In our busy world, one thing we never seem to have enough of is that life crack that Father Time’s sellin’. Many people would love to spend their days skiing, playing tennis, lifting weights, and riding their bike. The sad reality is that after they bust their butts for 10 hours and drag themselves home through an hour traffic slog, their day is far from over.
They still have to help their kids with homework, take junior to soccer, swimming, and/or little league practice, clean the house, fix what’s broken, pay their bills, and try and unwind for 15 minutes before they drift off, so they can repeat the joyous process again tomorrow. Whew! It’s exhausting just thinking about it, and packing around an extra 15 to 50 doesn’t make it any easier.
The problem is that when you’ve been sucked into the tornado that we call modern life, you not only have precious little time to exercise, more often than not, the norm is fries and a burger, served in a bag. So, not only are you passing off turning the steering wheel as exercise, you’re eating the Morgan Spurlock diet to boot. Fat city is the next exit, and your turn signal is a’flashin’.
One problem that many of us have had to face is that getting fat just sort of creeps up on us before hitting us on the head with the “Oh crap, I’m fat!” stick. That moment for me was seeing myself in a picture that I barely recognized. I really thought “Who is that fat guy in the picture?” for a second, before the realization set in, and ruined my Sunday. Gaining 5 or 10 pounds a year doesn’t seem like that much when you’re doing it, until you’ve done it for 5 or 10 years, then it is tough to bring the train to a stop.
For those of us that have had that OCIF moment, and want to step onto the platform, here are some quick and easy weight loss tips that can start the fat slowly dropping away, without having to block out an extra 2 hours a day (that you don’t have) for exercise, or go on one of those restrictive diets you’ll never stick to anyway. You do actually have to do something though, or nothing will ever change. The trick is to make easy changes that bring maximum results.
The old saying is that you can’t out exercise a bad diet, so that’s the place to start, because too many of us really don’t want to try and out exercise anything. So here are some quick and easy weight loss tips from a diet perspective:
Tip 1 – Change to a bread that’s made without flour. What? Flourless bread? Sure, they make bread without flour, and it tastes great, too. The secret is getting the right kind. Some of it definitely tastes better than others.
Regular bread is almost like shoveling down a bowl of pure, cane sugar (all apologies to the sugar lobby), which, after all, would be better than a cup of high fructose corn sweetener, which you’re probably even more likely to encounter these days. Whole wheat bread isn’t too much better, although many people think so.
The trick is to eliminate the offending flour, and use sprouted whole grains instead. It’s not as easy to find as white bread, or whole wheat, but most major supermarket chains have it, and specialty stores, such as Whole Foods have a large variety of the stuff. I have tried quite a few varieties. My favorite so far is from Silver Hills Bakery, up in the Great White North. It comes in a red bag, and is called Squirrelly.
If you eat a lot of bread, you should cut back some, but also change as much of your bread intake as possible to sprouted bread. Now, if only those guys would make pizza crust…
One more thing, eliminate bagels. I know, they are the diet food extraordinaire, but they are loaded with high glycemic carbs and tend to be much larger than you really want your portion of bread to be. Bagels are known as healthy eating, but they are really fat pills of the highest order, especially when slathered with cream cheese.
Tip 2 – Use your favorite music to exercise, and turn it up LOUD! Rock out while you’re workin’ out. (NOTE: Not too loud, as studies have strongly linked hearing damage to loud MP3 players. Like they needed a study to figure that one out.) It helps you feel the energy, and it seems to transfer the energy to your body so you can get in a decent workout. If you’ve never been able to workout very well, crank the tunes and then try it again. You’ll concentrate less on the exertion, but actually exert yourself more, and burn off some extra calories than you otherwise would have.
In fact, the effect of music on exercise and athletic performance can be so powerful that when organizers banned athletes from listening to music during the 2007 New York Marathon, hundreds of participants gave said organizers the proverbial finger and cranked up their iPODs anyway.
As an alternative, you can watch sports. Getting into a game or event can help in much the same way as listening to loud music. Weather music or sports, distracting yourself with music or sports can make the time go by much faster. Let’s face it, treadmills and exercise bikes are just plain boring!
Tip 3 – No fast food! This may be the toughest thing for some people, but there are other choices for food that are just as speedy, yet are actually healthy and taste great too. If you always eat fast food, you easily get into a habit of just pulling through the drive through or walking over to the nearest Mickey D’s. Don’t do it! Change to a habit of some other foods that are fast, rather than traditional fast foods.
Some of these include mission style burritos, such as those found at Taco Del Mar, Qdoba Mexican Grill, Chipolte Mexican Grill, Mucho Burrito, or any of the thousands of fresh, Mexican grill places strewn throughout the U.S. And Canada. They serve fast food, but made with fresh, wholesome ingredients, put together in delicious, well balanced combinations. There are a multitude of great tasting sauces and salsas you can pile on for more flavor, healthy antioxidants and vitamins.
The trick with fresh Mexican grill burritos is to have them naked. No, don’t just plop down in the dining room with your junk hangin’ out. Naked means that your order them without the tortilla. Tortillas are mostly white flour, and are extremely high in calories. Order yours sans tortilla, and you’re havin’ one naked.
Another great burrito diet tip is to leave off the white rice, and have yours made with black and whole beans instead. It will be the same price and you’ll not have the damaging effects of white rice on our waistline. One last thing; these things tend to be BIG! You can usually get smaller ones that still plenty of food, but are more in line with the next tip on my list for today.
Tip 4 – It’s all about portion control. I’ve posted about the importance of this before, but it bears repeating. In the good old U.S. Of A, portions have been growing like, well like our bellies after partaking of some of these growing portions. Eschew the el Gianto for some more 1980’s style medium and large.
For example, the coffee of 1980 was an 80z cup of coffee, while now it’s a Starbucks Grande Latte. The old fashioned coffee of 1980 was about 50 calories even with cream and sugar. The Starbucks Latte’s calorie count? Over 300!
Remember when a Big Mac was positively huge? Now it’s a mere bite, and many other burgers are much larger. To be fair, I seem to remember the patties and buns on the 1980 variety actually were larger than they are now. But really, do you need a Triple Whipper with cheese? Wouldn’t a regular Whopper with a salad and low calorie dressing be a better choice?
Tip 5 – Don’t go on a “Diet”. As I showed in a past post, recent research has demonstrated that the good, old diet is actually correlated to weight gain! That’s right, a diet will actually make you gain weight over the long term. Better to make some small changes you can really stick to, than to try and force your square peg diet into your round hole lifestyle. You will have to make some changes, like switching the kind of bread you eat, for instance.
Check out other posts here for more great weight and fat loss tips: