Raise you’re hand if you need some weight loss hacks to get you through the week. If you ever feel like you completely abandon your healthy habits during the weekend, you’re not alone. According to dietician, Susie Burrell, a recent survey from the UK found that people can often consume up to 10,000 calories over the weekend. Remember, as per the FDA, that most food labels are based on a recommended intake of 2,000 calories per day. Burrell argues that “it appears that we get things wrong on weekends due to three main factors: too much alcohol, high calorie meals eaten away from the home along with extra snacking whilst socializing, watching TV or traveling.”
OK, so we all get off track on the weekends from time to time, but when Monday rolls around, it’s time to make up for your poor decisions. We know that you’re busy with work, and you’re running after your kids, and realistically, focusing on making nutritious choices isn’t always a top priority. But good news: we have some super easy hacks that can help you achieve a healthier lifestyle every day of the week. These small swaps will make a big impact on your slim-down goals. Here are 9 weekday weight loss hacks to help boost your weight-loss plans and accomplish a healthier, happier and more energized lifestyle today (and tomorrow, and the day after that…)
1. Eat a Balanced Breakfast
This is one of the most crucial health hacks. You need to start your day off with a smart decision if you want to make healthy choices that follow. Skipping breakfast will only make you famished as the mid-morning hits, and you’ll probably choose something unhealthy and carb-heavy to curb your hunger. Choose a protein-packed breakfast that will fill you up and energize you for your day.
2. Replace Juice with Water
Unless your juice of choice is 100% juice (and ideally packed with veggies and healthy nutrients, rather than excess sugar) you’re just loading up on empty calories rather than nutritious fuel for your day. Swap that juice for water and you’ll see instant results. Not only will you have more energy because your body will be hydrated, you will also look and feel less bloated and your skin will shine.
3. Drink your Coffee Black
We would never ask you to drop your morning coffee completely…that would be cruel and unrealistic. But if you typically take your coffee with cream and sugar, you’re loading up on calories that you don’t even realize you’re consuming. Instead, drink it black or start by having it with a touch of skim milk or natural sweetener (baby steps). It’s a minor change to your lifestyle, but that tiny calorie cutback can make a big difference in your waistline.
4. Carry Almonds with you for a Healthy Snack
If you’re ever hungry on the go, don’t grab that sugar-packed granola bar or bag of chips. Carry some raw almonds with you for an instantly satisfying snack that is packed with protein, healthy fats, “loaded with vitamin E, magnesium, vitamin B2, calcium, protein and many other minerals.”
5. Work out in the morning
As Cosmo Magazine tells it, waking up and working out will make you not only more productive later in the day, but also less stressed at work, more energized and more awake until the moment you go to bed. You’ll also be more likely to actually get a workout in, since work or your kids won’t be able to get in your way.
6. Swap the words “I can’t” with “I don’t”
Instead of saying “I can’t eat that” when you’re out with friends, take the power of your diet into your own hands and say, “I don’t eat that.” It makes it sound more convincing and positive, as if you’re making a smart choice about your health. You’ll be more likely to stick to your diet with these magic words, according to author Ted Spiker in his new book Down Size.
7. Two Words: No. Alcohol.
It might not sound like fun for those of us who enjoy a cocktail or two at the end of a long day, but cutting out alcohol is a fast way to nix excess calories and drop unwanted pounds. In an interview with NPR, James Ferguson, M.D., a liver specialist at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham in England, explained that “people always forget the amount of calories in alcohol, so if you take a month off, and you usually consume 20 units, you’re going to lose weight and fat. It’s a massive reduction in calories.”
8. An Apple a Day Keeps the Pounds Away
Yeah, an apple a day is a real thing with real health benefits. The fiber in apples will make you feel full, and it promotes the growth of healthy bacteria, which fight inflammation. When you’re looking for a sweet treat that’s also healthy, grab an apple, guilt-free.
9. Take Advantage of the “Magic Window” After your Workout
Fitness trainer Brenda Powell, general manager of the Institute of Human Performance in Boca Raton, Florida, explains that “the 45-minute period after exercise is the best time for your body to metabolize nutrients…your metabolism is already elevated from your workout, and when you refuel correctly, you can keep the fire burning.” She advises clients to eat foods that have both carbs and protein to refuel and help build muscle.