2018 is here and everyone is searching for fitness and diet hacks to make those weight loss resolutions more manageable. Yet research shows that most Americans give up on those lofty resolutions before February rolls around. Whether you want to simply boost your health or do a complete fitness overhaul, it’s best to make small, specific goals instead of strict changes that will put you in a frenzied state—or worse yet, give you withdrawals. You’ll be more apt to achieve your overall goals and be happier while you do it.
If you want 2018 to be the year that you transform your body, try hacking your resolutions with the following diet hacks and tips.
1. Get Specific
Instead of making super ambitious, broad resolutions, think small and specific. Don’t be like everyone else with the cliché “I want to lose weight” goal. Assess your current habits, determine what isn’t working and plan your attack. Do you eat too much after 8 pm? Then stop late-night eating at least five days a week. Drink too much soda? Cut your intake down to one day a week. Eat out too much? Commit to cooking a certain number of days per month.
2. Protein Up
Increasing lean protein consumption is essential for weight loss and building lean muscle. It fills you up for hours and helps you burn more calories on the daily. An excellent way to boost your intake is to start your day off with a protein-rich breakfast. Research shows it helps you eat less throughout the entire day and promotes healthy digestion. Greek yogurt, salmon and egg scrambles, omelets and fritattas are all great choices.
3. Adopt Stress Reduction Habits
Stress can cause cravings and even lead to sugar binges. Curb emotional eating by taking up a new stress reduction activity or two. Exercise is an excellent choice and bolsters your weight loss efforts, but add other methods to the mix for best results. Meditation is a very calming, relaxing activity that has been shown to reduce overeating. Other good ways to manage stress include deep breathing, yoga, walking, reading, self-hypnosis, painting, drawing, getting a massage or spending time with pets. Find out what works for you and make time for it every day.
4. Make Grocery Lists
Old school grocery lists don’t just keep you organized, they help you make healthier choices. If you go in armed with a list of specific items to buy, you can steer away from the junk food aisles and avoid impulse buys. Another important tip—never go shopping on a grumbling stomach. You’ll be way more likely to make unhealthy purchases.
5. Ditch White Food
Want to see results fast? One of the easiest ways to lose weight is to ditch all refined carbs—especially those in the form of “white foods.” This means cutting out white rice, bread and pasta. Refined sugars are another thing to cut down on, or ideally, eliminate altogether. Refined carbs cause spikes and crashes in blood sugar that lead to mood swings and binge eating.
6. Shake Things Up
Make a resolution to try something new and healthy once a week. It can be anything from taking a boxing or ballet lesson to going on a hike, taking a cooking class or trying a Golden Turmeric latte. Make it fun—create a bucket list of all the healthy things you want to try this year and get started. Plus, you may meet new people or find the healthy habit of your dreams while burning extra calories.
7. Eat More Veggies
Increasing your intake of fiber-rich veggies is one of the best ways to lose weight. Strive to reach the daily recommended amount of five to six servings per day. The dietary fiber will fill you up so you won’t be hungry and their antioxidant content will boost your overall health.
8. Redefine Rewards
Instead of rewarding yourself with that pint of ice cream or candy bar when you reach a goal, choose something healthy. Opt for an experience like a movie, manicure or a vacation, or something healthy like a new gym membership, a package of exercise classes or a seat at a healthy cooking class.
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