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10 Hacks To Slim Up For This Summer

10 Hacks To Slim Up For This Summer

If your stomach is looking more like a keg than a six pack I have good news for you: science shows there are proven ways to slim up and get in shape in time for summer. Here are 10 of them you can start using today.

Commit to five minutes of exercise each day.

Psychologist Robert Cialdini says small commitments lead to lasting changes in his book, “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.” Another psychologist, BJ Fogg, agrees. If you want to slim up fast, make a firm commitment to exercise every day for just five minutes. Those five minute sessions add up, and many days you’ll end up doing much more than that.

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Replace all liquid calories with water.

Liquid calories are one of the biggest sources of excess weight gain. A single soda has around 150 calories and over a day’s worth of sugar. When you don’t burn that sugar off, your body converts it to fat. Replacing calories from soda, fruit juices, and liquid dairy products like milk with plain tea, coffee and water can save you hundreds of calories a day, which can help you lose a couple pounds every month or more.

Eat out no more than once per week.

The average restaurant meal has over 1,100 calories, and that doesn’t include drinks, appetizers and dessert! When you take into account all those things, you’re looking at around 2,000 calories for a single night eating out. Stay in and cook your own meal instead, or order a healthier option. Many restaurants now have low calorie menus.

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Use herbs and citrus to add flavor to food.

Cooking with oil, butter and salt leads to weight gain and potential health problems. Use lemons, limes and fresh herbs instead. Here are a few of my favorite flavor combinations:

  • Lemon juice, basil and Parmesan-reggiano cheese
  • Lime juice, cilantro and black pepper
  • Thyme, rosemary and a dash of sea salt

Do a 7-minute workout.

Research shows doing interval training workouts as short as seven minutes can have more benefit than doing long, steady-state cardio workouts. Here’s the trade-off: interval training is tough. During those seven minutes plan on sweating.

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Eat breakfast every day.

According to the National Weight Control Registry, the largest database in the world that tracks people who have lost weight and kept it off, eating breakfast every day can actually help you lose weight. Stick with healthy foods like eggs, oatmeal and fresh fruit.

Eat the right foods for weight loss.

A study of over 120,000 healthy women and men spanning 20 years found eating the following foods resulted in the most sustained weight loss:

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  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Fruits
  • Nuts
  • Yogurt

Avoid the right foods to slim up faster.

You also need to know the foods not to eat. Research shows eating fewer desserts, eating fewer fried foods, drinking fewer sugary beverages, eating more fish and eating out less were linked with the most weight loss.

Form a contingency plan for when you slip up.

Research conducted by Gollwitzer and colleagues showed implementation intentions, or “if-then” plans, are an effective strategy for helping you stick with your healthy behaviors when roadblocks arise (which they will). Another study found forming implementation intentions can help you reduce your fat intake. So write down several “if-then” statements to plan for the worst. For example, “If I go out to dinner this week, I’ll skip the bread and appetizer and order a salad with dressing on the side.”

Stop thinking in terms of “dieting.”

Diets don’t work. Research proves it. If you want to slim up that body, you need to start thinking in terms of lifestyle changes. You can lose weight when you go on a diet, but most of the time you will gain it back. Take baby steps every day and keep progressing. That’s the key to slimming up and staying slim for good.

Featured photo credit: djwhelan via flickr.com

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Scott Christ

Scott Christ is a writer, entrepreneur, and founder of Pure Food Company.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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