1. Skip The Package Deal
A lot of the packaged foods people eat don’t come from their kitchens, but from vending machines, the break room kitchen at their work, a quick duck into the mini-mart when they stop for gas, and so on. Decrease those packaged/restaurant meals. I’m not suggesting you never eat out, but try to reduce eating out as much as you can. If you always buy lunch at the corner deli, try brown-bagging it, and I bet you’ll lose five pounds—if not more. Avoid meals with these menu words when do you eat out.
2. The Top-of-the-hour workout
At the top of every hour, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., do either five push-ups or run up one flight of stairs. Five push-ups might take you 15 seconds, but if you do it at the top of every hour, you will have done 40 push-ups for the day. Running up a flight of stairs takes less than 10 seconds, but at day’s end, you will have done about 8 flights. Do this every day for 7 days, then add a push-up or flight of stairs for the next 7 days. Keep adding until you’re ultimately doing 8 push-ups/4 flights eight times a day (a total of 64 push-ups or 32 flights daily). I did the push-ups challenge at my office and by the week’s end, there were nine of us doing it. At the top of every hour, we’d all run out of our offices, meet in the hallway and get our push-ups on. It was incredibly fun.
3. Get The White Out
A diet made up almost wholly of foods collectively know as “white foods”—pasta, white bread, white rice, crackers, and most cereals)—will make you fat and damage your health. Refined foods are stripped of fiber, one of the elements of food that helps you feel full. Refined foods also raise blood sugar, triggering the release of insulin. Both things can make you feel hungry and crave more calories. Take all of the white foods I named out of your diet. Try it again for another day, and another. Not wanting to break the streak may actually lead you to a healthier diet.
4. Do What You Have To Do (first)
Do what you have to do, before you do what you want to do. I say this to my kids every day. “Dad, let’s play basketball!” “Did you do your homework?” “Not yet.” “Okay, do your homework, then we’ll play ball.” Working out, eating right, and getting your life in order are the priorities to put at the top of your list. Then do things that you want to do like watching TV, going online, and sleeping in. It may seem unrelated to weight loss, but it’s all a part of reorganizing your life for the better.
5. Go Commercial-Free
Most likely, consciously or unconsciously, you associate watching TV with eating. Super Bowl Sunday and cheesy nachos, binge-watching The Walking Dead and binge-eating mint chip ice cream—they go together like salt and pepper. When you watch TV, do not watch a singlecommercial. Instead, get up and move. Every one-hour show has 18 minutes of commercials; if you watch two hours of TV without moving, that’s 36 minutes of exercise that you’re losing out on. Make it heart-pumping and nonstop for the whole break—jumping jacks and squats are always good. The next time there’s a commercial break, change it up, maybe do some push-ups and sit-ups. The time after that, do burpees or run up the stairs. If you’ve DVR’d your show or are watching premium channels without commercial interruption, create a rule for yourself and set the timer on your phone: every half hour of binge watching you’ll stop and take an exercise break.