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10 Unconventional Weight Loss Tactics that Actually Work

10 Unconventional Weight Loss Tactics that Actually Work

If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that eating tasty food can be one hell of an experience. It can improve your mood, give you the energy you need to go through another hard day at work, and it can even be an integral part of a romantic evening. Salty, fatty and sugary foods taste incredibly good to us, because these types of foods are rare finds in nature and are necessary for us to keep functioning properly. Over time we have developed mechanisms that keep us hooked on calorie dense foods, and our bodies tend to favor fat build up over muscle synthesis, because this enables us to survive long periods with minimal resources available.

Combine these natural traits with the fact that our modern lifestyle requires us to move and exert force very little in our daily lives and you have the perfect recipe for incredible fat gain and a number of health problems. Most of us can’t hope to push our bodies even close to the point our ancestors would push them in terms of physical exertion, as we don’t actually need to put in a lot of effort to survive, so we need every little bit of help we can get to keep ourselves fit.

With this in mind, here are some unusual weight loss tactics that don’t require too much energy, but actually add up and make a big difference in the grand scheme of thing.

1. Keep your home squeaky clean

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Cleaning

    Let’s face it, most people should be putting a little bit of extra effort into home maintenance. In order to keep your home impeccably clean you’ll need to vacuum at least every other day, wash the dishes a couple of times a day, do some dusting every day, as well as wash and iron your clothes regularly. All this requires quite a bit of effort, which can actually benefit you in several ways.

    When you clean the house you are actually spending time on your feet and applying a certain amount of force, which will help you burn a decent amount of calories. You are also less likely to think of food or have random snacks when you are preoccupied with a number of household chores.

    2. Don’t heat up or cool down your house too much

    The body burns calories to keep warm or to cool when the temperature of our surroundings is not optimal. If you keep reaching for the AC at the first sight of temperature change, e.g. turning on the heat drastically in winter or making your room chilly in the middle of the summer, you are actually doing yourself a disservice. All it takes to boost your weight loss is to focus on saving energy on heating, and by doing so you will make your body work on keeping the core temperature stable and will be able to burn some extra calories with no effort at all.

    3. Spice up your meals

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    Red Chilli

      It’s true that hot peppers can boost metabolism, although not to a great extent. The biggest weight loss benefit that you can get from spicy food is the fact that it makes us eat slower and less food overall. You can’t just shovel the food from the plate to your mouth quickly, as you will need to catch a breath and have a drink, which means you’ll be cutting some calories from your meal.

      4. Serve food on red-colored dishes

      Red color is associated with stopping and danger. If we serve food on red plates we are reminded that we are on a diet and our brain is subconsciously being told that we are engaging in something that isn’t right, making us less likely to overeat. Combine this with smaller plate sizes and you have a more effective way of portion control.

      5. Eat bite-sized snacks at work

      This one might seem counter-intuitive. As we all know, when you have a bunch of small snacks in front of you, it’s very easy to eat a whole lot without even realizing just how much we’ve eaten. However, a bag of bite-sized snacks can be easily shared with colleagues at work, so you end up eating less overall simply because others dip in and eat a good portion of the food. The trick is to force yourself to share it openly and offer it to others, treating the food as more of a snack that you can’t handle alone instead of a big meal.

      6. Go shopping with some friends

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      Shopping

        One of the biggest problems people have when losing weight is to find the time and motivation to engage in physical activities that help burn off calories. Well, a very low effort form of physical, like walking, done for a couple of hours can burn a decent amount of calories, so you don’t have to worry about feeling tired or sore. If you mask it with a fun activity, e.g. shopping, you can end up walking around shops, going up and down stairs, picking things up and carrying bags for 2-3 hours straight without even noticing it. Just don’t sit down for a burger or a cup of coffee with tons of cream and sugar afterwards – have a salad or some fruit as a snack.

