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10 Diet Hacks to Keep You Slim & Trim

10 Diet Hacks to Keep You Slim & Trim
Diet Hacks

1. Just say no to fruit juice. Juice is fruit with the fiber removed. Not to mention, most of them are packed with sugar. Opt for the real thing instead.

2. Stick to water. All of those sugary soft drinks are simply adding excess calories to your diet and to your waistline. Start drinking only water and a bit of tea and you could start seeing changes in your body very quickly. This is especially true if your a soft drink junkie.
3. Create a new good habit each day. Eating often becomes a habit rather than a way to nourish ourselves. To get out of bad eating habits, it’s easier to change one habit per day. I have recently started doing this and have found it to be extremely effective.
On the first day I gave up honey on my oatmeal and on the second day I converted all of my snacks to fruits and vegetables.


4. Change your lifestyle. A diet is simply a way of eating. It’s a long-term commitment not a one-time event. Create permanent lifestyle changes. Good habits are the key to success when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight.

5. Get plenty of sleep. Your sleep time is an essential component to losing weight. Researchers have found evidence to show that better sleep habits are instrumental to the success of any weight loss plan.

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6. Eat 5-6 small meals per day instead of 3 big meals. Keith Klein, World-renowned nutritionist and author of “Get Lean” is quoted as saying,

“If you haven’t figured it out yet, let me spell it out for
you: depending on your goal, it is either five or six meals
a day or forget about reaching your potential!”

Yes, it may seem strange to eat 5-6 meals a day when you’re trying to lose weight, but this is the secret to getting to the next level in your fitness goals.

Eating 5-6 small meals per day is the key to a fast metabolism. Every time you eat a meal, your body’s metabolism starts up a new spin cycle caused by the thermic effect of food.

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In fact, a portion of the calories you consume are burned through the simple act of digestion. This thermic effect can range from 3% to 30%. Lean protein causes a thermic effect of up to 30%. This means you burn 30% of the calories you eat from chicken breast, fish, and egg whites. Vegetables have a thermic effect of around 20%. However, fats and refined carbohydrates have a very low thermic effect of only 3%. This is one of the reasons it’s so easy to gain weight when you are eating lots of carbohydrates and sugars.

When you’re eating 5-6 smaller meals that are centered around high protein, fibrous vegetables, your body will burn through the calories.

A higher metabolism creates a fat-burning machine. The longer you practice this meal plan, the more muscle you’ll develop. The more muscle you develop, the faster your metabolism will become. It’s a win-win situation.

Unfortunately, it’s something that way too few people are taking advantage of. Most people try to starve themselves and in the process they kill their metabolism. In doing that, they also kill their fat-burning potential.

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Five or six small meals a day accelerates your body’s natural rate of calorie burning.

Best of all, frequent meals also prevents binges and controls cravings. When you’re eating every three hours, your body stays satisfied and your energy levels stay high.

7. Don’t avoid all fat. Yes, I know it might sound like a strange suggestion when trying to lose weight, but it’s true. Our bodies need certain types of fats just to survive.

They’re called essential fatty acids. You may have heard of them. They go by the name of Omegas 3, 6, and 9 and they are essential to a healthy diet.

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8. Add some variety to your meals. The key to success is having options. Keep your mouth happy with a variety of different meal choices.

9. Get your Fiber. The inclusion of fiber into a well-balanced meal slows the digestion of the carbohydrates. This results in long-lasting energy instead of the short bursts
of energy offered by simple carbohydrates.

10. Slow Down… If you are looking to lose a few pounds, then simply slow down. There are so many Americans who rush through their meals. When you rush through your meal, your body doesn’t have time to send your brain the signal that you’re full, which results in overeating. Take time to enjoy your food.

If you know of other diet hacks, please feel free to add them in the comments.

Kim Roach is a productivity junkie who blogs regularly at The Optimized Life. Read her articles on 10 Ways to Hack Your Brain, What’s Your Learning Style, Do You Need a Braindump, What They Don’t Teach You in School, and Free Yourself From the Inbox.

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

Becoming Self-Taught (The How-To Guide)

Becoming Self-Taught (The How-To Guide)

Most of the skills I use to make a living are skills I’ve learned on my own: Web design, desktop publishing, marketing, personal productivity skills, even teaching! And most of what I know about science, politics, computers, art, guitar-playing, world history, writing, and a dozen other topics, I’ve picked up outside of any formal education.

This is not to toot my own horn at all; if you stop to think about it, much of what you know how to do you’ve picked up on your own. But we rarely think about the process of becoming self-taught. This is too bad, because often, we shy away from things we don’t know how to do without stopping to think about how we might learn it — in many cases, fairly easily.

