Advertising
Advertising

7 Sneaky Tricks for Low-Effort Weight Loss

7 Sneaky Tricks for Low-Effort Weight Loss

    Say the words “weight loss”, and people instantly think of hitting the gym or eating meager meals of rice cakes and tofu. But if you use some sneaky tricks, you can lose weight without feeling like you’ve made major lifestyle changes. You won’t even realize you’ve been working out or dieting if you make use of these seven handy tips.

    1. Standing Crunches

    Simply tightening and releasing your abdominal muscles more frequently will result in a stronger core (and maybe even some lost inches around your midsection). You will want to flex your core muscles, hold your abdominal muscles in that position for a count of five, and then release.

    Advertising

    The trick is to work these “standing crunch” moments into your day at semi-regular intervals. You might try getting in the habit of doing them every time you walk thru a doorway, while waiting for the elevator, or while standing in front of the stove making dinner. If you remind yourself in these circumstances to always do a standing crunch, eventually you’ll get to the point where you do them unconsciously.

    2. Take More Steps

    Yes, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Obviously. But there are plenty of other ways to work a few extra steps into your day. For example, try running more errands on foot, or take the time to walk up and down every aisle at the grocery store (you’ll take more steps and likely remember more items that you needed to pick up). You could even write a letter instead of an email, and walk to your nearest post office dropbox to mail it.

    3. Wear Those Stupid Shoes

    I really, really, REALLY hate those hideous “tone-up” shoes that look like you’re walking on rockers. But thankfully, shoe companies have started to make shoes that tone your lower half, without looking like a crime against fashion. Just by wearing these shoes, you can burn more calories without making a single change in your daily routine. While you won’t find “tone-ups” in fancy dress varieties, there are plenty of sandals and sneakers that offer these health benefits.

    Advertising

    4. Eat More

    By eating smart, you can trick yourself into feeling full before you even sit down to eat. It comes down to knowing how to best manipulate your own body chemistry.

    “Ten minutes before each meal, eat some healthy fat (around 70 calories or fewer): a handful of nuts, a few slices of avocado, or a spoonful of peanut butter, for example. That helps activate ghrelin, a hormone that lets you know you’re full,” says Dr. Michael Roizin.

    5. Stay Hydrated

    Drinking plenty of fluids is important year-round, whether during the heat of summer or the height of winter cold season. If you drink more water, you’ll see an improvement in your skin and overall health. But more importantly, you’ll also find that you are less hungry and you will be satisfied with smaller portions. When you feel like snacking, have a glass of water first. After ten minutes, see if you are still feeling peckish.

    Advertising

    6. Get Inspired by the Ballet

    You don’t have to be Baryshnikov to get moving and burn calories like a dancer. Take some time that you’d usually spend sitting to do a plié. First, make a “V” with your feet. While keeping your heels planted on the ground, bend your knees slowly, and then slowly return to your former position, without jerking or straining. You can also rise up on your toes.

    Try to do these knee bends and stretches while on the phone, while standing in line at the deli, or during the commercial breaks of your favorite TV show. You’ll gain flexibility, and burn off a few extra calories at the same time.

    7. Find a Secret Weapon

    Do some research and find a “super food” that will kick your diet or weight loss plan into high gear. It doesn’t have to be anything unpleasant or hard to find, but the simple act of introducing a new food (or an old favorite) into your diet will add excitement to meals and make you feel like you’ve got a secret weapon at your disposal.

    Advertising

    Examples of “secret weapon” foods may include:

    Chia seeds: Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, these tiny seeds are able to absorb 12 times their weight in water, so adding a sprinkle of them to your morning granola will help you to stay hydrated for a longer period of time (a fact that makes them very popular with runners). A side benefit of this hydration is that you will likely feel fuller for longer.

    Soups: According to the experts at Women’s Health magazine, “Research from Pennsylvania State University found that dieters who ate soup two times per day were more successful in losing weight and maintained, on average, a total weight loss of 16 pounds after 1 year. Chunky, broth-based soups, such as chicken and vegetable, are most filling.”

    Eggs: One University of Washington study found that people who consumed a diet that consisted of 30 percent protein ate 441 fewer calories per day than those who ate a diet that consisted of only 15 percent protein. Eggs are most often thought of as a breakfast food, but eggs can add extra protein to dishes like ramen and salads as well.

    Conclusion

    With what amounts to over-the-top fidgeting, you can really make a difference in terms of calories burned and muscles engaged per day. With these sneaky tricks at your disposal, you can eat less, move more, and not feel like you’ve made much of an effort at all.

    More by this author

    Tucker Cummings

    Writer and social media professional sharing productivity tips on Lifehack.

    Does the Pomodoro Technique Work for Your Productivity? The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It? How to Diagnose the “Phantom Cursor” Issue on Your Mac Extreme Minimalism: Andrew Hyde and the 15-Item Lifestyle 6 Easy Tips for Living with 100 Items or Less

    Trending in Lifestyle

    1 7 Signs You’re Burnt out (And How to Bounce Back) 2 7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks 3 How to Find Purpose in Life and Make Yourself a Better Person 4 How to Be Happy in Life? 25 Ways to Make Your Life Happier 5 4 Ways to Deal With Big Life Changes in a Positive Way

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on September 18, 2020

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

    Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

    1. Exercise Daily

    It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

    If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

    Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

    Advertising

    If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

    2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

    Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

    One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

    This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

    3. Acknowledge Your Limits

    Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

    Advertising

    Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

    Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

    4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

    Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

    The basic nutritional advice includes:

    • Eat unprocessed foods
    • Eat more veggies
    • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
    • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

    Advertising

    Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

      5. Watch Out for Travel

      Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

      This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

      If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

      6. Start Slow

      Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

      If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

      Advertising

      7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

      Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

      My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

      If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

      I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

      Final Thoughts

      Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

      Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

      More Tips on Getting in Shape

      Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

      Reference

      Read Next