        7. Work on your oral hygiene

        Brushing your teeth right after a meal signals that eating time is over and it leaves that strong minty taste in the mouth that makes everything taste weird. You won’t want to eat anything more for at least 10-20 minutes after brushing your teeth, i.e. until the minty taste subsides, and you can find something else you can occupy yourself with during this time. You’ll have clean teeth and you’ll avoid grabbing a few cheat snacks after a meal, so it’s a great habit to adopt.

        8. Read a book instead of watching TV

        Books

          We eat while watching TV, but if your hands are busy with a book and your mind engaged, you won’t get a chance to eat. A good book, particularly one you’ve bought recently is not something you’ll want to leave chocolate smudge marks on, and it requires a lot more focus than watching a movie and engages the brain more, so you’ll forget about the hunger and you’ll have your hands occupied.

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          9. Have traditional family meals

          Eating with a family means waiting for a big meal to get ready (the designated cook will have your head if you try to fill up on snacks before lunch) and you eat more slowly as you engage in conversation and try to look a bit classier. Now, some traditional family meals will have several courses and a whole lot of food and drink that you are expected to gorge on.

          However, unless it’s a big holiday dinner you can try something a bit different and prepare a tasty healthy meal for the whole family. This way you won’t be tempted to break your diet because your family is eating junk food in front of you, you’ll eat slower and avoid overeating, and you will learn some great recipes that make healthy food actually taste good.

          10. Dress up for lunch and dinner, even if you are eating alone at home

          Baby with bow tie

            Loose fitting sweatpants make you feel more relaxed and allow you to fill up more, while tighter-fitting jeans make it more formal and won’t allow you to eat as much as you would. When you feel more formal you will be more likely to follow the rules and do what is expected of you, i.e. follow your diet, and the same goes for having a tidy room. Also, you can’t really fill up too much when your stomach is pressing against the tight jeans and belt. You will also try to eat a bit slower and avoid putting too many condiments on the food, as you will want to avoid staining your good clothes.

            When all is said and done, we realize that going for healthier food options, controlling our caloric intake and striving to burn off more calories through physical activity are the things that will get you good results on a weight loss program. However, no one said that you can’t make things easier, more fun or even trick yourself into doing all the right things without making it seem like too much hard work. With these great weight loss tips, you will be able to stay motivated and shed some serious weight over time, so go ahead and try them out.

            More by this author

            Ivan Dimitrijevic

            Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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            Last Updated on May 21, 2019

            13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

            13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

            Creating your productivity ritual — a routine that helps you to maintain a peak level of energy can get you the best out of your days.

            Part of creating your productivity routine involves removing activities that drain you (what I call “kryptonites”), and that includes your bad habits.

            Like it or not, bad habits are bad for you — mentally, physically, emotionally and even socially in some cases. While some bad habits are harder to quit than others, it doesn’t change the fact that you need to get rid of them. Here are 13 bad habits to quit right away:

            1. Stress Eating

            I used to be a serious stress eater. I would eat whenever I felt unhappy, stressed, disappointed, anxious, or even… happy! My eating had nothing to do with being hungry, and everything to do with using food to fill my emotional voids.

            While eating would comfort me, this feeling was momentary and would disappear right after I was done eating. Instead, what I had left would be the same emotional void that triggered me to eat in the first place (be it unhappiness or stress), a 2,000 excess calorie intake over what I should have eaten for the day, and anger at myself for having stress ate.

            I’ve since overcome stress eating. I have healthy eating habits and a healthy relationship with food today where I no longer use food as a tool to fill my emotions.

            If you are a stress eater, don’t fret — here’s how to manage your stress better:

            How to Manage Stress (A Step-by-Step Guide to Turn Stress Into Success)

            2. Nail Biting

            Not only is nail biting unhygienic, it is also socially repelling, leads to dental problems like malocclusion of the anterior teeth,[1] potentially cause stomach problems,[2] and lead to severely deformed fingernails in the long run.

