Starting off the new year with a diet or detox or cleanse? I can help you with some useful diet hacks to start strong. While I am definitely not a nutritionist, I am a bit experienced these days in the diethood. I’ve been dieting for 3 months now after an unexpected and unmanageable weight gain . I gained over 20lbs in 12months, and there was no evidence that something was wrong. I had to attack those pounds with everything I could as I have learned that after 40, it gets harder and harder to lose the weight. So here are my top hacks that have helped me along my weight loss journey, down 15lbs, and 15lbs to go. (something I never thought I would say, but there it is)
Buy yourself new gear | Useful Diet Hack 1
This is something that is essential to starting a new plan or trying to get back to a routine. And obviously it’s the last thing you want to do after your blew all your money at Christmas time. However, I think it is a necessary step to get the process going. By buying new gear, you’ll get a shopping high from your indulgence, which will raise your dopamine levels. (You know the feel good hormones) It may be a temporary high, but you’ll feel encouraged to use the gear right away, and thus get your ass to class. If you are an at-home worker outer, then find a way to get yourself a piece of new equipment, or subscribe to a new fitness app.
- fitness tank
- printed leggings
- water bottle
- yoga mat
- gym bag
- activity watch
Do a 3 day kick starter | Useful Diet Hack 2
This is fairly simple. Go on an all protein, zero everything else diet for 3 days. Just like Weight Watchers, there are a few “free” foods. Drink lots of water, and get plenty of sleep. You will feel very sluggish these days, so find a B12 supplement that works for you. Your body will be patiently waiting for you to feed it those yummy carbs or sweets you’ve been providing, however, after 3 days it usually gives up and heads over to the fat bank when it’s all out of patience. This 3 day protein diet was the very specific plan my doctor prescribed to me, and it worked so well that I lost over 5lbs the first week. After the 3 days, I was able to introduce vegetables and low calorie items again.
A few tips though…measure your protein and try not to over serve yourself in a single meal. Try 2 eggs at a time, or 4 oz chicken/lean meat or 1 oz of low fat cheese and 1 oz of salami. More importantly, take advantage of the “free” foods. Also, I found that sticking to the same meal plan each day was more helpful. I knew exactly what to eat and when. This eliminated my mind from thinking about what I really wanted to have (cheeseburgers + fries). Plus, I went straight to bed. No TV or kitchen. This helped me get my mind off of the food, so instead I would do some laundry and read.
Free Foods to use as a side to the chicken and eggs
Example of my meal plan the first 3 day
- breakfast -low carb, low calorie, high protein shake
- mid morning- cucumbers
- lunch- 4 oz of shredded chicken with Hot Sauce and celery or cucumbers
- mid afternoon- low calorie, low sugar, low carb protein bar
- dinner- 4-6 oz of chicken with Hot Sauce and roasted zucchini
- post dinner- cucumbers
Detoxify | Useful Diet Hack 3
The word detox gets thrown around pretty loosely these days, but don’t confuse it with a cleanse. A body detox is a way to for you to help your body get rid of all the impurities or toxins. This takes several different steps, done together over a period of a week or more to have a true “detox”. A “cleanse” is when you try to clean out the “plumbing” by eating differently, usually through liquid diet. I don’t recommend the latter, but a detox is something I encourage everyone to do every 6 months. Just like you get the car serviced, you should be helping your body by giving it a tune up. If you are already on a clean eating plan, then consider these detox items as add-ons or try them all together.
Exercise is the obvious step in a detox plan, as it helps you sweat out the impurities through your skin, but a sauna/steam is a good way to do that as well.
Detox tea is a gentle way of stimulating your intestinal track so it can “take the trash out” effectively and remove any build up. Try drinking a cup of detox tea daily for a week or more, instead of doing a 7 day cleanse of weird fruit juices that make you go (and go and go). If you have sensitivities such as diverticulitis then talking to your doctor first is highly advised. Over a period of time, your track will get cleaner as you eat cleaner. (Not to mention help with flattening the belly)
Going makeup free for several days can help clear up your skin, and if you can’t live without your Mascara (guilty) or other item, at least switch it out for an all natural brand for a few weeks. Same with any lotions or skin care. Give your skin a break and let it breathe. If it’s a necessity then work with your dermatologist to find an all natural one for a little while.
Massages are a favorite because they make us feel relaxed, but they also help get your blood circulating and can drain your lymph nodes. Just let your massage therapist know that is your purpose so they know what techniques to use.
Track It | Useful Diet Hack 4
Record your activity, your food, your calories and weigh in weekly. I can’t tell you how many times I have over eaten because I failed to write everything down. The days I journal, are the days I succeed. It is that simple. And believe me, it’s an extra thing to do in your day, but it pays off in the long run. Set yourself up by leaving your journal out on the kitchen counter, or set up reminders in your phone and force yourself to stop everything when the reminder goes off.
Weighing in holds you accountable. This can be done at a weight watchers place, or you can have your workout friend help you each week at the gym, or have your spouse or kids help you at home. I’ve tried a group text before, and it went south very quickly. 1 – Not everyone remembered to do it. 2 – There is no way to prevent yourself from lying, and more importantly 3 – The long winded texts – full of excuses or guilt. They make for an interesting read, but not useful for your own weight management program.
Sleep | Useful Diet Hack 5
If you’ve been keeping up with Adrianna Huffington then you already know her journey to creating Thrive Global, and getting more sleep. As she learned the hard way, over working leads to major health issues and stress (which creates more health issues). Her new company is educating people on how to take care of themselves and how sleep is a critical factor. Dr. Amen from LA has written numerous articles and TED talks on how the brain deteriorates from long term sleep deprivation. So for your mental health and well being, work on increasing your sleep an extra hour or more for at least 2 weeks to see if you feel a difference.
Did I mention it helps with weight loss? The reason why you need an extra 1-2 hours while doing any exercising, restrictive dieting, or detoxing, is so your body can restore it self and when doing that, it will burn calories.
Remember that a weight loss journey is going to have starts and stops, so stay positive and consistent. Using the 5 hacks above can help you kick start each new chapter. You can follow me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/chasingmartha to see what I am up to when I am not posting on the blog!