delicious as they may be).

4. Have Quality Deep Sleep

The concept of sleeping well to lose weight seems like a dream (pun intended). There is actually something to this concept however, and it has to do with your metabolism.

Research from a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found when people were starved of sleep, late-night snacking increased, and they were more likely to choose high-carb snacks. In another study done at the University of Chicago, sleep-deprived participants chose snacks with twice as much fat as those who slept at least 8 hours.

A second study found that sleeping too little prompts people to eat bigger portions of all foods, increasing weight gain. And in a review of 18 studies, researchers found that a lack of sleep led to increased cravings for energy-dense, high-carbohydrate foods.

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Researchers found that when dieters cut back on sleep over a 14-day period, the amount of weight they lost from fat dropped by 55%, even though their calories stayed equal.[1]

Leaving the brain benefits aside for reasons why you need quality deep sleep, the benefits towards weight loss and improved decision making are simply undeniable. Turn off the devices before bed, don’t go to sleep with your TV on, or on a full stomach, and ensure you are properly going through the sleep stages.

Key take-away, you must prioritize sleep!

Bottom Line

If you clicked this article looking for a magic method of weight loss, I’m (not)sorry to disappoint! I like to keep things real, honest, and losing weight is more than just shedding fat – it’s a total lifestyle change mentally and physically.

Don’t just envision yourself physically stronger, more attractive, and all that stuff.. consider your day-to-day quality of life including how you think and operate will be significantly improved. In fact, I’ll bet as you progress along the journey, the physical aesthetic will begin to lose its appeal as motivation, and you will be driven strictly from passion to improve your life and hopefully help others do the same.

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out!

More Tips for Losing Fat

Featured photo credit: Maddi Bazzocco via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] WebMD: Sleep More, Weigh Less

More by this author

Adam Evans

BioHacker, competitive athlete, researcher in many fields including health and fitness, science, philosophy, metaphysics, religion.

Intermittent Fasting Diet for Beginners (The Complete Guide) Why Weight Lifting for Weight Loss Leads to Super Fast Results 12 Stretching Exercises to Increase Your Flexibility 4 Simple Hacks to Lose Fat Fast (And Sustainably) 10 Natural Brain Boosters for Enhancing Memory, Energy and Focus

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Last Updated on October 5, 2020

13 Best Board Games For Adults To Play During Quarantine

13 Best Board Games For Adults To Play During Quarantine

This pandemic has forced many of us to be in our own homes for an indeterminate amount of time. And needless to say, many of us have been feeling the effects of self-isolation and quarantine for a while.

That said, one thing that can take us from that edge is board games. Board games have evolved a lot since we were little and have given rise to a wide variety of classics that have been released in the past decade or two. For this list, we are looking at some of the best board games for adults that avoid some of the classics and introduce new and exciting board games to try out.

Qualifications For Best Board Games

Before hopping into the best board games we have to offer, here are the measures that we’ve taken when putting together this list. With these things in mind, you’ll be sure to be entertained with these board games.

  • Length – How long does it take to play through the game? Some games tend to lose their excitement after a while and drag on. These board games don’t for various reasons.
  • Engagement – The level of interaction that you have with other players and on the board is important. Makes the game fun, entertaining, and exciting to play no matter how long it takes to play through a round.
  • Complexity – From the rules down to the number of pieces, you want to ensure the complexity of the game isn’t too overwhelming. We’ve picked out games that have a learning curve, but not so much that it takes a long time to get the hang of it.
  • Rules – The rules should be written clearly and have a small amount of them. You want to be hopping into the game and not be forced to remember too many rules or constantly check the rule book for reference.
  • Players involved – Every person has a different living situation in quarantine. Some have a family, while others may be isolated on their own or with one other person. You want board games to be versatile and still playable whether there is only yourself or you have three or more other people with you.

