Trying to live healthy is tough, let’s not even pretend. As much as some claim to love it, it’s the benefits we enjoy, not so much the process. I believe it’s more about teaching yourself to make it your way of life, but to be frank, most of the things I actually love are bad for me. If you don’t agree with me, you can tune out now, but if you do, you probably know that you need all the tips and tricks you can get your hands on. Read on…
Stare out salad
You don’t necessarily need to eat your greens: by simply looking at fruit and vegetables in the morning, you’re hardwiring your brain to make healthier decisions throughout the day, say University of Leeds scientists. There’s no need to paint a still life of your fruit bowl, just give it pride of place in your kitchen and you’ll hit your weight loss target more quickly.
Be vague about your weight-loss goal
When establishing your goal, think of the number of pounds you want to lose, then subtract two. Giving yourself a range for weight loss keeps up your motivation when you step on the scales for your daily weigh-in. Broadening your goal also makes you more likely to hit your target.
Sleep on your side
The Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service says that other positions interrupt your breathing. This wrecks your shut-eye and puts 315 more food calories in your supermarket basket the next day. Lack of sleep makes you “less capable of self-control, leading to impulsive, calorie-driven purchases.” Warning: duvet-tugs-of-war also sabotage sleep.
Play it cool
Researchers at Brunel University have discovered your workout playlist is most effective if it makes keeping time difficult. “Jazz creates interference between your body and brain, blocking out the sensations of fatigue,” says David Lee Priest, a biopsychologist at the University of East Anglia. Ungroovy as that may sound, it means you’ll burn more calories each session daddy-o.
A study from Harpers Fitness found that men spend 21 minutes of every hour on the gym floor fiddling with their MP3 player and talking to fellow fitness fiends instead of working out. That’s 200 calories that could have been burned on the exercise bike. Make sure your playlist is on before you leave the changing room.
Get hooked on health food
To motivate yourself to eat a low-calorie meal, perform a simple ritual beforehand. People who acted out a quick habit like prepping leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch, spent more time savouring their meal.
Take your phone into the kitchen
Get an app or service that sends you reminders of your weight loss target. Research from the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center found that regular motivational texts will help you lose an extra 4.5lbs. Better than that one from your mate that says, “What pizza u want tonight bruv?”
Prepare a healthy meal before the footie on TV
Next time your team loses and Neville readies a forensic post-mortem, make a packed lunch for the next day. A study in Psychological Science found that defeat causes sports fans to eat more fatty foods. Prepare ahead of full time to cut the binge-eating response off at the source.
Replace your can’t with don’t
This one’s a subtle mind trick, but it works. Tell yourself you “don’t need” that pizza leftover rather than you “can’t have”it. A study by University of Houston found that the D-word will boost your grit, but saying “can’t” makes you feel like you’re depriving yourself.
Block foodies on social networks
Do you have a mate who is relentlessly posting junk food selfies on his Instagram or Facebook pages? Research has revealed that the food porn picture habit can heighten the senses of those on the receiving end, leading to cravings and extra calories. Be brutal: un-friend him.