You have two main weapons in your weight loss battle: diet and exercise. While losing weight comes down to a simple balance of energy (calories out over calories in) at it’s most basic level, there are a multitude of details that can make or break your quest for fitness. For many people, losing significant amounts of weight requires a complete lifestyle revamp, which can feel uncomfortable.
While there is no actual “secret recipe” or “silver bullet” for burning fat and losing weight, the secret weapons we share may not be considered traditional tools. Try these secret weapons out. When used in concert with a focused diet and a dialed-in exercise routine, you should see significant progress.
1. Drink black coffee
One of the simplest dietary staples out there, black coffee, is also an easy beverage to employ in your weight loss arsenal. Now, a lot of people can’t stand black coffee — that’s why there’s cream, sugar, and syrup on hand. But you need to wean yourself off all the add-ons. By cutting the extra frills out of your coffee routine, you get an energizing beverage that comes in between zero and five calories per cup.
Not only that, but coffee is a natural appetite suppressant, and it can give your metabolism a boost. So, get yourself to the point where you can drink coffee straight or with as little sugar or cream as possible. If you feel hungry, grab a cup (decaf can be a great afternoon staple), and skip the chips or candy bars.
2. Take naps
Sleep is a seriously underrated thing, particularly in our on-the-go society. But we know that sleeping has enormous benefits. In fact, people who sleep better tend to earn more money. It can clear your mind, help give you an advantage in terms of cognitive ability, and boost creativity and productivity. Also, it can help you lose weight.
How? Your muscles need time to rest and rebuild. When you sleep, this is typically when your body goes to work. On top of that, the amount of sleep you get can determine what sort of appetite you may have the next day. For example, if you sleep too little, you may crave calorie-dense or high-carb foods the next day to make up for the energy deficit. So, if you’re not getting enough sleep at night, try taking short naps. They’ll give you a boost of energy without the need to consume calories — making them as effective as anything in weight loss.
3. Plan your shopping lists
They say that most of the weight loss battles take place in the kitchen, as it can be incredibly difficult to opt for a piece of cod and some broccoli over that box of macaroni and cheese. But you can begin your campaign even earlier than that — at the grocery store. When you head to the supermarket, make sure you have a battle plan.
Studies have shown that grocery lists can be an incredibly effective weapon in battling weight gain. Basically, creating and sticking to a grocery list will help you avoid browsing and grabbing whatever sounds good off the shelves. Having a solid nutrition plan will help you get in, get what you need, and avoid wandering through the center aisles that are notorious for containing all kinds of processed, sugar- or salt-laden foods. Develop a list, and stick to it.
4. Don’t do it alone
Our final secret weapon is to call in some reinforcements — in the form of your significant other. Making a big lifestyle change, including the decision to seriously tackle a weight problem, is a much easier process if you can convince your wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, or husband to go along with you. In fact, studies have shown that if one partner loses weight, the other is three times more likely to do the same.
The trick, of course, is to actually approach this idea with a degree of strategy. Asking your partner to engage in a big lifestyle change is difficult, and the key is to come from a place of seriousness and concern. You don’t want to give off the impression that you think they’re the one who needs to lose weight. If you can clear that hurdle with a degree of suaveness, tackling weight loss together will make things much easier.