1. Best Board Games Overall: Azul

    The first on our list of best board games for adults is Azul. It’s a relatively new board game and involves tile laying. The idea with Azul is you are racing with other players to decorate the wall of a fictional Portugeuse Palace. This game strikes a balance between strategy and planning your moves to being efficient.

    Even if it doesn’t sound that exciting at first, getting into the game you’ll find the strategy of this game to be complex enough that you can play it several times over. The mark of a great board game for sure.

    Buy Azul here.

    2. Best Board Games For Strategy: Splendor

      If you want more strategy involved in your game, we recommend trying out Splendor. It’s a highly rated strategy game amongst the board game community where each player is working towards building a jewelry empire. You do this through developing mines, collecting gems, and eventually opening up a storefront to sell these gems.

      The goal of the game is to have the most successful business in the end. To get there you’ll need to compete with other players over resources as well as infrastructure.

      The rules are straightforward making it easy to pick up, but there are many strategies you can go with this game. On top of that, its the type of game where your decisions can impact the course of the game in future turns.

      Buy Splendor here.

      3. Best Game For Cooperation: Pandemic

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        Much on the nose with this game – but great to play regardless – is Pandemic. This cooperative game pushes you to join intellectual forces with other players to stop the spread of diseases.

        In order to do this, each player takes on a role and collaborates to devise new treatment strategies. Going to different cities across the globe, you’ll collect cards that’ll help in treating outbreaks in certain hotspots.

        Overall, it’s a strategy based game as players have to plan out their moves carefully and are restricted in what they can do based on their role.

        Buy Pandemic here.

        4. Best Board Games With Trading: Catan

          Most circles call this game Settlers Of Catan, this is a classic game that is a delight to play with not much pressure. The premise of the game is to expand territory on settlements, roads, and cities. How you do this is through using resources like wood, stone and brick.

          How you get these resources is based on what areas you have roads or buildings. But more often than not, you’ll find yourself short on the resources that you need. This is where trading is involved where you are able to trade resources with other players.

          The rule book for this game can seem intimidating, however, it’s straightforward as you can tell. This game brings trading resources and interacting with other people in a unique way.

          Buy Catan here.

          5. Best Board Games For Larger Groups: 7 Wonders

            Whether you have a small or a large group, 7 Wonders is a solid game to try out. Most on this list are a four player game at maximum, 7 Wonders can have up to 7 players at a time. For this game, the length of the game is divided into three “ages”. During each age, you’ll be collecting cards that’ll help you build one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Each of these wonders will either have immediate or latent benefits to them.

            The goal overall is to have your civilization reign supreme. That said, there is no issue with taking a page from Catan and trading resources with players right next to you. You can even sell off your resources or even share insider knowledge and research if you like. The game is very easy to understand and games can last about 30 minutes making it a nice quick game regardless of player count.

            Buy 7 Wonders here.

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            6. Best Board Game For Long Games: Ticket To Ride

              Another classic and one of the best board games for adults out there is Ticket To Ride. This is a game that is brought up many times amongst board game users. Part of that reason may be due to the fact it has similarities to the older board game Monopoly.

              The only difference with Ticket To Ride is you’re building a railway system instead with way more tension in it. The goal is to collect the most points through placing a like-colored set of train cards on the board and connecting them to cities, building longer routes and building the longest continuous railway system by the end.

              Whether you are new to board games or a veteran, this is one of the best ones to try it out. The rule book is slim with only four pages long and two of them are illustrations. You can even get Amazon Alexa to both teach and play along with you.

              Buy Ticket To Ride here.

              7. Best Board Games For Short Games: Dominion

                Card-drawing board games are often the kind of games that go by quickly and one that comes to mind is Dominion. It’s medieval-themed where you start with 10 copper and estate cards. The goal of the game is amassing the most victory and treasure cards as you can which in turn allows you to buy even more valuable expensive cards.

                During the game, there are many cards that interact with another and with other players. For example, there are cards that allow you to look at other players’ hands and make various decisions, for better or worse.

