I love efficiency. It could be the rigid German in my blood, it could be the OCD from my father, it could be a borderline obsession with beating Waze’s given ETA on trips to the grocery store. Whatever the reason, making my life easier without added steps just makes me happy. And as an integrative health coach in Los Angeles, part of my job is to make life easier for my clients and readers.
This is the first in a four part blog series about how to create a better You in five ways you may haven’t considered before.
Today, we’re covering how to cut or burn more calories throughout your day without changing or sacrificing (too much 😉 )
1) Eat- Use Spices, Not Sauces.
I was moseying down a condiment aisle at my local grocer, and the Barbecue Sauce section caught my eye. Being the chronic label reader I am, I was appalled to see that the average variety had 13 grams of sugar in just 2 Tbs! Wtf, mate? This stuff was essentially concentrated soda pop. It’s amazing where calories can hide! Instead, I picked up some BBQ rub, a spice blend that provided lots of flavor, but NONE of the calories.
If you prepared your chicken with BBQ rub, instead of half a bottle of sauce, you’d be saving 450 calories per week! That’s 20 minutes on the jump rope right there, folks.
Compromise: If you’ve just got to have liquid on your protein, I would settle for Steak sauce. Store brand steak sauce (2 Tbs) has 6 grams of sugar, and 30 calories, half that of barbecue sauce.
2) Drink- Skip the Whole Milk Latte.
I know you love em, but having a black coffee with two ounces of almond milk instead of a latte with whole milk saves you over 200 calories! That much dairy also creates high levels of inflammation in many people, which can make you look bloated, even before adding real body fat to your frame. Besides, this switch saves you 30 minutes on the elliptical.
Compromise: Have the barista make you an Almond Milk Latte instead. 12 ounces of Almond Milk is only 60 calories, 1.5 grams of sugar, and still foams quite nicely in your cup.
3) Move- Every hour for 10 minutes.
Think you’ve got to sweat it out in the gym to drop fat? Not according to James Levine, M.D. who has published a number of articles on the positive effects of Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (N.E.A.T). He says subjects who’ve committed to a focused N.E.A.T routine have burned in excess of 350 calories per day in some cases, especially those classified as Obese.
Compromise: Pick just one new habit revolving around the N.E.A.T principle to stick to for 30 days. Stairs instead of elevator, Setting an hourly alarm to remind you to get out of chair, using a bike or your legs instead of a car to travel, and watch the pounds fall off without getting yelled at by your new CrossFit Coach or Personal Trainer.
4) Eat- Open Faced Sandwiches.
Sandwiches are delicious. But if you work at a sedentary job, those unused carbohydrates from bread will just be sitting in your stomach, waiting for the last train to BackFatsVille. Cutting out half of the bread from a Subway sandwich can save you 120 calories from a 6’, 240 from a 12’! That’s 80-160 burpees for 180 lb man!
Compromise: You’re looking at it. Eat half the bread, do half the burpees.
Move- The Snacks Away From Arm’s Reach.
In an article on eating, This Emotional Life, Suzanne Phillips, PsyD referenced a study that concluded secretaries ate up to 225 fewer calories per day worth of mini chocolates than did the secretaries who had the candies positioned on their desks! Apparently, we become very conscious of our habits when faced with actually standing to get another serving.
Compromise: Love to munch mindlessly? Prepare your snacks purposefully before sitting down with a fixed amount your highest self can agree to, and then give yourself permission to keep them close. Better yet, over serve yourself a healthy snack (carrot sticks) before giving into a less healthy option (pretzel sticks).
Not so bad, right!? You may not like the initial changes, but I know you like burpees a whole lot less.
Check in next week and find out how to add 15 minutes to your morning routine!