Losing weight has the reputation of being hard work. True, losing weight and keeping it off is not easy to do, but this doesn’t mean it has to be painful or total drudgery. In fact, there are some fun ways to lose weight that will keep your motivation high while also helping you to effectively reach your goals. Some of these methods involve weight loss, while others involve a proper diet – both are necessary to lose weight and make wholesale lifestyle changes. Here are some ideas:
- Instead of burning away hours and calories on a treadmill or elliptical, why don’t you join a sport or do some other fun physical activity? Having a goal in mind, especially a literal goal like in hockey, basketball, or soccer, can make you forget you’re exercising. You’ll bond with your friends, lose weight, develop skills, and have fun all at the same time. What’s not to like?
- Make losing weight a contest with family and friends who also want to meet the goal. Name it “Weight Loss Olympics” or whatever you want. Keep track of everyone’s starting and finishing weights, and the person who loses the most weight (or, the most weight as a percentage of their original weight), wins some prize. The prize can be whatever you want it to be. Food probably isn’t a good idea, but if everyone puts $20 in a pot, and the winner takes all (or some other prize structure), this will keep everyone motivated to their goal. Best of all, regardless of who “wins,” everyone wins.
- Play with children. Kids have near infinite energy, and they can give even the most in-shape adult a run for their money. Play tag, hide and seek, manhunt, or whatever game that will give you some great exercise while having fun with your kids (or others’ children).
- Walk around a mall for a few hours. You’ll get good exercise, get to hang out with people, and maybe even buy a thing or two. Just make sure you don’t buy any of that unhealthy mall food.
- One of the most fun ways to lose weight is to incorporate exercise into your daily activities. For instance, if you have to do chores around the house, resolve to complete them at the fastest pace you can. You’ll save time, make chores less boring, and make weight loss fun, all at the same time.
- Keep track of your food/exercise changes and your weight loss progress. Keep a log, perhaps with charts and graphs, to keep track of your successes. There are many apps and programs out there that can keep track of goals, and even award you “experience points” and “loot” when you complete your daily tasks, whether they are weight loss related or not. For example, check out Level Me Up! and EpicWin for the iPod, iPhone, or iPad.
- Eat more of less. Instead of eating two or three big meals, eat five to six small meals scattered throughout the day. You will feel like you’re constantly eating and will never feel hungry, keeping you well motivated to reach your goals.
- In general, make your weight loss attempt into a game or competition. Whatever you can do to distract yourself from what you’re doing to keep you going will have positive benefits for your health outcomes.
When trying to make an important change in our lives, we should never solely seek for the ‘magic bullet’ to bypass all the work that will surely be required to meet our goals. Losing weight is no different. Magic bullets don’t exist, and some of the claimed miracle diets and weight-loss programs can actually do more harm to your health than good. This doesn’t mean, however, that we shouldn’t look for the best weight loss techniques and ideas to speed up and maximize our progress – in other words, quick ways to lose weight that aren’t harmful and actually work, as long as they are completed within a sensible diet and exercise program. Some of the following ways to lose weight quick may seem paradoxical, but therein lies their power!
- Lower your portion sizes. It’s important to relearn your body’s “full” signals. Eating until your stuffed is only good on Thanksgiving and other special occasions – it should NOT be a daily practice. Instead, eat until you are “satisfied.” While there will be some variation among people with this, the one agreement between them is that ‘satisfied’ occurs well before ‘full.’ Lower your portion sizes and target “satisfied” – and you can even throw in your favorite foods into your diet when you learn how to do this, because your overall calorie consumption will be lower.
- Eat 5 or more times a day. This may seem to be a paradoxical quick way to lose weight, but in fact it’s not. First, by five meals, we don’t mean five HUGE, dinner-sized meals. By ‘meal’ we really mean ‘snack.’ Eating five to six meals of approximately 200-300 calories each will keep your metabolism roaring throughout the day. If you go long periods without eating, your body goes into starvation mode, and lowers your metabolism, decreasing the calories burned and increasing the calories stored. Eat regularly and smartly and you can transform your body into a furnace.