            People who bite their nails tend to have shorter nails than the average person; their nail plates also experience scarring and may eventually become absent.[3]

            Understand what triggers your nail biting behavior and replace it with another neutral to positive habit. Make habits to break habits.

            For example, if you bite your nails when you are stressed, go for a walk or listen to music instead the next time you feel stressed.

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            3. Hanging out with Naysayers

            We all know these people — people who play devil’s advocate to every idea you have and every goal you want to pursue. We are already our greatest self-critics, so it doesn’t help when there’s someone beside us, ever ready to pounce on what we say and tear it down.

            Hang out less with these naysayers and spend more time with supportive people who share constructive feedback instead. You will be much happier this way.

            Learn how to get rid of naysayers with these 10 Ways to Ignore the Naysayers and Achieve Your Dreams.

            4. Being with People Who Don’t Appreciate You

            Haven’t all of us been in this situation before? Trying to please people who don’t appreciate us? Bending over backwards to be there for people when they are never there for us?

            While we give without expectations of return, we need to draw a line with people who don’t value us because these people damage our souls.

            Stop spending time with people who don’t appreciate you, and spend more time with people who do instead.

            Unsure who you should get rid of? Learn about it here: 5 Kinds of Toxic People That You Need to Get Rid of Now

            5. Smoking

            Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death globally.[4]

            In just the United States alone, about 500,000 deaths are attributed to smoking-related diseases annually. A recent study estimated that as much as one-third of China’s male population will have significantly shortened life-spans due to smoking! Gender-wise, male and female smokers lose an average of 13.2 and 14.5 years of life respectively — that’s over a decade of life right there.[5]

            Not only that, smoking causes pre-mature skin aging (i.e. wrinkles), yellowing of teeth, bad breath, and worse of all — jeopardy of the health of people around you, including your loved ones. Studies have shown that non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke are at risk to many of the health problems associated with direct smoking.[6]

            Smoking risks

              6. Excessive Drinking

              All of us know that drinking too much alcohol is bad for us, but do you know how bad it really is?

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              According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking too much — be it on a single occasion or over time — can seriously damage your health:[7]

              • Brain problems: Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, making it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.
              • Heart diseases: Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle, Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat, stroke, high blood pressure
              • Liver diseases: Steatosis or fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis
              • Pancreas problems: Pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.
              • Different types of cancer: Mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, breast

              If you drink a lot, perhaps cutting it out right away will be tough. Cut down the number of glasses you drink each time, followed by the number of times you drink a week.

              If need be, seek help from an AA group — you aren’t alone in this. Change starts from today.

              7. Eating Junk Food (Including Diet Soda)

              Junk food — they are everywhere in our society today. From McDonald’s, to KFC, to Burger King, to 24-hour takeouts, junk food such as fries, highly processed burgers and sodas has become a staple in our society today.

              If you think, “Hey, but junk food is tasty!”, think again:

              A study by Paul Johnson and Paul Kenny suggests that junk food consumption alters brain activity in a way similar to addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin.[8]

              “After many weeks with unlimited access to junk food, the pleasure centers of rat brains became desensitized, requiring more food for pleasure.”

              And you wonder why you seem to crave fast food when you just had some the day before?

              While it may not be possible to remove junk food completely from our diet right away, we can reduce our junk food consumption starting today. Instead of soda, opt for a fruit juice (fresh juice, not the carbonated kind) or mineral water. Instead of fries, switch to mashed potato, a salad, or rice (many food outlets allow for this today). Instead of a fried meat patty, go for a grilled one.

              Where possible, opt for healthy food joints like salad bars and delis as opposed to fast food outlets. Every little step goes a long way.

              Here’re some healthy snacks ideas for you: 15 Healthy Snacks You Should Always Have At Home

              8. Eating Too Much Red Meat

              There has been conclusive evidence that consumption of red meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer; and suggestive evidence that it increases the risk of oesophageal cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and endometrial cancer.

