When it comes to fitness and weight loss, we’re a society of do-ers.
You’ve got the ultramarathoners, the uber-vegans, the cleansers, the Crossfitters, the Weight Watchers and the calorie-counters, all punishing themselves in a Herculean quest for a fitter physique.
Diets are tough!
Workouts are tough!
And if your journey’s not marked by blood, sweat and tears, you’re probably doing it wrong.
Or so the diet and fitness industry would have you believe.
But it doesn’t have to be like that.
Not only does weight loss not have to be hard work—it can actually be no work at all.
These 18 simple tweaks can help even the laziest of health and weight-loss seekers drop serious pounds without lifting a finger.
So stay in your PJs, throw on some cartoons, and feel smug about your slim-slacker status, while the rest of the suckers slave away on the treadmill.
1. Stock up on frozen veggies and berries to have on hand when you might need them.
It’s so much easier than having to remember to buy them fresh, and then also having to remember to cook them before they turn into gross smelly puddles of goo in the back of your refrigerator.
Toss your frozen berries into oatmeal or eat a few as a sweet dessert. And cook up your frozen veggies as side dishes, in stir fry, soups, and more.
2. Buy a season (or a series) of a very addictive TV show.
Force yourself to watch it ONLY while you’re running on the treadmill, using the elliptical, or pedalling a stationary bike.
3. Eat from small plates, bowls, cups, and jars to help manage your portion sizes.
Some research suggests that you’ll have an easier time with portion sizes (and feeling good about limiting portion sizes) when you eat from smaller plates and bowls.
Because when you have a small portion on a big plate, you feel like you’re depriving yourself — but when that same portion takes up a lot of real estate on a smaller plate, you’ll think you’re eating more.
4. Or eat from plates and bowls that are a different color than the food you have in front of you, also to help with portion sizes.
Other research has shown that people tend to eat more food when the food is roughly the same color as the plate, compared to people eating food that contrasts with the color of the plate.
5. Prepare a box of grab-and-go snacks on Sundays so you always have something healthy to nosh on every day.
Make sure you take them with you each day. Snacking on healthy things throughout the day will keep your energy up and will keep you from overeating at your meals.
6. Make good friends with a slow cooker.
Cooking with a slow cooker is basically the easiest kind of cooking. And you can make all sorts of healthy stews and soups and other stuff with them.
7. Carry around a big old water bottle wherever you go.
All we have to say is ABH.
Always be hydrating!
8. Drink a cup of black coffee before you work out
Because it’ll help you burn more fat.
9. And eat some protein within half an hour after you work out, so you can build muscles faster.
When you work out, you break down muscle tissue and your body absolutely depends on protein in order to build that muscle back up.
And muscle is the key to increasing your metabolism. Greek yogurt is a good option here.
10. Keep your hair dryer in your gym locker.
This basically forces you to get to the gym, OR ELSE. Very sneaky. (And no, don’t get a second one).
11. Prep all your workout gear the night before, so it’s all ready for you when you wake up.
When you don’t have to dig through your drawers for your gym shorts, getting up and at ‘em gets a lot easier. It’s the small things, you know.
12. Go ahead and sleep in your workout outfit, if you have to.
The ultimate in lazy = not even having to change out of your pajamas. Boom.
13. Fill half your plate with vegetables for lunch and dinner, and then make sure you eat the vegetables first.
Vegetables are obviously good for you, so you should be eating them for like a million reasons.
But something that some people don’t know is that, due to the high-fiber content in a lot of veggies, they can actually make you feel full and satisfied pretty quickly.
Eating your veggies first before you get to the other stuff means that you’ll be less likely to overindulge on things that are less nutrient-dense and filled with ingredients that aren’t so good for you.
14. Leave your blinds open at night, so the sunlight helps wake you up in the morning.
This is especially helpful if you’re trying to get into a habit of working out in the morning, btw.
15. Prep your lunches for the week on Sundays.
So you can just grab them without thinking when you’re out the door in the morning.
16. Set an alarm about an hour before you want to be asleep, so you can harass yourself to get moving on your bedtime routine.
Getting good sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your health.
Good sleep involves a few things: Having a regular sleep schedule; actually sleeping for seven to nine hours a night; and having peaceful, uninterrupted sleep.
It also really helps if you’re going to bed and waking up at a consistent time every day.
Help yourself in more ways than one by making sure you’re in bed at the same time every night (and also make sure that time isn’t like 2 a.m.).
Setting an alarm to go off at 10 p.m. can alert you that you should start washing your face and doing everything else you need to do before bed, so you can consistently be tucked in by 11.
17. Lower your thermostat before you go to bed to about 65 degrees for a better night’s sleep.
Questions? Concerns? Seems straightforward enough to me.
18. And take a few minutes every day to unwind.
Chronic stress can wreak havoc on your health, so it’s important to do what you can to limit your stress and find ways to relax and unwind.
This restorative yoga pose is one of the best yoga poses for stress relief.