8 Vital Weight-Loss Tips That Aren’t Diet & Exercise

8 Vital Weight-Loss Tips That Aren’t Diet & Exercise

There's more to losing weight than a proper diet and exercise.


Most of us know what we need to do when we need to lose weight. Move more, eat less. It's not so simple for everyone, the truth is, not knowing how to exercise or how to eat right is not the main reason people have a hard time with weight loss.

If you feel like you have a proper exercise routine, and know what types of food to eat to help you reach your goal, but you're still having a hard time losing weight, then your mental game is likely the missing piece of the puzzle.

The way we think about our goals, food, and our body makes a huge difference in how determined we will be in our weight-loss plan. Regardless of what your individual plan involves, it needs to have the right mental foundation to succeed. I talked to a few nutrition and fitness pros and got their advice on staying motivated and on track without the need to experiment with a new diet or follow an intense new workout routine.

1. Starve the distractions.


"Way too often when we eat, we're also multitasking: watching TV, scrolling through social media, answering emails," says Dr. Fazylova, a weight loss doctor and founder at Radiance Aesthetics & Wellness. "These habits are harmful to having a clear, strong, healthy relationship with food, and they can prevent us from making the necessary dietary changes."

"The best way to fully focus on how much you're eating, what you're eating, why you're eating those specific foods and, more importantly, how that food makes you feel, you need to starve the distractions," Dr. Fazylova says. "So when it comes time to eat, just focus on the food, the process it went through to end up on your plate, where it came from and how it nourishes you." You're more likely to feel satisfied from a meal when practicing this technique.

2. Consider what you’re not willing to do.

Some might consider this counterintuitive, but when your motivation is disappearing, this can help provide the 'why.' Put down in writing things you're unwilling to do. For example, "I am unwilling to be the old mom who can't participate in physical activities with my children."

"Every time I wake up, I think about this," Fazylova says. "It gets me on my Versaclimber and foam roller in the morning. It motivates me to opt for a healthy salad over junk food because I picture myself running on the track with my kids. Throughout the day, we are constantly faced with decisions, and it's important to choose the ones that follow your 'why' path. Sure, I might want to grab a cheeseburger when I'm hungry and don't have time. But, if I am unwilling to be a mother who is out-of-shape, my short game will match the vision of my long game and I will go for a leaner meal."

3. Stop labeling food “good” and “bad”.

I'm sure you've heard someone say that they ate something 'bad.' Perhaps you even said something like that yourself. The problem with 'bad' foods is not that they will send you to the grave after a few bites. The problem is when we consume excessive portions of calorie-dense foods meal after meal, day after day.

Rather than labeling foods as bad or good, contemplate about which foods you consume often, and which ones you should eat less. Then, come up with ways to consume the foods you really love in portions that fit with your overall goals. One example is to have a slice of pizza alongside a club salad with avocado, chicken breast and a little bit of dressing. This is considerably different than 4 slices of pizza, a few breadsticks with cheese sauce and half a liter of soda.

4. Brush your teeth after you eat.


Getting your mental foundation in order is very important, but don't forget that even small habits can make a huge difference. "When you finish eating a meal, you will still have the taste of food in your mouth, which often can make you want to eat more or nibble on dessert, even if you're full," says Diana Rafailova, registered dietitian and nutrition expert at Century Medical & Dental Center. "By brushing your teeth, you will eliminate the taste of food from your mouth, plus you will have a fresh breath and take better care of your teeth that way too."

5. Focus on crowding not cutting.

Usually, the first thing people do when starting a diet is to cut. They cut down their portion size, cut out the 'bad' foods, and even cut out entire food groups. All this cutting puts our minds into scarcity mode. When you set an item off-limits for yourself, you might succeed in avoiding it for a while but then there's a high chance you can end up bingeing on it later because you went without it for so long.

It's much better to focus on crowding rather than cutting. Instead of cutting, crowd your plate and fill it up with more foods like protein and veggies, which simply gives less room for the other stuff. So basically, you want to focus less on what you can't eat, and concentrate more on foods that will help you reach your goals.

