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10 dieting hacks for your Body + Mind – that work!

One's and zero's computer screen depicting a hacker's code as a metaphor for hacking your diet
  1. Eat Small, Frequent Meals/Snacks: A drop in blood sugar is the primary factor that tells us we’re hungry. Eating small frequent meals, especially those containing protein, helps stabilize blood sugar levels and prevents them from dipping too low, causing appetite to spike. To prevent this, “graze” throughout the day.
  2. Eat Less As The Day Goes On: In the morning, our body’s metabolism revs up, and as such, the demand for fuel (calories) increases during the early part of the day. To match your body’s energy requirements, therefore, try getting calories in early rather than at night. Your body is more likely to burn them off instead of storing them as fat.
  3. Eat The Vast Majority Of Your Carbs In The Morning, Or Early Part Of The Day: Carbs are a quick-burning fuel, but too many carbs or carbs at the wrong time can kill fat loss. Just as in Hack #2 above, feed your body what it needs when it needs it. Strive to match metabolic demands with calorie consumption. Sadly, most Americans do just the opposite. Think midnight snack. Or better yet, don’t.
  4. The Night Is Dark And Full Of Terrors: At night, when we are tired and relaxing, we tend to be mentally weakest and tempted to eat the things we know we shouldn’t. Recognize this. If you find yourself very hungry at night, likely you are not following Hack #1-3 above. If you must indulge, choose a low-cal, low-carb snack. Celery stick anyone?
  5. Have A Drink: Of water, that is! Our brain is excellent at telling us to eat, but not nearly as precise when it comes to telling us to drink. The brain can sometimes signal hunger when we are actually just thirsty. Try a glass of water when you’re hungry, and you’ll often find it takes the edge off your appetite.
  6. Just DON’T Do It: Purge your house, office, car or whatever from foods and snacks that are your enemy. If you can’t because it’s “hard to let go,” then make a list and have a friend do your cleanout for you. Out of sight, out of mind. Keep healthy snacks at the ready for moments of hunger.
  7. Make It Public: Let everyone know where you’re starting and where you intend on being in three months, six months and in twelve months. The act of telling people your goals makes you more accountable. Better yet, make it a family goal. Spouses and children also benefit from a healthy household.
  8. Discipline Is A Just A Choice: It’s a choice between what you want and what you want NOW! Avoid temptation and don’t allow rationalizing self-talk to make “exceptions.” Discipline takes energy and commitment initially, but after a short while, it simplifies things. Why? It eliminates those tempting thoughts about the late-night Snickers bar. So stay on track!
  9. Keep Your Eye On The Prize: Keep a photo, or better yet, a Photoshopped picture of the new you on the fridge or on your bathroom mirror. Sounds ridiculous? It’s not. Visualization is a foundational component of success. You must “see yourself” there before you start and every day along your journey. Commit to a goal. And continually reinforce that commitment.
  10. Remember The Right Brain Is Not Always Right: I.Q. aside, much of our behavior is motivated by our “right brain” (emotions) rather than our “left brain” (intellect and logic). The old acronym H.A.L.T. standing for “hungry, angry, lonely, or tired” should be a flashing red light that we are most susceptible to making emotionally based, often-poor decisions, or caving to temptation. Modulate hunger by using the above, remove yourself from volatile situations, stay in close touch with your support network of friends when you are facing issues and get plenty of rest! Losing fat, staying on track and being at peace is much easier when breaking the H.A.L.T. cycle.

Eating healthy, staying lean and feeling healthy and energetic are life-long pursuits. As such, enjoy the ride. Getting and maintaining results are more of a marathon than a sprint!