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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 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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