6. Take tracking a step further.


Start tracking what you eat, when you ate it, how much you consumed, and how it made you feel. Being honest and writing every single food item that you eat will help you notice if you actually do snack, eat from boredom rather when just hungry, possibly consume more sugar than you thought, or maybe have a habit of eating before bed while watching TV.

"So, instead of simply tracking what food you consume, take into account how that food made you feel, and what you were doing while you ate. This is also a good way to see how much emotional food-related moments you experience throughout your day," says Rafailova.

7. Prioritize good sleep.


"Poor sleep is one of the biggest risk factors for being overweight," Rafailova says. "When you are tired, there is a higher chance you will skip your workout and choose unhealthy comfort foods. On top of that, sleep deprivation can slow down your metabolism. Hence sleeping 7 to 8 hours per night may help with weight loss without increasing your physical activity or changing your diet."

8. Set aside time to disconnect.

"Since we are human and of nature, turn off your phone for a day and escape to nature," Fazylova suggests. "Go out there, connect to the elements while disconnecting from the electronics." This will give your mind a break and help reduce stress, which is a big factor in weight gain. On top of that, it can also help reprogram your brain to connect with yourself and your feelings.

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Somehow, I Ended Up With The Best Roommate Known To Man

I've truly been blessed.


College can be a very stressful experience to prepare for. From orientation to selecting your classes for the semester, your responsibilities quickly pile up. On top of all that, you also have to find somebody who you will be sharing a room with for your first year of college.

After not sharing a room with my sister for several years, I was worried about going back to splitting a living space with someone else. Immediately after I finished submitting my application to finalize my commitment to Temple, the stress of finding a roommate sunk in. Rooms in the residential hall I wanted were filling up quickly, and I still didn't have a roommate.

I was trying to find a roommate, but everybody seemed to already have their living situation figured out. However, one day, I received a message from a girl named Tori. Little did I know, she would become my best friend. I saw her profile prior to on RoomSync, an app for finding roommates, so I was really excited when she messaged me.

We didn't meet until move-in day, which made me a little bit anxious, but right from the start, everything clicked. We have lots of similar interests and living standards. Even though our majors are totally different, hers being biology and mine is English, that didn't stop us from being friends and enjoy spending time with one another.

In just the first weekend, Tori discovered that I hadn't seen a lot of movies that I should have seen growing up. From that point on, she created a list of various movies, and every weekend we watched at least one movie together. I don't think she has shown me a movie that I haven't liked yet, and I'm so glad that we started this tradition.

On top of movies, Tori has also expanded my music taste, which is a very hard thing to do. I couldn't be happier that she introduced me to Dean Lewis and Noah Kahan and then persuaded me to go to their concert in October with her. In general, she has got me more into music and is increasing my knowledge about music overall.

As well as going to a concert together, we also recently went to see my favorite Youtubers when they came to Philly. When we found out that Cody Ko and Noel Miller were going on a comedy tour and coming to our city, we immediately planned to buy tickets. It was a night full of laughs, and I'm so happy I got to spend it with her.

Tori Ploesch

Having a random roommate who is also your best friend is rare. I've heard a lot of horror stories about random roommates, but I honestly can't picture not being friends with Tori. Along with being an amazing roommate, she is incredibly selfless and caring. Her focus is always on helping people, and I admire her for all the hard work she puts into everything she does.

Being surrounded by people in the College of Science and Technology, I know it isn't easy. Because I have a strong dislike of science, I give major props to Tori and her friends in CST. I'm so happy she is studying something she's truly passionate about and will love doing in her future career. Whenever I meet people that want to pursue a career in science or the medical field, I immediately give them immense credit. It's extremely difficult to take that career path, and I'm already excited for Tori and her ultimate success.

College is a time for making new friends that will last even after you stop going to school together. Even though I'm only in my second semester, I know I can trust Tori with anything, and she'll be there for me when I need her. I also know that she'll be 100% honest with me when I need guidance or advice.

I cannot even begin to express my gratitude to Tori for messaging me to room with her. My college experience has been incredibly positive thus far because she has been with me through it all. I'm extremely grateful for the way things worked out because I couldn't have asked for a kinder roomie.

