While it may be common knowledge that enough exercise is a great way to lose weight, it doesn’t tell the entire story. Often, losing weight requires a multi-pronged approach, and there are some hacks that you can integrate into your lifestyle to lose more weight, lose weight faster, lose it on a more consistent basis and keep it off.
1. Drink water—lots of it.
Most people do not drink enough water. That is a statistical fact. But can it actually help you lose weight? It can and for a number of reasons. Obviously, the more water you drink, the fuller you’ll be and the less you’ll eat. Additionally, if you substitute orange juice, soda, wine and so on with water during meals and snacks, you’ll avoid a lot of empty calories that many people consume. Proper hydration is also important to overall health, and it actually helps your metabolism operate more efficiently.
2. Stretch and move throughout the day.
This is particularly important for people who work sedentary jobs. If you work eight hours in an office Monday through Friday, that means you. Even just getting up, stretching and moving around for a few minutes every hour can make a difference in how you feel and how you metabolize. You may need to set an hourly alarm at first, but it will eventually become second nature.
3. Use smaller plates. Eat slower.
If you have a problem with portion control, then you need to train yourself to need only those smaller portions. It’s actually not that hard to set good habits. If you don’t already chew your food as well as you should, then focus on slowing down until it becomes second nature. Additionally, use small plates. If you need seconds fine, but studies show that plate size subconsciously affects our appetite.
4. Sleep well.
If you’re not getting enough sleep or that sleep isn’t restful enough, it can negatively affect your metabolism as well as cause your body to store fat more aggressively. Whether you need six, seven or eight hours varies from one person to the next, but you should focus on maximizing that time via a good mattress and limited intake of caffeine and alcohol.
Modern science is demonstrating that fasting is better for us than Western medicine ever realized. More and more doctors and nutritionists are recommending it not just for weight loss but general well-being. There are also many creative approaches to fasting so that it isn’t so hard. The 8-to-8 diet, for instance, lets you eat almost whatever you want from 8am to 8pm but then fast the other 12 hours.
6. Eat Before You Shop
Perhaps the oldest advice in the weight loss book. Enjoy a healthy meal before you go to the grocery. Better yet, make your list and then stick to it. Avoid those impulse purchases. Many groceries have begun offering to order online, and this is a great way to stick to your plan.
7. Put Sauces and Salad Dressing on the Side
It may sound silly, but it actually works. When applying dressing and sauces on top of a dish, people are inclined to use way too much. That adds up to a lot of empty calories. If you keep the sauce on the side and dip instead, your meal will taste just as good, but you’ll consume a lot fewer calories.
8. Put a Mirror on Your Fridge
More than one recent study asserts that a mirror on the fridge motivates people to eat and drink less and healthier. It seems like common sense as well. Whenever you go to the fridge or are working in the kitchen, it’ll remind you to think about your weight and your overall health as well.
9. Take the Stairs
Within reason, whenever you have an easy option like an elevator or escalator, skip it. Take the path of greater resistance. As this becomes a habit, it will expand to other avenues of your life as well. Often, the key to keeping weight off isn’t just to exercise an hour every day but to take advantage of an active lifestyle whenever you have the opportunity.