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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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    Tucker Cummings

    Writer and social media professional sharing productivity tips on Lifehack.

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    Last Updated on August 12, 2019

    12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

    12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

    Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

    But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

    I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

    Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

    1. Nuts

    The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

    Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

    Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

    Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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    2. Blueberries

    Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

    When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

    3. Tomatoes

    Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

    4. Broccoli

    While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

    Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

    Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

    5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

    Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

    The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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    Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

    6. Soy

    Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

    Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

    Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

    7. Dark Chocolate

    When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

    Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

    8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

    Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

    B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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    Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

    Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

    To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

    9. Foods Rich in Zinc

    Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

    Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

    Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

    10. Gingko Biloba

    This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

    It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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    However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

    11. Green and Black Tea

    Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

    Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

    Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

    12. Sage and Rosemary

    Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

    Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

    When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

    More About Boosting Brain Power

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

    Reference

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