Thank you, Tori, for not just being an incredible person and roommate, but my best friend as well.

P.S. I can't wait to bake with you in our apartment together next semester!

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7 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Going Keto

The keto diet promises fast weight loss, but many experts are concerned about the side effects and complications.


The ketogenic diet recently became the new craze. The philosophy of a keto diet is to cut down on carbohydrates to 50 grams a day or less, in order for the body to achieve a state of ketosis, where it starts to burn fat instead of sugar for energy.

But as much as the keto-worshippers claim, a high-fat and low-carbohydrate food plan isn't that useful for diabetes or weight-loss. In fact, this fad diet actually can lead to potentially serious side effects such as high cholesterol, heart disease, keto flu, kidney stones, cardiac arrhythmias, selenium deficiency, and even death.

Dr. Shawn Khodadadian, a gastroenterologist who also specializes in nutrition states "Due to the lack of real health benefits and the potential for serious damage, I caution people before they hop on the keto diet train." Even many keto advocates acknowledge that if the diet isn't done properly, it can cause harm to the body. Here are seven reasons why you should be careful about starting a ketogenic diet.

1. The "keto flu"

Many people report feeling sick (known as keto-flu) when they start ketosis. Symptoms include gastrointestinal distress, vomit, lethargy, and a lot of fatigue. Some doctors estimate that around 25% of those who try a ketogenic diet encounter these symptoms, and fatigue is the most common one. This happens during the transition when your body stops burning sugar for energy since it runs out. However, for many people, these symptoms should go away after some time.

2. Diarrhea

When you begin a ketogenic diet, you will probably find yourself rushing to the bathroom quite often. Just do a search on the internet, yes, you'll find people tweeting about keto diarrhea. One possible cause can be the gallbladder being overwhelmed, which is the organ that creates bile to help break down fat.

According to Dr. Shawn, diarrhea could also be caused by a lack of fiber in the diet. Which happens when you practically eliminate carbs like pasta and whole-grain bread without supplementing it with other foods rich in fiber, like vegetables.

3. Reduced athletic performance

Some athletes even claim that a ketogenic diet improved their performance, but most nutritionists don't buy it. A study featured in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness found that those who spend four days on a ketogenic diet performed worse on running tasks and high-intensity cycling, compared to those who spend four days eating a high-carb diet. When the body is in ketosis, it's in a more acidic state, which could restrict its ability to perform as well.

4. Ketoacidosis

People with type 1 or type 2 diabetes should avoid the keto diet unless they discussed it with their doctor and got permission. A dangerous condition called ketoacidosis can be triggered by ketosis in people with diabetes. This happens as a result of the body storing too many ketones (acids produced as a result of burning fat) causing the blood to become acidic, which could damage the kidneys, liver, and brain.

5. Weight regain

Many health experts consider the keto diet no beneficial in the long-term because it's so restrictive. Most people found that they regained most of the weight they lost once they ended the diet and resumed eating carbs. This problem seems to affect all fad diets, but it's even more common with the keto diet. So if you want to try ketosis because your friend recently lost weight on it, give it some time, he will most likely gain it back.

6. Less muscle mass and decreased metabolism

Another disadvantage of a keto diet is that a lot of the weight you lose can be a loss of muscle mass. This is especially true for those who eat more fat than protein. Your metabolism will also be affected since muscle burns more calories than fat.

"When people stop their ketogenic diet and regain most of their lost weight, it's usually not in the same proportions," says Shawn. You're more likely to regain fat than lean muscle. Which means you're back to the starting weight without the muscles mass to burn calories.

7. Increased risk of diabetes and heart disease

When done under the guidance of a doctor or nutritionist, you will minimize the risks associated with a keto diet. But trying to do it without the guidance, such high-fat diets can raise cholesterol levels and increase the risk of getting diabetes. It's even become to be known as a "cardiologist's nightmare." The European Society of Cardiology just recently presented a 25,000-person study which found that people on low-carb diets have the greatest risk of dying from cardiovascular conditions and cancer.

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