Finding new ways to get myself or others to create new habits is a constant adventure. We all tick a little differently, and regardless of what we know we need to do, it’s the small tips, challenges, and messages that seem to steer us in the right direction. This is one reason why new workout programs and diets get a lot of attention.
The human body hasn’t changed much over the years, and neither has training and nutrition. We know we need to move more, drink more water, get sleep, eat our veggies and avoid man/women made food products. It seems like a simple plan but putting it into practice is a whole different ballgame. It is way too hard to totally change your diet, workout program, and lifestyle habits all at once. It’s just too much for someone to handle especially since we have so many other things going on these days. This is why am I such a firm believer on changing one habit at a time and totally owning it. Master that habit and totally nail it down to where it just becomes a part of your life.
So, if changing one habit at a time is the way to go, then we need to ask ourselves the next question.
What habit do we start or stop?
The answer as to “what habits should I create?” is very individual to each person, but it’s always nice to talk through some examples to get the ball rolling. So, I have three habits that I feel can impact most people’s lives in a positive way. Now, don’t go and do all three of these at once, that will simply be way too much. Just pick one and kill it!
When choosing healthy habits, there are some guidelines you need to think about:
- Pick only one at a time;
- It needs to be small;
- We need to be able to perform this habit daily;
- It needs to be easy to understand and measurable;
- On a scale of 1-10 (1 being no confidence, and 10 being 100% confidence), you need to be at a 9 or 10 that you can accomplish this.
So, again, just do one of these, and I promise, you will only need one. They are that impactful. Let’s take a look at the 3 Simple Fat Loss Hacks Anyone Can Do and See Progress
1. The 4-Day Veggie Challenge
It is no secret that all of us could stand to eat a few more veggies each day.
Easier said than done that is for sure. Vegetables are not as convenient as other food options and for many of our taste buds, not as appealing. The US Center for Disease Control estimates that only 1 out of 10 people eat enough vegetables each day. There are endless benefits to eating more vegetables, such as better digestion, anti-inflammatory effects, calorie control, phytochemicals that have anti-cancer and antiviral properties, high in anti-oxidants, vitamins, and minerals. So, why don’t we eat more of them? Well, that is the magic question that I wish I had the perfect answer too so instead of trying to figure out this US problem, I would rather get a veggie into the body one habit at a time.
I recently was listing to a podcast that had Dr. Cate Shannahan, and she mentions a very cool challenge to help people get more veggies into their diet.
She suggested the following:
- 4-days a week
- 4 cups of salad/veggies
- 4 different colors of veggies
I immediately took to the idea and thought how brilliant! Now, it’s not an everyday habit, and I think that’s totally fine. The reason is that even though you are only shooting for 4-days per week, it will force you to think about food differently and make better choices on the other days. It also makes you focus on planning out your meals. By pushing yourself to get more veggies in your body and mind automatically start to change. While consuming more veggies will obviously improve your health internally, it will also change your mindset. You will naturally eliminate processed carbs and other junk food simply because you need to make more room for the veggies.
Try this one out for just 2-weeks and totally nail it. Make it your only focus when eating, and I am confident that in 2-weeks, you will have changed your whole mindset on eating.
2. 75 Kettlebells Swings and No Processed Carbohydrates
I first heard this tip when I listened to Tim Ferris’ book, The 4-Hour Body. I am all about simple tips that make sense and have a goo bang for the buck, and this one gets the job done. Tim suggested a low-carb diet every day, and 75 kettlebell swings 3-days a week, so I modified it a bit. But the concept remains the same.
For people who are pressed for time and need to workout at home this one is perfect. The kettlebell swing, in my opinion, is the best exercise for fat loss and conditioning. Women can buy a 12-16 kilo bell, and a guy can buy a 16-24 kilo bell and keep right in the corner of their bedroom. The first thing in the morning slug down some water, stretch our and warm-up for 5-10 minutes, maybe with a couple of Yoga poses and then swing away! Your sets could look like:
- 3 x 25 reps
- 25, 20, 15, 15 reps
- 5 x 15 reps
- Any way you want, just get a total of 75 swings in. I would suggest not doing 75 in a row as form and intensity will start to suffer.
It doesn’t look like a lot on paper, but if you do it every day, that adds up. Plus it takes you only 10-minutes, so there are no excuses for not having enough time. No trips to the gym, no hour long workouts.
Now for the diet part. If all you focused on was reducing or eliminating processed carbs, I think that is a great place to start. Avoid sugar (except fruit), processed bread, muffins, pasta, cereals, boxed potatoes, candy, well basically junk food. Naturally, you will have to seek out more high-quality carbs such as veggies, fruit, rice, potatoes, sprouted grain bread and round it out with protein and healthy fats.
A couple of years ago I did this for 2-weeks when I was super busy and found that I was leaner and felt amazing. A simple strategy that develops good eating habits and makes you move with a purpose each day.
3. Consume A Super Shake Everyday
I am a big fan of making “super shakes” to get a ton of nutrient dense foods in for the day. The fact of the matter is that we are so busy these days that many of us just don’t get enough fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, quality proteins, and other vital nutrients throughout the day. I wish that there were a way that I could get all of my clients to eat a boatload of vegetables, clean proteins, complemented with healthy fats at every meal, but that is just not realistic. That is where making a “super shake” or 2 for the day comes in. You quickly develop an insurance policy for your body that gives you the quality nutrients you need for sustained energy, fat loss, muscle recovery and overall health.
With so many poor quality ready to drink meal replacements, and high sugar smoothies to purchase on the go, it can be confusing to know what works best for you and your nutritional needs and fat loss. You need to make your own meal replacement “super shake” to get the best bang for your buck. There are a few rules to follow when trying to construct a proper “super shake.” You can’t just throw in some milk, yogurt, and fruit juice and call it a day. It must have macronutrient balance, quality, and taste good enough to consume. Here are the four rules when orchestrating the best “super shake” possible.
- Rule #1 High-Quality Protein Source
- Rule #2 Green Food Powder Supplements and Leafy Greens
- Rule #3 Healthy Fats
- Rule #4 Use Whole Fruit and not Fruit Juice
For some great super shake recipe ideas check out our article on the making great super shakes!
Fat Loss is Simple But Not Easy
By no means are these tips and tricks easy, but they are simple. They are easy to implement and focus on and will help you adhere to the goal. Implement one of these tips and tricks for a month and let me know how it goes. I would love to get some feedback. I hope you find them useful.
Justin Grinnell is the Owner of State of Fitness in East Lansing, Michigan. State of Fitness opened up just four years ago and is already one of the leading training facilities in the Midwest. State of Fitness has over 450 members who train every day under his leadership. In addition to being a facility owner, Justin has his own blog at www.grinnelltraining.com (link below), and has been a featured writer for over 6 years in the magazine Healthy & Fit and is a writer for Muscle & Fitness.