Counting calories can be tedious, inaccurate, and not the solution for weight loss for some people. Most everyone would like to lose a few or many pounds for health, vanity, and various reasons. Most people are successful in the short term and then slowly regain their lost weight. The key is to find a deeply ingrained habit that aligns with your fitness goals. Making changes to your daily routine can be hard and most interventions don’t stick for the long term. Having to rely on motivation to reach your goals is not a long-term solution. Motivation fades over time and that is where a solid habit will keep you on pace.
Do you need motivation to hit the gym? Most people do. Do you need motivation to brush your teeth before going to bed? Of course not. It’s something that you always do and skipping it would make you feel weird. If you can engrain a positive fitness habit as strongly as brushing your teeth then you will maintain a healthy lifestyle in a very consistent pattern.
In this article, I’ll give you a few tricks that have been shown to be effective for some people. Doing all of them at once might not be a smart idea. Pick one of them. Try to follow it as best you can for two weeks and see what happens. It will be much better to do one of them consistently for a long period rather than doing all then and flaming out quickly. These are meant to be calorie-saving tricks without having to meticulously track your intake.
This is a neat little trick that has some serious health benefits. By adding cinnamon to a meal you slow down the gastric emptying. This means that foods will stay in your stomach for a little longer. It also helps lower the blood sugar response to a meal which can be beneficial for many individuals that have elevated blood sugar levels. In the study, the participants used 6g of cinnamon. Very high intakes of cinnamon can be toxic and should be avoided.
Have some apple cider vinegar:
This is very commonly promoted as the solution to all health problems by some “experts”. The results in human are not super clear but it can help give you a little edge. Some people report feeling a lot less hungry by having some apple cider vinegar before a meal. It has been shown in studies that it helps your muscle uptake blood sugar more effectively. This can have some positive health benefits. Being able to effectively uptake the sugar that is circulating is a good indicator of how healthy a person is. Try a shot of apple cider vinegar 30min before a meal with a tall glass of water and see what happens.
Drink a protein shake before a meal:
Every now and then there will be an occasion where you know it will be very hard to stay on track with your diet plan. This could be a party, event, celebration, or something similar. What if there was a way to make sure that you’d eat fewer calories and improve the blood sugar response without counting a single calorie? A group of researchers gave young adults a protein shake consisting of 40g of protein 30min before a pizza buffet. They were allowed to eat as much as they wanted and the researchers measured how much they ate and how the blood sugar responded. They ended up eating less food and had improved blood sugar control. This is not a foolproof way of eating whatever you want to, however, it does create a little buffer that could be beneficial for you over time. If you know that there will be a surplus of tempting food. Try to down a shake before as a snack and you’ll end up eating less without thinking about it.
Choose a smarter snack:
The afternoon can be rough times to stay on track. You are getting tired from work, lunch was a few hours away, and you are supposed to hit up the gym. This is when you might need a healthy snack. A group of researchers gave subjects almonds at morning, late morning, lunch, and in the afternoon . The researchers wanted to see how this affected their body composition (fat mass versus lean mass). Adding 250 kcals of almonds to their daily routine did not increase the weight on the subjects. The afternoon snack group saw the greatest improvement with decreased fat mass and increase lean mass. They also saw improved blood sugar control showing that 43g of almonds is a great afternoon snack to stay healthy.
Try this tricks and see if how it makes you feel. Start with one habit at a time and try to make it as ingrained as brushing your teeth for a healthier body with less effort. Stay tuned for even more tips that will help you limit calories with less effort.
Apple cider vinegar – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26064976
Protein before pizza – http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/91/4/966.full
Almonds afternoon snack – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24084509
B.S. Exercise Science from Lindenwood University
Started CrossFit in 2010.
Favorite thing about what I do:
To help and see people improve their fitness and confidence
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist by the National Strength and Conditioning Association
CF L1 Coach
CF L2 Coach
USAW Sports Performance Coach & club coach
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