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Three Easy Tricks To Never Count Calories Again

Three Easy Tricks To Never Count Calories Again

Ever notice that when things are complicated, tedious, or generally not fun, the likelihood of quitting is higher? When it comes to diets and healthy eating, having to count calories is all of those things. Nobody feels like tracking, measuring or weighing every little thing they eat, but the good old law of thermodynamics (calories in vs calories out) is often hailed as the king of all weight loss rules.

I am a huge proponent of keeping things simple; finding something deeper and more meaningful than just “lose 10 lbs” or “fit back into my skinny jeans” to motivate you, and above all, injecting some enjoyment in to the process. These three things increase the likelihood that you follow through and see results drastically.

The three easy tricks I have for you today will eliminate the need to ever count calories again, yet still get you results. Whether you’re seeking fat loss, more energy, or to address any other diet-related disease or illness, try these tricks out for 30 days and prepare to be pleasantly surprised.

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These tips are mostly inspired by my nutrition training through Metabolic Effect, founded by Dr’s Jade and Keoni Teta, authors of The New ME Diet.  

Trick #1: Follow this simple Label Rule for anything with a label

Reading labels can be one of the MOST confusing (and misleading) parts of healthy eating. We get distracted by words like “natural” “healthy” and “wholesome.” We even assume that just because something is vegan or gluten free that it’s healthy. This isn’t always the case. The Label Rule outlines the only three things that actually matter: Total Fat, Sodium, and Hormonal Carbs.

Total Fat should be less than or equal to 15. Lower numbers are better and you want to avoid foods with hydrogenated oils, trans-fats or mostly saturated fat. Foods that have higher mono-unsaturated fats and omega-3 oils are best.

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Sodium content should be less than or equal to 200mg. Foods with lower sodium numbers and higher potassium numbers are better.

Hormonal Carbs. This is where the genius of the Metabolic Effect approach shines. Unlike the calorie counting approach to losing weight, focusing on hormonal carbs prompts your body to shed fat specifically.

You’ll hear people say “muscle weighs more than fat”, but that’s not true.  Five pounds is five pounds, regardless of what it’s made of. Muscle is more dense that fat though, so it takes up less space. Picture a five pound brick versus a five pound pillow. Get it now? To calculate Hormonal Carbs you subtract Dietary Fiber (including any sugar alcohols) and Protein from the Total Carbs. Choose foods with a Hormonal Carb value less than 15. Lower numbers are better, and negative numbers are best. This means you’ll get the energy you need from the food, but you won’t be left with excess sugar that winds up getting stored in your body as fat when you don’t burn it off. Another great book on this topic is Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes if you’re interested!

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Carbs are not in fact the enemy—it’s just the amounts and frequency with which we consume them that cause problems. Here’s a visual example:

Screen Shot 2013-08-05 at 6.16.05 PM

    Trick #2: Eat according to this ideal plate at every meal

    The thing I love most about this trick is that it makes eating out EASY. Most of us are pretty good at eating clean in our own little controlled environments at home, but toss a menu into the mix and give us a few naughty options and it’s bad news bears. Once you know what your plate should look like at every meal, you can use this as your barometer when eating out-unless you know ahead of time, it’s a treat meal…in which case, go crazy! (and tag me on Instagram @lizdialto and let me know, I love treat meals!!)

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    The ideal plate is made up of half veggies (the greener the better), a fist sized portion of lean protein (if you’re a veggie, then beans, tofu, tempeh etc. count for you), then just five to ten bites of carbs. The bite rule is what protects you from having to count calories in this trick.

    Remember in Trick #1 how I said carbs aren’t the problem, but rather the amount of carbs? Sticking to 5-10 bites of carbs that fit the label rule puts you in the sweet spot for fat burning instead of fat storing. Here’s an example: it’s a portion of grass-fed steak and a big salad with mixed greens, quinoa, strawberries and balsamic dressing.

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      Now I know what you’re probably thinking because clients give me this objection all the time “only 5-10 bites?!” When you follow this rule you can actually eat more food, it’s just more food that’s better for you. All we’re doing is shifting around ratios on your plate.  More protein and veggies, less carbs. Side effects of eating this way include: fat loss, weight loss, more energy, better looking skin, and frequently allergy and digestive issue symptoms clear up, too.  So give it a try—you’ve got plenty to lose.

      Trick #3: Eat your protein and veggies first, save your carbs for last

      The reason for this is simple: protein and veggies are the best things for you on your plate and they’re more satiating. By saving your carbs for last, you give yourself a better shot at feeling full at the end of the meal and not over eating.

      More by this author

      Elizabeth DiAlto

      Liz is a fitness and lifestyle coach, speaker and author on a mission to help women live a fulfilling life.

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      Last Updated on May 22, 2019

      10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

      10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

      There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

      One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

      In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

      Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

      1. Cat Camel Stretch

      Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

      Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

      Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

      Here’s a video to guide you through:

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      2. Go for a Walk or a Run

      This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

      Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

      The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

      Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

      Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

      3. Jumping Jacks

      Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

      Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

      4. Abductor Side Lifts

      Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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      Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

      5. Balancing Table Pose

      This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

      Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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        6. Leg Squats

        Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

        Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

        The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

        7. Push Ups

        You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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        An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

        Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

        This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

        8. Bicycle Crunches

        There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

        Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

        9. Lunges

        Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

        Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

        This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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        10. Bicep Curls

        You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

        Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

        Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

        Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

        Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

        These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

        You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

        Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

        More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

        Reference

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