Finding weight loss hacks can be as easy as hitting a few keys and scavenging the results for what suits you best. Are you looking for sneaky, lazy, simple, or fast tips? Do you want to read about a personal account of how one person lost 128 pounds from drinking apple cider vinegar? While I have nothing against apple cider vinegar, it has its place in the weight loss world, a lot of the hacks I’ve read are a one-off. Here today, gone tomorrow tricks that don't give you lasting results.
The hacks I want to share are ones you incorporate into your diet and you can expect weight loss that stands the test of time.
Weight Loss Hack #1
Water is an essential nutrient. Our body is about ¾ water and because of this it’s used in almost every single major bodily function. Weight loss hack #1 is to drink more water!
When you wait until you feel thirsty to drink, you’re already dehydrated. This is because of how long it takes our body to send out all of the signals it needs to. That’s why it is important to drink consistently throughout the day as well as eat foods high in water. This will not only ensure that you’re well-hydrated but it will safeguard you against eating due to thirst.
It is common for thirst to get confused with hunger because the symptoms of thirst and hunger are very similar. So, if you’re well-hydrated throughout the day and a pang of hunger hits you’ll know if you’re actually hungry and not just thirsty.
Also, because water is needed for many bodily functions including burning calories and fat, being properly hydrated results in having an optimal metabolism for your body to process energy efficiently. How do you know you’re drinking enough water? A good indicator is your pee! Is it clear to pale yellow? If not, you are not drinking enough water.
The recommendation for adult men is 3 L as beverages and 2 L for women. If you’re worried about drinking too much water, don’t be, it’s extremely rare. You’d have to drink more than 1.5L every hour to become so overhydrated where it would cause problems.
Weight Loss Hack #2
I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve already learned this hack. Regularly eating a variety of different fruits and vegetables will help you lose weight and keep it off. They are chock-full of many different vitamins and minerals that make sure your body is running optimally. When your body is deficient in certain nutrients it mucks up the system and plays a role weight gain. Weight loss hack #2 is to eat more fruits and vegetables!
There are many ways that eating fruits and vegetables help you lose weight. The most common reason people understand is their low-calorie content but there’s more. On top of giving us essential nutrients and having low calories, fruits and veggies are full of fiber, which does two things. First, fiber helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer because it takes longer to digest.
Second, it regulates your blood sugar, and in doing so the body stores less fat. Also, fruits and veggies are full of water, anywhere from 70% water like bananas and corn to 90% like asparagus, broccoli, and mushrooms. When we eat foods with high water contents it makes us feel fuller and we eat less.
How do you know if you’re eating enough fruits and veggies? I recommended half of your meal consist of some sort of fruit or veggie. I also recommend that you vary the kind of fruits or veggies you eat. This will ensure you’re getting all the essential nutrients your body needs. You don't have to get fresh produce either, frozen is a great alternative if you want to save on costs. Frozen produce is picked a peak ripeness and flash-frozen to retain all of its great benefits.
Weight Loss Hack #3
The media has given carbs a bad rap but they can help you lose weight IF you eat the right ones. Whole grains are known for their health and weight loss benefits. Weight loss hack #3 is to eat whole grains!
A whole grain is a grain that hasn't been processed in any way. It has all of its parts intact which includes the outer shell that contains essential vitamins, the middle part that contains the protein and carbs, and the inner part that contains more essential vitamins.
An example of a whole grain is whole wheat. Wheat is a grain and you can purchase white wheat bread where the outer shell and inner part have been removed and only the middle part remains. Or you can get whole wheat bread that has all parts of the wheat intact. Some other whole grain examples include quinoa, brown rice, whole-grain barley, oatmeal, and buckwheat.
The weight loss magic is in that outer shell where the fiber is. As I said, fiberhelps to keep you feeling fuller for longer because it takes longer to digest. Many studies have shown that those who eat more fiber than those who don't lose weight. The fiber in these whole grains increases the good bacteria in your gut. Studies have shown that those with high bacterial richness tend to have a lower body mass index, less belly fat, and less tendency to gain weight. What’s interesting is that just having fiber-type supplements doesn’t have the same effect to boost the bacteria in our gut.
The key here is having a variety of whole grains for optimal results. Whole wheat bread or pasta plus, brown rice, plus quinoa in one-week sounds like a great place to start.
Weight Loss Hack #4
There is a lot of hype around protein for weight loss right now. I’m sure you’ve heard of the ketogenic diet for its ability to help you lose weight by eating a diet high in fat and protein. Amidst this protein craze, I think there’s not enough attention on a particular protein source. We’re missing out on a major weight loss key when it comes to beans as a protein source. Weight loss hack #4 is to eat beans!
Beans, legumes, lentils, or pulses have been shown to aid in the weight loss process. Similar to how whole grains and vegetables help you lose weight, beans are high in fiber, that magic nutrient that’s weights worst nightmare. Pulses have been shown to reduce belly fat and boost post-meal calorie burning. Are you worried eating beans will make you toot? That’s normal and decreases the more we eat them.
Three out of four of these hacks are rooted in their potency of fiber! If you combine all four hacks and eat a variety of fruits and veggies, whole grains, and beans, you’re setting yourself up for optimal weight loss. I have to point out that it’s the whole food that contributes to its weight loss effect.
The hacks I’ve shared are not new or novel. Entire countries integrate these hacks into their nation’s food guide, like Canada, the United States, and England. As a Canadian, I can speak confidently about Canada’s food guide and it is based on hundreds of scientific studies proving the long-term efficacy of these ‘hacks’.
What these studies found is eating in this way helps to reduce the risk of, and be protective against, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers plus you get to lose weight along the way. Excited to try these hacks? As always, I recommend introducing these into your life slowly. Start with one for a month and then work towards the next.