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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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