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8 Simple Ways to Stop Complicating Fat Loss

8 Simple Ways to Stop Complicating Fat Loss

Losing weight doesn’t have to be a stressful and painful experience.

Seriously.

To lose weight, all you need to do is burn more calories than you consume. For such a simple concept, there seems to be a lot of information out there that confuses everyone.

When I was starting my fitness journey, I suffered from paralysis by analysis. I tried to read everything I could get my hands on. Looking back on those days, I realized that fat loss doesn’t need to be a complicated method to work.

Here are 8 ways I learned to stop complicating fat loss.

1. Realize there isn’t a one size fits all nutrition plan.

Everyone’s body is different. What works for one person might not work for you. Some people prefer to eat breakfast while others prefer intermittent fasting where they opt to skip breakfast.

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Both methods are just as effective, the key to successful fat loss is finding a nutritional plan that will fit seamlessly into your lifestyle without making major life altering adjustments.

2. Become lovers with water.

Water is the easiest way to start losing weight.

Drinking water helps improve your metabolism, along with improving joint health by maintaining proper lubrication and muscle elasticity.

Another huge benefit of water is that it acts as a natural appetite suppressant. Staying properly hydrated allows you to fight food cravings and avoid foods that will slow your progress.

Besides starting your morning off with 16oz of water, here are some other ways to increase your water intake.

3. It’s okay not to count calories.

Counting calories can be stressful.

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It’s difficult and an inconvenience while eating out at restaurants. Adding another stress on top of your busy life isn’t necessary.

A simpler method is to go by portion sizes:

  • 1 portion of protein= the size of your palm
  • 1 portion of healthy fats= the size of your entire thumb
  • 1 portion of carbs= the size of your cupped hand
  • 1 portion of veggies= the size of your fist

4. Eliminate most of the grocery store.

Shopping for groceries is easier if you can avoid the interior of the grocery store and stick to the outside.

The outside isles will have your veggies, fruits, eggs and meats while the interior isles will contain all the processed foods and junk that you should avoid.

5. Commit to a workout routine.

While nutrition is the most important aspect of fat loss, strength training is the other important piece of the puzzle.

Commit to a minimum of three full body workouts and you’ll be on your way to a leaner, healthier, stronger and hotter version of yourself.

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6. Sleep is your new best friend.

Sleep is a pivotal piece of successful fat loss.

Without adequate sleep, the likelihood of weight gain increases as well as the increase in cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone, which slows fat loss down when its levels are elevated.

Aim for a minimum of 7 hours of sleep per night.

7. Keep your eating crazy simple

When it comes time to eat, think of dividing your plate into three sections.

One section is protein, which will be included with every meal along with the second section for vegetables. The last section is where you can add carbs or healthy fats depending on your goal.

8. It’s okay not to be 100% adherent with your diet

There’s no reason to stress yourself out trying to eat perfect every single day.

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Enjoying life and achieving successful fat loss can go hand in hand. Fitness doesn’t have to take over your life in order to achieve your goal.

Do you have an important family dinner, are your friends in town, or is there an upcoming office party?

Enjoy yourself by indulging in those two pieces of cake guilt free. Two pieces of cake will not ruin your goals if you normally stay consistent with your eating habits.

In the grand scheme of things, if you eat four times a day, that’s 28 total meals a week. If you indulge on 3-4 of those meals, you’re still eating at 85% adherence, which is excellent.

What are some ways that you make weight loss simple and stress free? Comment below, I’ll love to hear your responses

More by this author

Julian Hayes II

Author, Health & Fitness Coach for Entrepreneurs, & Speaker

Starting Today, Stop These 6 Things to Become the Best Version of Yourself 5 Fun Ways to Transform Your Body And Health When You Don’t Feel Like Going to the Gym 4 Common Reasons Why You Fall Short With Your Weight Loss Goals (And What You Should Do Instead) 7 (Surprising) Actions to Take For Guaranteed Fat Loss 7 Simple Actions Practiced Daily By People Who Love Themselves

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Last Updated on October 16, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

Why you can’t sleep through the night

The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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Stress

If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

Exposure to blue light before sleep time

We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

Eating close to bedtime

Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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Medical conditions

In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

The vicious sleep cycle

The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

You get a bad night’s sleep
–> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
–> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
–> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

    You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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    How to sleep better (throughout the night)

    To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

    1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

    What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
    • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
    • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
    • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
    • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

    2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

    What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

    • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
    • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
    • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
    • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

    3. Adjust your sleep temperature

    Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

    Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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    Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

    Sleep better form now on

    Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

    I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

    As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

    Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

    Reference

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