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The Easy Way to Lose Weight

The Easy Way to Lose Weight

The list of challenging weight loss strategies is endless, but there are a few relatively painless lifestyle changes you can make that have a big impact on shaping up, too. While eating at home instead of dining out is certainly an effective strategy to drop pounds, many people don’t realize it’s actually an unwise move to purchase the necessary ingredients for their home-cooked meals where they’d reasonably go to get groceries: the grocery store.

To lose weight effortlessly, never set foot inside a grocery store again. Let’s examine why, as well as a better alternative.

Three Reasons to Abandon Grocery Stores

1. Option Overload

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many choices

    Supermarkets have the ability to import goods from anywhere, and they have a goal of meeting the needs—and desires—of a wide range of shoppers and their diets. As such, there are endless options. Coming prepared with a list helps, but the abundance and variety of products inevitably leads you to feel like you “need” more than you came for, and to adding unplanned items to your cart. Those of us with even the best of intentions will see a favorite food, and convince ourselves we “forgot” to add it to our list, or otherwise rationalize buying it.

    On a related note, let’s not forget that our willpower is a finite resource. With so many options—and, therefore, so many decisions to be made—in a typical grocery store trip, we are bound to start slipping up and giving in when our willpower begins to dwindle.

    2. Your Senses Betray You

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    sense betray you

      There is a lot of psychology behind the way supermarkets are organized and the way their products are presented. Ultimately, a grocery store is a business, and businesses aim for revenue—in other words, they need you to buy stuff. A lot of stuff. To achieve this, certain items are displayed in a visually appealing fashion (for example, at eye level, as opposed to the very top or bottom shelf). Also, delightful smells are purposefully placed around specific products. Free samples of great-tasting foods are offered right next to their location on the shelf. Your senses are manipulated in a supermarket to influence your buying decisions.

      3. Availability of Junk

      junk food in supermarket

        Food manufactures are constantly introducing new food products to the market, and the vast majority of them are processed and loaded with unnatural ingredients. This category of groceries is ever-expanding, and it can be difficult to avoid every bit of it to stick to a list of fresh foods instead—it feels depriving. This problem is intensified by the fact that the store itself is set up in a way that encourages you to walk down these aisles of junk food, increasing the temptation to pick up these tasty-but-nutritionally-void treats.

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        Where to Grocery Shop Instead: Farmers Markets

        The selection of processed foods at a farmers market is significantly less than at a supermarket, and even those items that aren’t entirely fresh are likely made with wholesome, natural ingredients; perhaps even sourced locally. Most products that you’ll find here are straight-from-the-farm items such as vegetables, fruits, meats, and eggs. There are far fewer options here than at a grocery store, and while there may be some level of an attempt to influence you with a beautiful display or delicious smells and tastes, it’s unlikely that any unplanned purchase you make here will be total junk.

        For those living in areas without farmers markets, two other options are befriending a farmer or two and “shopping” directly at the farm, or at least making it a goal to stay within the perimeter of the grocery store—where the fresh stuff is—and avoid the middle aisles completely if at all possible.

        Implementing these suggestions will help you reduce the amount of food, including junk food, you bring home, as well as focus on whole, fresh, good quality ingredients, which is the best way to lose weight.

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        Your turn: Do you shop at grocery stores? What about farmers markets? What other hacks can we employ to ensure healthy purchases?

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        Last Updated on November 19, 2019

        20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

        20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

        Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

        If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

        1. Create a Daily Plan

        Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

        2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

        Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

        3. Use a Calendar

        Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

        I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

        Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

        4. Use an Organizer

        An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

        These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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        5. Know Your Deadlines

        When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

        But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

        6. Learn to Say “No”

        Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

        Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

        7. Target to Be Early

        When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

        For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

        Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

        8. Time Box Your Activities

        This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

        You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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        9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

        Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

        10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

        Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

        You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

        11. Focus

        Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

        Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

        Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

        12. Block out Distractions

        What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

        I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

        When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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        Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

        13. Track Your Time Spent

        When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

        You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

        14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

        You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

        Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

        15. Prioritize

        Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

        Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

        16. Delegate

        If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

        When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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        17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

        For related work, batch them together.

        For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

        1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
        2. coaching
        3. workshop development
        4. business development
        5. administrative

        I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

        18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

        What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

        One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

        While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

        19. Cut off When You Need To

        The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

        Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

        20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

        Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

        More Time Management Techniques

        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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