I’ve collected and distilled a few quick weight loss tricks for you. These are a few 10-second tricks I’ve tried in my quest to lose the baby weight after having my children. They're all quick and simple and, best of all, totally safe! If you’re still hanging onto a few extra pounds, try these quick fixes to retrain yourself and make lasting changes.
1. The Rubber Band Trick. This is a behaviour modification trick. Wear a rubber band or hair elastic on your wrist throughout the day. Every time you have an urge to eat or drink something you are trying to avoid, snap your wrist repeatedly with the rubber band until you’ve distracted yourself. I like a little pain (guess that’s why I have the job I do...) but don’t self-wound! Just a light snap to bring you back to reality and clear your mind. Then, move onto something else. Idle hands are a Mars bar’s playground!
2. The Water Sandwich. We’ve all heard it takes about 20 minutes to feel fullness in your stomach and that we should eat slower in order to sense real fullness earlier and quit the clean-your-plate club. But eating slowly is not natural to all of us. I’m a practical eater, not a foodie (and by "practical" I mean I unhinge my jaw like a python and swallow my food whole, practically...). If there’s food in front of me, I’ll eat it efficiently, not luxuriate and taste every morsel. Sound familiar? Try a glass of water before starting your meal and a glass of water immediately following your meal. The water will increase the volume in your stomach, plus add a few minutes to your meal time to help you feel fuller sooner.
3. Spice It Up. There is some evidence that spicy foods actually spike the metabolism (about as much as a jolt of caffeine or a glass of water will do) but here’s another reason to spice your food: it makes it spicy! Chances are you’ll slow down when your food has more heat to it and you’ll need less food to feel satisfied when each bite is packed with flavour and spice. I LOVE spicy food and I take every opportunity to add spice to my meals, especially when I’m trying to drop pounds: cinnamon in my coffee, curry powder in my lunchtime stir fry and red pepper flakes and jalapenos in my marinades and side dishes. Yum!
4. Chew Gum. While preparing meals and any other time you are prone to mindless snacking, keep your face occupied and shave, possibly, a couple of hundred calories off your daily total. Women preparing meals and serving snacks and meals to little people, in my experience, tend to take several non-meal bites over the course of the day. In addition to being sure not to treat yourself as a garbage disposal and clean uneaten food from your kids' plates directly into your own gullet (come on, I can't be the only one who does this?...), chewing gum during preparation will keep you from pre-eating and "testing" your meals. Do you really need to eat a chicken nugget to determine whether it is too hot to serve to your preschooler? You get the idea.
Sweaty Kid turned 5 a couple of weeks ago and her birthday very much flagged a milestone in my life. With kids 2.5 and 5 years, I feel like I'm offficially out of the "babymaking" stage of my life. I am still very much in the "babyrearing" stage, but the hardest physical part of childbearing is over for me. While I'm still nursing Sweaty Kid #2 once or twice per day, I'm not concerned about quantity of breastmilk and I feel I can finally trim down and focus on these last 5-10 vanity pounds that will take me from looking like regular fit mommy to regular fit personal trainer. They're not necessary pounds, but in my business, improving one's appearance is always good for the bottom line.
Exercise is super important to lasting weight loss, and to ensuring you are shaving off fat pounds and not wasting away all that attractive, firm and useful muscle tissue. But weight loss is at least 75% diet—as the old saying goes:
"Abs are made in the kitchen."
This is not a recommendation but here’s what I’m focusing on with my diet based on consultations with doctors and years of experimenting with what works for me:
• Less sugar
• Less wheat, yeast and grains
• More raw veggies
• More yogurt
• Less coffee (must admit this one is not going so hot...)
• Less alcohol (blaargh...patio season. This is a tough one.)
Do you have a quick fix weight loss trick that works for you? Share it here!
Recently I've been enjoying some 10-20 minute workouts sprinkled throughout my week. I teach Belly Bootcamp classes six days per week and run usually 1-2 times per week with clients. Outside of this I try to find time to add in extra bits and bobs that help me to be prepared for my day job as well as to reach my own fitness goals.
Yes, even trainers have fitness goals!
If I have a small break between clients or arrive a little early to an appointment, I like to park the car and throw my ear buds in to go for a quick jog. If there are hills I can use to amp up the intensity of such a short sweat session, that's a bonus! Even a 10 minute jog, though, is better than no jog at all. If I push hard enough and work up a sweat, I've nudged my metabolism for a few hours and even helped suppress a snacky appetite. Those metabolism nudges are pretty effective—an hour workout three times per week will bump the metabolism up for a few hours, three times per week. On the other hand, two ten-minute workouts per day, 6 days per week, will bump up the metabolism for virtually the entire waking day, 6 days per week. Total minutes? Same. Effects? Totally different—and here's the proof.
Finding an hour to exercise is tricky for us mommies. Finding 10 minutes is totally do-able. Don't try to tell me it's not; there is nothing you can say to convince me. If you have time to have a decent bowel movement each day, you have time to exercise. Time to shower? You have time to exercise. Time to Facebook? Time to exercise. If you are the Octomom, you are excused. Everyone else, time to shape up!
* Just a moment here: in no way do I believe a woman should have to choose between a bowel movement and a workout. I recommend both! *
The key to an effective 10-minute workout is that it should be challenging. If you're only going to put in 10 minutes, make it 10 worthwhile minutes. You birthed a child, right? Surely you can take 10 minutes of discomfort in the name of better health.
Choose one exercise from List A, one exercise from List B, and one exercise from List C. Combine to create a circuit of 3 exercises. Perform each exercise for 1 minute, then move onto the next until each of the 3 exercises has been completed for 1 minute. Repeat for 3 total circuits (9 total minutes). Or choose your own favourite challenging exercises that target both the upper and lower body, using any equipment you have at home if you wish. The following exercises require no exercise equipment. Finish with 1 minute of stretching. Voila!
Note: I am working on photos/videos for all of the exercises I commonly recommend in my blogs. If you haven't guessed, I'm not much of a techie. I have chosen exercises I believe most people are familiar with but if you have questions, please comment below to get more specific instructions!
LIST A (cardio)
LIST B (lower body)
LIST C (upper body/core)
Need some variety? Get more ideas for 10 minutes of exercise no matter your schedule.
Need some post-workout fuel? Here are some of my top tips for figure-friendly lunches.
Need some inspiration? Remember what it is like to feel that everything is possible.