One of the #1 health concerns of Americans, according to the CDC, is weight loss.
Most people want to lose weight because they think it’ll make them look better…quite a few more people know they should lose weight because it’ll make them feel better.
And I’d be willing to bet almost all Americans who are carrying a few extra pounds realize losing weight will help them live longer.
So why is it so hard for people to lose weight?
Well, the answer’s as simple as it is complex.
Let’s be honest, most people just like to eat. I know I do. It’s how we deal with the stress, and our diets are built around foods crafted to make our taste buds sing.
But those shouldn’t be excuses for keeping extra weight hanging on your hips and thighs.
Especially when there are some simple “health hacks” you can follow, that are shown to help you lose weight without much issue.
Check them out and try them this week and see what happens.
5 Surprisingly Simple Weight Loss Tips
1 – Shop full and with a list: Maybe you’ve heard about this strategy before? Here’s why it works.
If you’re overweight, it’s probably because you suffer from a lack of self-control. That’s not me trying to be mean, the psychology behind overeating is often simplified to fading willpower.
Part of the reason self-control is subverted on a grocery store trip is because we often shop hungry. When you go into a grocery store and your stomach is growling and your eyes see 1000s of different food options available, your amygdala (responsible for survival instincts) kicks in and makes you snatch things off the shelves like a starving toddler.
If, on the other hand, you go into the store and your stomach is full, you’re not going to experience that kind of animal response to hunger.
Lists also help with this process.
When you use a list (and shop with a full stomach) your logical mind will help you stick to the task of getting only the food you need. Not only will this help you lose weight in the long run, it’s a great way to save on your grocery bill too.
2 – Cut your food into small bites: I’m not sure there’s much medical research evidence to support this, but anecdotal evidence strongly confirms that this works.
Again, your mind is often the enemy in the battle of overeating. Anything you can do to trick your brain into believing it doesn’t need to eat more, will help you on your quest to eat less.
When you cut your food into smaller pieces, you perform a slight of hand that makes your brain think it’s eating more, even when you’re eating less.
As the old saying goes, “perception is reality “, and an interesting aspect of human psychology is when we perceive we’ve eaten more than we have it can help us eat less.
Try this out. Take 1 piece of chicken breast and cut it into 8 pieces and pile them together. Then take a nearly identically sized piece of chicken and place it next to the diced chicken.
What looks bigger to you? The answer will be the diced chicken.
Eat that and you’ll believe you’ve eaten more than you already have. Just don’t do this with fussy teenagers. That’ll backfire quickly. 😉
3 – Keep a journal of what you eat: This is another psychological trick to help steer eating habits into a healthy direction.
To succeed in eating less, it really is all about the state of your mind and how you let it dictate responses to food.
By keeping a food journal, you can keep a history of your positive eating behavior, which is like a shot in the arm for your psyche, proving you can do what you once thought was impossible.
There are other benefits to a food journal.
One is you’ll begin to see patterns and trends emerging in how and when you eat. You’ll notice certain problem foods keep popping up, which gives you the chance to cut them out of your diet altogether (refer to point #1 for help with shopping for food).
Food journals are also great for helping you track the weight you’ve lost. That’s a huge deal, as visual confirmation you’ve lost weight will help you stay on track when you feel like you haven’t made much progress.
4 – Cheat: Let me be quite clear here. Cheating on a diet occasionally is OK, but it doesn’t give you license to cheat often.
Many people approach diet and exercise with a reward mentality. They’ll say, because I ate like this this morning, or because I worked out for 30 minutes, I can eat whatever I want this afternoon.
That’s not a smart way to keep weight off because it becomes a very slippery slope as you begin to deserve more rewards.
If you decide to give yourself a cheat meal in the week, you’re setting yourself up for a much greater chance for success.
The reason a cheat meal (and maybe even a cheat day) works so well is because it gives your brain a break. There’s no doubt about it,eating well can be stressful. The thought of not getting to stuff your face with all your favorite foods makes your outlook on life pretty grim (Note: the longer you eat well, the less miserable eating well becomes, so stick with it).
Living with that stress hanging over your head can actually lead to depression and anxiety.
So, to take stress off of your brain, you can plan a break. Just like you need a break when you work, a break in your clean eating habits gives you a chance to be a human, while still moving towards your goals of losing weight.
Just try not to go overboard. You can pack away 3,000 – 5,000 calories without problem in a single day of cheating, and that will sabotage your weight loss goals.
5 – Take Probiotics: I just sent an email to you yesterday about the benefits of taking probiotics for weight loss.
Yes, they work, and better than you might think.
Rather than recap what they do here, just go back to your inbox and open the email “Probiotics May Help You Lose Weight?” to see how it works.
At the end of the day, losing weight isn’t as hard as you may think. It’s a battle of the mind, and if you can control your mind, you can win the battle of the bulge.