Take Control of Your Diet Without Much Effort
Dieting is a laborious and often anxiety-ridden process spent wringing our hands over every calorie that we ingest. And articles about dieting are usually even worse. Rather than offering any kind of encouraging advice, they tend to focus on the all the things we shouldn’t do, rather than the things that we should.
5 Ways to Easily Influence Your Diet
This kind of negative advice gets you nowhere. Nine times out of ten, you make drastic, unsustainable changes to your diet that you renege on after a month.
Here are five ways to diet without even trying—the trick is, you’ll be embracing a lifestyle that’s diet-friendly, rather than trying to live like some sort of carbohydrate-restrictive monk.
1. Skip Breakfast
This is good news, because many professionals are skipping breakfast anyway—as evidenced by the deluge of think pieces on how to grab a bite on the go. But without the hard evidence behind it, why bother?
There’s no need to feel guilty about racing to the office without eating. Just do what’s already natural, and get a little extra sleep while you’re at it.
Get in the habit of weightlifting. This will make a huge difference in trimming down. Many people sing the praises of cardio exclusively for fat burning, but this argument just doesn’t hold water. The beauty of weight training is that it spikes the amount of calories you burn generally—so even on rest days, you’re burning more than you would be if you weren’t lifting at all.
So sure, run all you want, but don’t leave weight training out of the equation. And for all those concerned about getting too beefy—don’t worry, you won’t turn into the Incredible Hulk overnight. In fact, if you want to get bigger (in the more muscular sense), you will have to have a completely different diet!
3. Learn to Cook at Home
Eating out is one the sure-fire ways to screw up what would’ve been a useful diet. Remember: you have no idea what they’re putting in the food you’re ordering, even if you think you do. But rather than framing this in the negative, put some focus into learning how to be a gourmet cook at home.
Think about it: take all the money you put into restaurants each year, and put it into some new kitchen equipment, some cooking lessons, or even a meal delivery service (one of my favorites is HelloFresh).
Now, not only are you ensuring that your meals are healthy, you’ve also just gained a new, impressive skill. Congrats, you’ve just leveled up your diet.
4. Close the Kitchen After Dinner
It’s 8 p.m. and you’ve just loaded up the latest episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones. And now you’re hankering for some popcorn. I completely empathize. But are you a human being, or some sort of Pavlovian nightmare? Why is it that we need to eat every time we watch T.V.? It’s a comfort, a way to check out, and I think that’s a cop-out.
Why not take on a more creative hobby at night that doesn’t immediately make you reach for the Pringles canister?
Guitar lessons, painting, pottery… the possibilities are endless. And none of them have an inherent association with snacking. Keep the kitchen closed after 8 p.m., and take on a hobby that will actually develop you as a person.
5. Consider Supplements
Sometimes, in order to really lose weight and develop your body, it’s not enough to simply adjust your diet in a general way. Your body can play tricks on you, and that’s why sometimes you need to drop some science on your body and track your macros—that is, your macronutrients which are comprised of protein, carbs, and fats—that you take in on a given day.
For deficits, it’s sometimes helpful to consider supplements like protein or green powders to keep your ratios under control. This is simply a matter of slugging back a glassful of liquid (not that painful, right?).
Dieting is always a tricky business and it’s not going to be easy. However, it can be worth it in the long-run. If you make your diet a matter of positive lifestyle changes and minor adjustments to what you already do, it gets way easier. Best of luck to you all!