Sweating, suffering, calculating, punishing are all anxiety ridden words we associate with the process of “losing weight.” Phrases like “the pain is worth the gain” or “you don’t get the a$$ you want by sitting on it” are intimidating and confusing, implying that exercise or weight loss is only for the toughest.
This popular attitude can actually deter you and many others from beginning a weight loss journey. Our days are stressful enough as it is, and adding “pain” to our routines is an overwhelming thought. It’s counterintuitive to make yourself suffer for health.
Obsessing over weight loss can backfire, either physically, with the inevitable binge eating or mentally, by adding to stressful thinking. It shouldn’t consume your mind. Perhaps it’s time we modify our social views on fitness in order to appeal to more people (I mean, we’re not all Olympic athletes that may benefit from extreme fitness thinking). Counter to common “fitspo” (aka fitness inspiration imagery) phrases, losing weight does not have to be painful in order to be effective.
8 Easy & Fun Weight-loss Hacks
5 minute workouts. If you’re not training for a marathon, there’s no need to do marathon workouts. Try to break up a twenty minute workout into 5 minute sessions throughout the day. You might do five minutes of cardio like jumping rope or fast walking before you shower, and then a short circuit of push ups and sit ups later on in the day. Or- after every five minutes of cardio, go do something else. Then go back and do five more minutes after you’ve been distracted for a while.
Explore your other sensory pleasures besides taste. When you find yourself driving to CVS for a sleeve of Oreos, take a turn for the better and head to the hobby shop or the beauty store. For example, companies like Lush not only offer all natural skin and beauty products but also appeal to the sweet tooth. Their products literally look like fudge. A yummy smelling candle can also reward the senses.
If laundry needs to be folded (which I hate), I take the opportunity to workout while I fold. I will step on my air climber while folding. Mobile devices also allow you to take care of all sorts of business while performing cardio on a stationary machine. If you’re lying around tweeting, you may as well tweet and burn a few calories.
“Body type” role model.
The “fitspo” trend offers little room for body type diversity; these images can also be disheartening, demonstrating a particular body type that does not apply to most people. Instead, choose your own body type role model that fits your personality and body type. For me, Marilyn Monroe is very inspiring. Stars like Mindy Kaling, America Ferrera and Jennifer Lawrence exhibit graceful and diverse body images. Find your own hero.
Going to the gym, attending a fitness class or going for a run outside is not as easy as it seems, especially if you’re new to regular exercising. You may not feel comfortable sweating up a storm in front of others. I think this is more common than we realize, especially with increased use of technology as we have become more used to being alone. There are many private and equally effective ways to work out. Personally, I enjoy a variety of at-home workouts such as doing workout and yoga videos, playing on my Wii Fit Plus, performing circuits and even dancing. Blast your favorite album and let it go!
Weekly, I make lemon water. Lemon water helps my body detox. It also encourages me to hydrate, lifting my energy levels and boosting my mood. Make that lemon water accessible and easy to reach; you’ll find that by hydrating well, your cravings will lower.
Like lemon water, chia seeds are fantastic for detox and liver support. Sometimes, I find myself snacking not necessarily because I’m hungry, but because I can feel my blood sugar dropping. Carrying around a cold bottle of green tea full of chia seeds keeps my blood sugar more stable, reducing cravings and increasing energy.
Games, coloring books and crafts.
I associate taking a break with eating a snack while watching TV. You may even find that watching TV without snacks is boring. TV might even trigger a calorie fest. In order to curb this habit, keep activities like puzzles and coloring books close to your TV. This way, you are more likely to reach for the coloring pencils rather than the cookies.
Invite a supportive friend or family member to keep you company and cheer you on. Of course inviting a friend to join you in a workout is ideal. However, your friends may not really feel like working out, but inviting them over to hang while you workout can make it a lot more fun. They don’t even have to lift a finger!