                The game is similar to the story of a man who starts off with something small and benign and traded his way to something massive and expensive.

                Buy Dominion here.

                8. Best Card-Based Game: Boss Monster

                  While this isn’t exactly a board game, it is card based and is a lot of fun. It plays out similarly to dungeon crawlers where wizards, warriors, clerics, and rogues go into dungeons to slay the boss at the end. The only difference is that you are playing the boss now and need to stop the heroes from getting to you.

                  How you do this is by setting up your rooms with traps that deal damage to the heroes as they travel to each floor. You’ve also got spells to enhance your traps. This is on top of building your dungeon up in a way that the heroes would want to go there.

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                  There is a lot of strategy and planning involved with this game, however it’s one of the most straightforward games with plenty of replayability. Each game is going to be different than the last.

                  Buy Boss Monster here.

                  9. Best Board Games For Sleuths: Codenames

                    For small or large groups, codenames is a fun game where you divide yourself into two teams. From those teams, you’ll elect a “spymaster” who will then provide word clues to assist their team in identifying a secret word associated with that team. The secret words are based on seemingly random words provided from this game.

                    The catch with this game is that your clues can only be one word long, requiring the teams to think quickly and the spymaster to think strategically about the code words to get people to guess the proper code word.

                    Buy Codenames here.

                    10. Best Board Games For Two: Sequence

                      While there are certainly other board games that incorporate cards in them, Sequence is one to use them both in a unique way. In this game, players take turns putting down a card followed by a chip on the corresponding spot. The objective of this game is to have five chips, or sequences, in a row. Another way to describe the game is this is a larger and sophisticated version of Tic-Tac-Toe.

                      It’s good for two people, but considering the size of the board, you can get others involved too. The more players involved can add more layers of strategy and competition to it.

                      Buy Sequence here.

                      11. Best Board Games Solo: Geode Puzzles

                        While this isn’t a board game either, puzzles can be a lot of fun to do if you have spare time. While you can pick up any kind of puzzle, one that is nice for adults is geode puzzles.

                        Depending on the type of geode puzzles you get, some of them will have more unique and intricate pieces compared to traditional puzzle pieces. Furthermore, geode puzzles require more concentration and thought to them since they have specific patterns to them. It adds a layer of challenge to them since traditional pieces you can refer to the box art or where everything is placed.

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                        Buy Geode Puzzles here.

                        12. Best Board Games For Adults Who Love Nature: Wingspan

                          For those looking for a birds-eye view of nature, Wingspan is a great game with hours of entertainment. The art direction with this board game is especially unique while the gameplay provides hours of entertainment.

                          In the game, you are responsible for fostering a mini-ecosystem and building out a chain of wildlife preserves across four habitats. How you do this is by allocating food tokens found in bird feeder dice towers and eggs through unique playing cards. Each species has its own needs and special abilities so you’ll need to manage all of that while reaching your goal.

                          Buy Wingspan here.

                          13. Best Board Games For Adults Who Want Something Different: The Mind

                            A game that takes about 15 minutes to play but is incredibly interesting is The Mind. It’s similar to the card game Kent, but adds another level to it. In it, you’re playing cards from your hand in order (Ace, two, three, four…).

                            The catch with this game though is that players aren’t allowed to say anything about what is in their hand and you are forced to come up with your own non-verbal language in order to communicate with one another.

                            As simplistic of a game as it is, it’s a completely different one since it involves no talking at all and forces you to meld your minds together to complete this task.

                            Buy The Mind here.

                            Final Thoughts

                            Board games used to be simplistic in nature with games like Mouse Trap, Scrabble, Monopoly, and many others. Since those times, board games have expanded to more fun and exciting games that can provide hours of entertainment. There are hundreds out there, but we recommend looking at some of these best board games for adults to try out and enjoy.

                            Featured photo credit: Christopher Paul High via unsplash.com

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