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The 10 Easiest And Most Effective Tips For Weight Loss

The 10 Easiest And Most Effective Tips For Weight Loss

Question: Which way towards a goal gives you the highest probability of success?

Easy answer: The simplest and easiest way.

It sounds obvious, but it’s worth saying, because I’m continually amazed at how people make weight loss way, way more complicated than it needs to be. The honest truth is that weight loss can be really simple and really easy — all you need to do is focus on making small changes in the areas that have big influence on the weight loss equation.

I’m going to help you do just that with 10 easy and very effective tips for weight loss.

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1. Stop Snacking

Snacking is the number one saboteur of weight loss. Period. Why? Because people just end up eating way too many calories when they’re constantly popping snacks into their mouths. The other problem is that most “snacks” are based on refined sugar — very calorie dense and not very satisfying. When’s the last time you felt full after eating that fun sized bag of candy? Mindless snacking is absolutely pointless and totally destructive to weight loss. Don’t do it.

2. Don’t Drink Liquid Calories

If snacking is the number one weight loss saboteur, then liquid calories are a close second. They pose the exact same problem: It’s just too easy to consume way too many calories when you’re guzzling down sugary drinks that don’t satiate you at all.

This includes sports drinks. Gatorade isn’t inherently bad, but the fact is that the vast majority of people do not need sports drinks. Unless you’re actually depleting your glycogen stores with more than 60 consecutive minutes of hard training, sports drinks of any kind are just not necessary. 

3. Limit Yourself to 3 Meals a Day Max

This relates to tip number 1. If you eat 3 meals per day or less, it’s much harder to accidentally overeat. There’s a popular myth that one needs to eat every two hours to keep the metabolism roaring at full speed. Understand: That is completely false and unsubstantiated by science.

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4. Eat Slowly and Stop When You’re Approximately 80% Full

Most people simply need to eat less food to lose weight, and that means not stuffing your gullet to the brim. Slow down, and stop eating when you’re 80% full, or satisfied. I firmly believe if everyone in America took just these 4 initial tips to heart, the vast majority of overweight people could lose what they need to.

5. Eat More Protein

For the most part, what you eat matters very little if calories are controlled for. The one exception is protein. Protein does three key things that can help with weight loss:

  1. It keeps you fuller for longer
  2. It’s metabolized less efficiently than either carbs or fat, meaning you can get away with eating more of it
  3. It helps preserve lean muscle mass, thus helping a greater portion of weight loss come from body fat stores.

Science shows that these benefits cap out at around .8g protein per lb of body weight per day. I recommend trying to hit that daily mark as often as you can.

6. Eat More High Volume Foods

There’s something that’s unavoidable: Hunger always wins. It doesn’t matter if your dietary strategy is perfect on paper — if hunger becomes too ravenous, everyone will eventually cave to it. The solution? Focus on foods that are higher volume and keep you fuller for longer. High volume foods are usually healthier choices in general, too:

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  • fibrous green vegetables
  • lean protein
  • low fat dairy
  • low sugar fruit
  • potatoes, and other roots and tubers

7. Reduce Refined Sugar Intake

Eating refined sugar to excess is literally doing the opposite of tip number 6, and will likely lead to eating too many calories. As Brad Pilon says, the reason carbs make us fat is because they are awesome and thus easy to overeat. Most people would benefit immensely by reducing refined sugar intake. A little here and there is permissible, but not too much.

8. Lift Weights

Lets get real: People don’t really care about actually losing weight, they are about looking like they’ve lost weight. One of the best ways to look leaner than you actually are is to put on some muscle. Besides, initial strength training positively correlates with virtually every health marker in existence. Initial strength training doesn’t take much time either, maybe two or three 30-45 minute sessions a week. Starting Strength or something similar is a good basic program to start with.

9. Use Caffeine

It’s the developed world’s drug of choice, and is also one of the few supplements that isn’t snake oil. Caffeine won’t raise your metabolic output to any notable degree, except within it’s initial week or so of use, but what it can do is suppress appetite. It also can increase your physiological and mental capacity.

Caffeine use is a mixed bag and is not for everyone, but it can help. See examine.com’s research summary of caffeine for a full breakdown of what the available scientific research says about regular caffeine use.

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10. Have a Preset Cheat Meal Plan

Do not fool yourself into thinking you’re going to become a monk when you start dieting, and you certainly don’t need to be one in order to succeed. Restaurant meals, family dinners, and occasional parties can absolutely fit into an effective weight loss plan. The real danger is not having a plan in advance for how you’ll approach these events, which is what leads to people giving up entirely and binging.

It doesn’t really matter what your cheat plan is, as long as you’re consistent with it. That way, if your weight loss stalls, you can make a meaningful adjustment to your strategy. I recommend the following to start with:

  • One cheat day/meal per week.
  • Relax, but be sensible: Eat mostly the same kinds of foods you normally eat, swap out beer and mixed drinks for spirits, ect.
  • Eat until your nice and full, but not absolutely stuffed.

One sensible cheat day/meal per week is not going to overpower 6 other days worth of diligent dieting, so don’t self impose unrealistic and unsustainable restriction. The important thing for occasional cheat days/meals is to have a plan going into it. That way, you know ahead of time what’s OK or not OK and you’re not worrying about it on the fly.

If your weight loss stalls? No big deal at all, you just need to tighten up the strictness a bit and continue on as usual.

Bonus Tip: Stop Worrying About Things That Don’t Matter!

Remember what I said in the beginning? People over complicate weight loss way too much. Part of that stems from worrying about way too many things that make little to no actual difference towards weight loss. Don’t fall into that trap! If it’s not on the list, then you probably don’t have to worry about it.

Featured photo credit: Potato Dumplings Stuffed with Smoked Meat/ VIKTOR HANACEK via picjumbo.com

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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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