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.

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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.

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"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.

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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.

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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.

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"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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10 Photos You Have On Your Camera Roll Of Your S.O. When You've Been Dating For More Than A Year

A wide range from "Aw" to "WTF?"

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My boyfriend and I just hit the year and a half mark of dating, even though it seems like we've been together forever. Over the months, we've taken many pictures together... from football games, to his track meets, to holidays. Although we may have a lot of pictures together, I definitely have a lot of candids of him in my camera roll. If you've been dating your partner for as long as I have or longer, then you'll probably notice you have these same pictures in your photos as well.

1. The awkward first photos together

We laugh at these now, especially this one. Why am I so pale compared to him? It was July! And also, we noticed not to long ago that I was sweating under my arms and his underarms were sweating on me... what a great first time meeting!

2. The ones for VSCO

Every girl who has a significant other posts them onto their VSCO. VSCO is like Instagram, but more has more aesthetically pleasing pictures and there are no "likes." The pictures that include my boyfriend on my VSCO ranges from him holding a bunny to him holding my hand while we went ice skating.

3. Them sleeping

I have so many pictures of my boyfriend sleeping (I promise it's not as weird as it sounds), I just think he's so cute when he's fast asleep while cuddling with me.

4. The embarrassing ones they want no one to see

He's going to kill me when he sees this... but we all have those embarrassing Snapchat pictures that we start to send each other because we've gotten more comfortable with one another.

5. The ones for Facebook

The good looking pictures so you can keep yours and his family updated on how you two are doing. I took my boyfriend to a baby bird meet and greet since he loves birds and has one for a pet. I posted this cute picture of him and his new friends on Facebook so my family can see our adventures together.

6. Old pictures

One of the best parts of dating someone is finally seeing their old pictures. Although, sometimes they may make you cringe... like the one I posted above of my boyfriend after prom in his sophomore year of high school.

7. Their accomplishments

My boyfriend pole vaults for his college and he's really good at it. He just went to division III nationals in March because he qualified! I'm always at his meets so I make sure to get him on video in case he or anyone wants to see. I always try to snag a picture with him too because I'm always so proud.

8. The straight up ugly ones

He sure knows how to make me laugh. And I know he's going to be mad at me for this one too but I think it's a talent that he can do that with his stomach! Sorry, Adam, I promise I still think you look good when you send me these snaps for the most part.

9. But you have the hot ones too

He may be funny and sweet, but he is pretty good looking too. I know us girls keep some attractive pictures of our S.O.'s so we can remind ourselves of what a great looking partner we have.

10. FaceTime screenshots

If you and your lover go to different colleges like my boyfriend and I do, then FaceTiming happens a lot. Sometimes I get some great screenshots, like the one above, to make fun of him later.

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6 Alternatives to Salt to Help Cut down on Sodium

Ditch the sodium but not the flavor with these healthy alternatives

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recently announced a guidance to decrease sodium in processed and packaged food products. Even though sodium is vital for many basic human activities like nerve and muscle function, having too much can create increased blood pressure, possibly leading to hypertension.

The most recent Dietary Guidelines suggest that both children over 14 and adults reduce their sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams a day. Most Americans consume more than the recommended amount of sodium. One way to lower your consumption of sodium is to substitute it with spices, herbs, and condiments.

Peppercorns

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Most people consider peppercorns as the ground companion to salt but actually, peppercorns are dried seeds. Although black peppercorns are the most common type, there are many varieties of colored peppercorns like green, red, and yellow. They all differ in their flavor profiles, some are bitter, while others are sweeter.


A single tablespoon of peppercorns has 1.7 grams of fiber, as well as iron, calcium, and magnesium. So when you use it to substitute salt, you will also get a variety of other healthy nutrients, making peppercorn a great salt alternative.

Garlic

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Garlic's culinary uses are practically unlimited and it also makes an excellent alternative to salt. Roasting garlic will provide a sweet and nutty flavor while using it raw will add a pungent and zesty taste to your food. To get the flavor of garlic without spending your time cutting or roasting it, try using garlic flakes or powder. Garlic works well with fish, chicken, red meat, and vegetables.


Some studies have shown that garlic was able to relieve pain and inflammation in osteoarthritis patients. Researchers believe the compound diallyl disulfide found in garlic may limit cartilage-damaging enzymes in human cells.

Lemon juice

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Vitamin C is a vital vitamin that promotes immune and bone health. Lemon juice and lemons are not only a great source of this vitamin, but can also work as an alternative to salt and brighten up the taste of food. You can pair lemon with almost anything, vegetables, fish, chicken, and even desserts and yogurt. To achieve a more subtle lemon taste, simply sprinkle some lemon zest. You can even use lemon as a marinade.

Cumin

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Like peppercorns, cumin is a dried seed and a member of the parsley family. Cummin adds a unique earthy and smoky flavor to food and is heavily used in North African, Southeast Asian, Thai, and Mexican cuisine. You can add cumin to savory dishes since it goes well with lean meats like beef, chicken, and lamb. Another advantage to cummin is that it has nutrients such as calcium, iron, vitamin A, and potassium.

Balsamic vinegar

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Don't think of balsamic vinegar as just a salad condiment. It comes in many flavors such as cherry, lemon, chocolate, espresso, apple, garlic, and many more. With such a huge variety of flavors, its uses are endless. You can add the sweet, fruity flavors to ice cream, yogurt, and drinks. While chocolate and espresso flavors work well for marinating red meats. Lemon and garlic flavors are great to splash onto seafood, poultry, and vegetables.

Cayenne

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If you want to substitute salt and love spicy food, try using cayenne pepper. You can buy it dried, fresh, or powdered and use it on a variety of dishes including grains, meats, vegetables, and soups. Cayenne pepper is a good source of vitamin A, which promotes eye and immune health. Studies have also shown that spicy food can help with weight loss.

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