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              In addition, some studies have linked consumption of large quantities of red meat with breast cancer, stomach cancer, lymphoma, bladder cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer![9]

              Personally, I’m a vegetarian so I don’t consume red meat, but for those of you who consume red meat, do watch out and limit your intake — better still, cut it out of your diet. World Cancer Research Fund recommends limiting intake of red meat to less than 300g (11 oz) cooked weight per week, “very little, if any of which to be processed.”

              Of if you’re thinking about becoming a vegetarian, check out this guide: 5 Practical Tips For Starting a Vegetarian Lifestyle

              9. Watching Too Much TV

              I stopped watching TV since eight years ago and I have never regretted it. Every once in a while I will switch on the telly to see what is on, and then I will switch it off because it’s just the same boring shtick over and over again.

              Watching TV, particularly well-written dramas, can be a good way to unwind. However, remember that TV isn’t your life.

              Spending three hours every night watching TV will not change your life for the better. Rather, using that time to reflect on your life, take stock, and take action on your goals will.

              It’s not easy to remove TV from your daily routine right away, but follow these 6 Steps To Remove TV From Your Life.

              10. Being Late

              Not only is being late being rude to others, it also means that you’re always rushing from one place to another, playing catch up in your agenda, and having to apologize to every person you meet.

              Stop being late and not being punctual, but practice being early instead. Target to arrive 15 minutes earlier before any appointment and bring along something to do in those 15 minutes (or longer if the other person turns out to be late). Then you can stop playing catch up and stay ahead in life.

              Learn more tips about how to be more punctual here: How to Be On Time Every Time

              11. Being in Bad Relationships

              Are you always dating the wrong guys/girls? Do you end up with jerks all the time? Well, you may not be able to stop yourself from meeting bad partners but you can certainly stop yourself from furthering contact with them, spending time with them, or even… entering into a relationship with them.

              I used to invest myself in this guy who was nothing but toxic for me. After a good five months of experiencing nothing but getting burned over and over again, I realized that he was a total waste of my time and I deserved better. I decided to cut him off, and it was soon after that I met my soulmate.

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              Learn about why you shouldn’t stay in a bad relationship and how to deal with it if you’re in one: Why Trying Hard to Stay in an Unhappy Relationship Is Not Love, but Fear

              12. Leaving Things to the Last Minute

              Burning the midnight oil isn’t fun — it’s exhausting.

              Those of you who got through college by burning the midnight oil would have learned this the hard way. Not only is it damaging for your body, it is also mentally draining as you’re constantly in a hyper-tense mode, feeling anxious about whether you can finish your work on time.

              Start today on a new note. Rather than react to your deadlines, be proactive about them by planning ahead, identifying what needs to be done for the week, and getting things done in advance.

              By staying ahead of your tasks, you can also use your extra time to plan ahead in your life and get more things done.

              Take a look at this guide and learn how to stop procrastinating: Procrastination – A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

              13. Focusing on the Negatives

              In every situation, there are two ways you can react: zoom down to the problem areas and crib about how things aren’t the way you want, or celebrate the areas that are going well and work on making everything better.

              Many of us see the importance of doing the latter but in practice, we do the former. Why though? Criticizing and focusing on the negatives is easy but it doesn’t empower nor inspire us to be better.

              Make a change — for every negative encounter you run into, I challenge you to identify three things that are good about it. Practice doing this for one week, and by the end of the week you’ll find that your first instinct is to think positive, not negative.

              And here’re even more ways to help you stay positive: 11 Tips for Maintaining your Positive Attitude

              The Bottom Line

              So here you find the 13 most common bad habits and their consequences on your mind and body. The good news’ you can quit them all.

              Just spot out your own bad habits and take my suggestions to quit them. Then you’ll find your life a lot healthier and happier!

              Need more tips to break your bad habits? Check out these articles:

              Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

              Reference

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