Just want to lose 5 pounds? Probably. Most people – even if they’re generally satisfied with the way they look – will admit they could look about 5 pounds better and they’d feel happy about that. Well, since weight loss is all about the little things, we’ve compiled 11 easy-to-implement little things here for you to pick and choose from. The more you can pick up, the more you’ll drop off. Happy pound-shedding!
Buy a water bottle
Buy yourself a bottle, and carry it with you. You can do it discreetly in a laptop bag, or you can do it right out in the open like a Camelbak. However you do it, the more of one of the most basic liquids on earth you drink, the better you’re going to feel and look. Among many other benefits, Dr. Melina Jampolis points out what might be the most important:
…it is very difficult for the body to differentiate hunger from thirst. If you don’t drink enough water throughout the day, you may mistake thirst for hunger and eat more than you really need, which can also impair weight loss. So staying well hydrated is important, particularly if you are trying to lose weight.
Buy smaller plates
The biggest problem many people have with their diet is portion control. You’re supersizing yourself by supersizing. Even if you don’t get large portions, though, regular [sic] portions in American have increased by almost 100 percent in just the last 20 years according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Check out their quiz here for a visual representation of the size of things your parents put in their gaw versus what you’re cramming in there. Just one example: 2 slices of pizza used to cost you about 500 calories, nowadays it’s closer to 900.
Buy a gym membership
Simple, obvious-after-the-fact ideas are the hallmark of genius, and buying a gym membership definitely falls into this category. There are two things to consider when you’re getting a gym membership. Here they are 1) how close it is to your work or home because you will only go if its convenient enough and 2) how good looking the girls are because gyms are hotbeds of in-shape dating. That’s all, price point should be of far less import than those.
Buy a calendar
A workout calendar seems like a simple fix, but for many people, it’s the difference that doubles the amount they workout on a weekly basis. The benefits of filling out a calendar every day are two fold: You’ll be ashamed of writing in zero hours, so you’ll always be compelled to do something, and secondly: you’ll continually try to match or outdo yourself increasing weight lifted or minutes of cardio as time passes. You can also use this as a food journal, but most people that use them have a separate, actual book for that.
Eat like a kid(‘s meal)
This is in the same vein as portion control, but with the bonus that, in the wake of “Supersize Me” McDonalds and many other fast food restaurants began offering healthy alternatives to some of their most unhealthy fare – especially in the kids meals. Everybody needs a Double Down every once in a while, but if you’re making trips to the drive through a few times a week, try a happy meal with a normal-size burger, a water, and substitute fruit for the fries. Caloric savings per trip versus Big Mac meal: 1100.
Spice it up
One Canadian study found that individuals who consumed 10g of red pepper with their meal (admittedly, that’s quite a bit – 5.5 teaspoons) experienced a metabolic boost significantly higher (about 20%) for 20 minutes as opposed to their non-spicy dining companions. In addition to burning more calories just sitting their, more spice on your foods discourages gorging as you get the sensation of being full faster and, honestly, you just can’t eat that much pepper before you get the dinner sweats.
Buy more shoe leather
This one is easy, obvious, and old school. The more you walk, the more you burn. We suggest taking some non-traditional approaches to this, though. Why not take a walking lunch hour? This has the dual benefit of burning calories, getting you some exposure to the sun, limiting the amount of food you can eat (that which you can carry), and improving your digestion. Add to this that we’ve been evolutionarily conditioned to eat standing up like our caveman hunter forefathers, and we think you’ve got a standing, mobile lunch date with yourself.
Start today, this hour
Another of people’s most difficult hurdles is to just start in the first place. The diet starts tomorrow is one of the truest forms of bumper sticker wisdom on the freeway, and it is the one thing keeping a lot of guys a little soft in the middle. So start right now. Like, finish the rest of this list after you walk to the store to buy your workout calendar. Go. See you when you get back.
More protein, fewer carbs
OK, welcome back. You should probably eat more protein and fewer carbohydrates than you are doing right now. This is statistically true – most young men are guilty of this nutritional sin. If you’re not, then it’s likely because you’ve already consciously changed this. Otherwise, try these three tips to add more protein and subtract more carbs from your diet. 1) Make your default snake beef jerkey or unsalted almonds. 2) Switch do diet soda and 3) No french fries. The reason this works is because carbs are calorie-dense. You don’t feel full until you’ve consumed a lot more of them, and that’s making you fat.
Mix up your workout
This is also a reason you need to get a gym membership. If your routine is to wake up in the morning and run the same circuit around your neighborhood, you’re going to eventually get bored. It’s the same reason you want to have sex with your lady in interesting places: it’s fun to mix things up. You can do this by either buying new exercise equipment like the Elliptigo Hybrid Bike, changing your workout by including more sprints, or trying an entirely new sport altogether like yoga for men.
Go on fitness dates
This is probably the sexiest choice of all. Take your lady out and get sweaty together. If you’re a speed demon and she’s not, then let her bike while you run. Or both go to the gym and spot each other. Or take a strippercize class together. Maybe not that last one, but you get the idea. When you partner up, you’re more likely to be motivated to work out. And, when that partner is a lady, you’ll doubly benefit because working out increases your (and her) sex drive. Time to get using that newly-toned body of yours (and hers).