The way you approach the world around you dictates to a great degree whether you will find learning something new easy or hard. Learning comes easily to people who have developed:

Curiosity

Being curious means you look forward to learning new things and are troubled by gaps in your understanding of the world. New words and ideas are received as challenges and the work of understanding them is embraced.

People who lack curiosity see learning new things as a chore — or worse, as beyond their capacities.

Patience

Depending on the complexity of a topic, learning something new can take a long time. And it’s bound to be frustrating as you grapple with new terminologies, new models, and apparently irrelevant information.

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When you are learning something by yourself, there is nobody to control the flow of information, to make sure you move from basic knowledge to intermediate and finally advanced concepts.

Patience with your topic, and more importantly with yourself is crucial — there’s no field of knowledge that someone in the world hasn’t managed to learn, starting from exactly where you are.

A Feeling for Connectedness

This is the hardest talent to cultivate, and is where most people flounder when approaching a new topic.

A new body of knowledge is always easiest to learn if you can figure out the way it connects to what you already know. For years, I struggled with calculus in college until one day, my chemistry professor demonstrated how to do half-life calculations using integrals. From then on, calculus came much easier, because I had made a connection between a concept I understood well (the chemistry of half-lifes) and a field I had always struggled in (higher maths).

The more you look for and pay attention to the connections between different fields, the more readily your mind will be able to latch onto new concepts.

With a learning attitude in place, working your way into a new topic is simply a matter of research, practice, networking, and scheduling:

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1. Research

Of course, the most important step in learning something new is actually finding out stuff about it. I tend to go through three distinct phases when I’m teaching myself a new topic:

Learning the Basics

Start as all things start today: Google it! Somehow people managed to learn before Google ( I learned HTML when Altavista was the best we got!) but nowadays a well-formed search on Google will get you a wealth of information on any topic in seconds.

Surfing Wikipedia articles is a great way to get a basic grounding in a new field, too — and usually the Wikipedia entry for your search term will be on the first page of your Google search.

What I look for is basic information and then the work of experts — blogs by researchers in a field, forums about a topic, organizational websites, magazines. I subscribe to a bunch of RSS feeds to keep up with new material as it’s posted, I print out articles to read in-depth later, and I look for the names of top authors or top books in the field.

Hitting the Books

Once I have a good outline of a field of knowledge, I hit the library. I look up the key names and titles I came across online, and then scan the shelves around those titles for other books that look interesting.

Then, I go to the children’s section of the library and look up the same call numbers — a good overview for teens is probably going to be clearer, more concise, and more geared towards learning than many adult books.

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Long-Term Reference

While I’m reading my stack of books from the library, I start keeping my eyes out for books I will want to give a permanent place on my shelves. I check online and brick-and-mortar bookstores, but also search thrift stores, used bookstores, library book sales, garage sales, wherever I happen to find myself in the presence of books.

My goal is a collection of reference manuals and top books that I will come back to either to answer thorny questions or to refresh my knowledge as I put new skills into practice. And to do this cheaply and quickly.

2. Practice

Putting new knowledges into practice helps us develop better understandings now and remember more later. Although a lot of books offer exercises and self-tests, I prefer to jump right in and build something: a website, an essay, a desk, whatever.

A great way to put any new body of knowledge into action is to start a blog on it — put it out there for the world to see and comment on.

Just don’t lock your learning up in your head where nobody ever sees how much you know about something, and you never see how much you still don’t know.

3. Network

One of the most powerful sources of knowledge and understanding in my life have been the social networks I have become embedded in over the years — the websites I write on, the LISTSERV I belong to, the people I talk with and present alongside at conferences, my colleagues in the department where I studied and the department where I now teach, and so on.

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These networks are crucial to extending my knowledge in areas I am already involved, and for referring me to contacts in areas where I have no prior experience. Joining an email list, emailing someone working in the field, asking colleagues for recommendations, all are useful ways of getting a foothold in a new field.

Networking also allows you to test your newly-acquired knowledge against others’ understandings, giving you a chance to grow and further develop.

4. Schedule

For anything more complex than a simple overview, it pays to schedule time to commit to learning. Having the books on the shelf, the top websites bookmarked, and a string of contacts does no good if you don’t give yourself time to focus on reading, digesting, and implementing your knowledge.

Give yourself a deadline, even if there is no externally imposed time limit, and work out a schedule to reach that deadline.

Final Thoughts

In a sense, even formal education is a form of self-guided learning — in the end, a teacher can only suggest and encourage a path to learning, at best cutting out some of the work of finding reliable sources to learn from.

If you’re already working, or have a range of interests beside the purely academic, formal instruction may be too inconvenient or too expensive to undertake. That doesn’t mean you have to set aside the possibility of learning, though; history is full of self-taught successes.

At its best, even a formal education is meant to prepare you for a life of self-guided learning; with the power of the Internet and the mass media at our disposal, there’s really no reason not to follow your muse wherever it may lead.

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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