We all know that weight loss is essentially one giant mathematical equation: if calories in are less than calories out, you will lose weight. Plain and simple. We also all know there are healthy foods, less healthy foods, and that exercise will help you boost your calorie burn. What I find more interesting are the unexpected things that help me along my weight loss journey. While I’m sure there are more, I put together a list of my top 5 unexpected things that help you lose weight.
#1 Getting a Dog
You all know by now that I rang in the new year by bringing home our little Yorkie, Gracie on the first day of 2017. Since she’s a tiny pup that we’re pad training, we haven’t had a need to take her out for a walk in the freezing weather. Now that it’s warming up, we’re going on daily walks to train her how to behave on a leash and help her get some extra energy out. While this is great for her, it also helps me get extra steps in that I wouldn’t have otherwise. On today’s walk, I gained 3000 steps, which is 1/4 of my daily step goal, and those steps are in addition to what I normally do daily. If you add up all of those walks that are for the dog’s benefit, that could most definitely add up to a few fewer pounds on the scale.
#2 Cleaning Your House
While house cleaning is most definitely work, not everyone considers it to be a legit workout, but if you’re taking the time to scrub, tidy, lift, toss, move things around, vacuum, and mop, you better believe you’re going to break a sweat and get some awesome activity for it. It’s not uncommon for me to skip the gym on days I do major house cleaning, as I hit my step goal with ease. Up your house cleaning game and you won’t just have a cleaner home as the only benefit.
#3 Getting A New Hobby
When it comes to new hobbies, we tend to get so excited about them that we have the ability to get lost and distracted, sometimes forgetting to do something like eat. See where I’m going with this? As dieters, we often have food on the brain. What have we eaten so far today? How many calories/points do I have left? What should I order when we go out this weekend? A new distraction would get our minds off of the food and keep our hands busy, preventing us from going to the kitchen when we’re bored or tired (or causing us to forget to go to the kitchen altogether). I find the best distractions are the ones that keep my hands busy. Take up hand lettering or scrapbooking, practice your piano skills, or even buy yourself a new video game (my husband would love that I said that). A video game requires the use of both hands at all times, which means you have to put the controller down to eat. If it’s an engaging game, odds are you won’t want to.
#4 Eating More Fat (Occasionally!)
While this may sound counterproductive, just hear me out. I’m speaking from personal experience on this one. If I decide to have a cheat meal after a period of time where my diet is on point (that detail is super important), I find that adding the extra fat somehow magically boosts my weight loss a little bit more. Typically, this result happens when I’m indulging in more fat rather than sugar (ie pizza rather than candy bars). I’m not the only one that has experienced this mysterious phenomenon. When I was a Weight Watchers leader, one of my receptionists told me about how once a month she indulges in a giant bowl of popcorn with an entire stick of butter melted all over it. She plans ahead, and is on her best behavior during the week she plans on enjoying her indulgence, and more often than not she found that the scale would actually see a little boost in weight loss. Is there actually biological reasoning for this? I have no idea. All know is that in my experience it has worked for me and several others. Take that for what it’s worth.
#5 Going to Bed Early
Going to bed early helps you with weight loss in two ways. The first way it’s likely you’ve heard before. It’s been proven time and time again that getting enough sleep is essential to helping you lose and maintain your weight. When we’re tired there is a much higher probability we will turn to food for a quick shot of energy, and the foods that provide us with that are the sugary, high-carb foods that don’t exactly help the scale go down. Getting enough sleep helps ensure that we will have the energy and willpower boost necessary to get us through the day with minimal unplanned eating. The unexpected way going to bed early helps us is simply by keeping us out of the kitchen. My willpower fades as the day goes on, and I often find myself in the kitchen unnecessarily at night looking for something to eat while I sit in front of the tv simply because it’s a bad habit. Going to bed early prevents us from going to the kitchen for a late night snack session. Like I said, it’s two-fold.
Do you have any other unexpected things that help you lose weight to add to this list?