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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 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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