10 Awesome Hacks that will make You Healthier
I don’t know of a single soul who has not wished for a pill that they could take for better fitness.
It would be so much easier, wouldn’t it?
Easier than all that time, that commitment and sweat you have to deposit for a better-looking body that will stay above ground for the longest period of time.
However, we don’t have that… yet.
Currently there are no secrets, no pills and no magic formulas (no matter what Dr. Oz says) that will get us healthy.
What I can share with you, though, are some life hacks that you can add into your day. Easy hacks that will improve your health, your fitness and your waistline.
10 [awesome] hacks that will make you healthier
1/ Have protein for breakfast.
Specifically over 30 grams. A study by the Biofortis Clinical Research team at the University of Missouri showed that protein in the morning can help you consume fewer calories throughout the day, as well as burn more fat over time.
The likely reason is due to an improved glycemic control protein has on the body. In other words, your blood sugar levels will be more stable, which in turn will lead to the desire to eat less, while that in turn will lead to a slimmer and trimmer you.
Some examples of a high-protein breakfast are:
- 1 egg + 1 cup of egg whites (33 grams) scrambled with veggies
- Egg, black bean and cheese burrito. Try this recipe – it rocks!
- ¾ cup of plain Greek yogurt and mix in 10-15 grams of protein powder to both up the protein count as well as change the flavour (I love strawberry protein powder in my plain yogurt)
- A quinoa parfait mixed with Greek yogurt is another great high-protein non-egg option
- High-protein overnight oats, with added tablespoon of chia seed to add another 4 grams of protein
- Protein Pancake
- Slow Cooker Frittata
2/ Ditch the car.
While fitness is important for better health, you cannot ignore the other 23 hours of the day. In fact the science is showing us that it is what we do throughout the day that will better health.
These incremental movements we do throughout the day are called non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). This is the energy (calories) the body expends for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating or sports-like exercise.
The more NEAT we have in our lives the better off our body weight is, as well as our blood pressure, blood sugar levels and stress levels.
Control these and we also ward off a host of diseases.
Some examples of adding NEAT into your life are:
- Walk whenever you are on the phone
- Have a walking meeting at work, or instead of coffee out with your friends enjoy your java while walking
- Take the long way to the bathroom at work
- Go for walk and do some stretches at lunchtime
- Get a pedometer to encourage you to walk more
- Always use the stairs
- Get up and move around every 30 minutes when on the computer
- Park your car in the farthest stall away from your destination’s door
- Stretch while watching television (I am always stretching when watching a movie at home – now if only the movie theatre would be so accommodating!)
- Do some squats at every commercial break, or before you park your butt on the toilet
- Perform 10-minutes of yoga before bed. Try this stretch routine.
- Wake up with 10-minutes stretches or yoga. Try this workout.
- Walk to the store
- Make it a point to never go from the dinner table to the living room couch! Spend at least 30-minutes, following dinner, on your feet and moving around.
3/ Get some sleep.
The science on sleep and its importance to our health is abundant. The consequences of lack of shut eye range from higher disease risk, lower mortality, increased waistlines, lowered immune system, depression, memory problems and even accidental death.
Sleep is just as important to our bodies as the air that we breathe and the food that we eat. You see it’s during sleep that our body is tending to our physical and mental health and getting us ready for another day.
Some sleep hacks that you can add into your life for better quality shut eye:
- Turn off all electronics at least one hour before bed
- Maintain the same time you go to bed and get up all week
- Keep your bedroom clutter-free, dark and on the cooler side
- Try meditation and/or yoga before bed to help calm the mind and central nervous system
- There are also natural sleep aids such as: melatonin, valerian, chamomile, magnesium and calcium. Talk to a health practitioner, however, before adding any natural herb or supplement to your diet as they can interact with certain medications.
4/ Have your workout clothes ready.
Whether you workout in the morning, or after work, have your gear ready and waiting for you. This one tip has even helped me!
I have started performing fasted cardio 2-3 mornings a week and knowing my gear is out and ready for me gets me out of bed.
I have everything set up. My water with BCAAs is sitting by the sink and my workout gear, my runners and my iPod are in the spare bedroom (so I don’t wake loving husband).
On the flip side, if you want to workout in the evening have your gear in your car and do not go home until you workout.
In my experience most people see more success with sticking to their workouts if they get them done in the morning, or before they go home from work – because once you get home chaos usually ensures, or the couch starts to beacon.
5/ Eat off of smaller plates.
Smaller plates, as well as taller thinner glasses, gives us the illusion that we are eating and drinking more than we really are.
Yes, as ridiculous as it sounds we are actually able to fool ourselves from ourselves.
Here’s a good example. Take a look at the picture below.
Each dot is the exact same in diameter, but doesn’t the one on the left look bigger?
So, if this were a plate or bowl of food it would also seem bigger to your brain, and in turn your brain would mentally “think” that it’s eating more food than it really is therefore telling our stomach to shut up and be satisfied.
Yep, like I said it’s that easy to trick ourselves!
5/ Drink water.
Our body cannot distinguish whether it is thirsty or hungry. Rather it has one signal that it releases when it craves either, and in my experience people are usually dehydrated before they are actually hungry.
TRY THIS: When you get the “signal” from your stomach have a large glass of water and wait 10 minutes. Stomach still grumbling? Have another glass and wait another 10 minutes.
In addition, do not want you to drink too many of your calories either.
Recent studies have found that the calories we consume in liquid form don’t “register” as food in the brain’s satiety centres.
Water is the only liquid that will “fill us up” – anything else is simply extra calories to our waistline.
6/ Keep your workout short and sweet.
Perform a higher intensity workout, like a HIIT or a Tabata, so you can reap the benefits without having to spend a lot of time working out.
This is key for those days you do not want to workout because simply the act of knowing your workout is only 15-20 minutes makes it that much easier to get your runners on.
Need some workout ideas? Try these workouts:
- Skipping Rope Circuit
- BOSU Ball Tabata
- 35-Minute Bodyweight HIIT
- 24-Minute Ab HIIT
- TRX Tabata Part 1
- TRX Tabata Part 2
- 30-Minute Dumbbell Tabata
- STEP or BOSU Ball HIIT
7/ Listen to a podcast or audiobook to get you through your cardio.
Keep your brain busy and learn something new – all while performing your cardio.
Need some podcast ideas? Here are a few top the rated health and fitness podcasts that can be found on iTunes:
- Robin Sharma – The Mastery Sessions (you have to listen to a podcast of Robin’s, if for only his voice. So smooth and reassuring, I could listen to him all day!)
- Cultivating Greatness
- Happiness Through Self-Awareness
Prepare for the week ahead by menu planning and prepping your breakfasts, at least four lunches and a large salad (I call them BAS – big ass salads) to carry you through for dinner side dishes.
This one act alone can help you drop inches and fat, as well as save a lot of time for you during the hectic work week AND you will also get the bulk of your dishes done in one go. Awesome, eh?
9/ Pay yourself.
Start a “tip jar” and tip yourself a dollar (or a loonie for my Canadian peeps) every time you workout and meal plan and prep.
At the end of the month you should have yourself enough coin to buy a new workout top, or a treatment at the spa, or flowers to brighten your kitchen.
Accountability will hold you true to your health and fitness goals, and nothing breeds accountability than registering and paying for a fitness class, program or a trainer.
This is one of the reasons my 30-Day Diet Bootcamp has quickly become one of my most popular programs.
Each week for four weeks my client meets me one-on-one or on Skype. This personal meeting encourages them to stay on point for the week because they are now answering to more than just themselves.
Got some fitness hacks that you use and work? Share below!
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