- Drink lots of water. Not only will drinking water make you feel more “full,” but your body will operate better and more efficiently if it is hydrated. Drinking a lot of water is probably one of the best quick and easy ways to lose weight because your body will flush out the toxins and waste products if you drink a lot of water. As your bloating goes down, you might actually LOSE water weight (and look slimmer, less puffy, etc.) as you drink enough of it during the day.
- Treat yourself once a week. Since this will be a long term life change, you will need to make it sustainable. Totally abstaining from your favorite foods – in fact, from simply enjoying what life has to offer – is usually not sustainable without superhuman stores of willpower. Instead, treat your body (and, more importantly, your mind) to your favorite meal once per week. Don’t go overboard and pig out, but a sensibly sized treat can go a long way to curbing your hunger and your desires. Plus, it keeps your metabolism off balance, as the sudden influx of calories will fire it up for the week to come.
- Exercise, even walk, for 30-45 minutes a day. Not only do you lose calories while performing the activity, but you even burn EXTRA calories throughout the day after your workout as your body recovers from the exercise. Thus, you turn your body into an efficient, fat-melting machine before, during, and after exercise. Coupled with your improved diet habits, you’ll lop off calories every day, one of the most important quick ways to lose weight fast.
In good and bad economic times, everyone is always looking for easy ways to make money fast to supplement or even stand-in for a part or full-time income. Luckily, with the growth of the internet, more options are available to people than ever to accomplish this goal. Even with the internet, though, some ‘real life’ options can still also be lucrative, so don’t immediately go to your computer! Here are some easy ways to make money that don’t require huge amounts of time, capital, or skill. The first half of the ideas are “real life,” no computer required ideas; the second half are “online only” money making ideas:
EASY WAYS TO MAKE MONEY OFFLINE:
- Have a garage sale to sell all your old goods. You can pull in an easy grand with only a couple days work, as long as you set up and market your yard sale properly.
- Start a part-time business out of your house. Use your talents, whatever they may be, to come up with services or goods you could provide for others. Perhaps you’re a great baker, knitter, or writer, and you can provide these goods to people in your spare time. Or perhaps your greatest asset is your free time: consider pet sitting, house sitting, babysitting, or daycare.
- Collect people’s junk and either repurpose or resell it. For instance, many people leave furniture at the curb that, with a few repairs, can be resold for some quick cash. You could also try collecting scrap metal and selling it at a salvage yard. You’d be surprised at how much money you could get from what appears to be junk.
- Find a part-time job for some supplemental income. Even 10 hours a week could add a good chunk of change to your pocket every two weeks. You could also pick up random jobs around your neighborhood or town. Be creative – mowing the lawn, house sitting, shoveling snow off driveways – use your time and talents to your advantage!
- Return cans and bottles to get back the 5 cent deposit (if your state participates in this program). In general, try to collect spare change, both lying around your house and in whatever places you see it in public. (Don’t steal, of course!)
EASY WAYS TO MAKE MONEY ONLINE:
- Sell stuff online. Craigslist, Amazon, Ebay – the options to sell everything from cars and furniture to books and movies on the internet are nearly endless. Best of all, your market turns from local to global with a few clicks of a mouse. For example, those niche books that you have sitting unused on your shelf may not fetch much at a local book store or garage sale, but you may be able to score top dollar from someone online who knows their true value. This is one of the easy quick ways to make money, as you can often get paid directly into your Paypal account for quick withdrawal.
- Do freelance writing. Many websites like Textbroker, Demand Studios, Bright Hub, The Content Authority, Elance, and others pay writers just like you to write up articles for clients on a variety of topics. If you have a liking and flair for writing, you may be able to make ends meet with this idea, one of the easy ways to make money online. Best of all, many of these sites pay weekly or biweekly, lowering the amount of time you have to wait for your cash.
- Another easy way to make money online is to use other freelancing services besides writing companies. One example of these is Mechanical Turk. Run by Amazon, this program allows “Turkers” to complete “human intelligence tasks” (HITs) for clients for compensation ranging from .01 a task to 5.00 or more. Though you won’t make a ton of money very quickly, you can make spare change here and there for minutes of your time. There are tons of other services out there like this. Again, the general theme is: what are your talents? Who is looking for your abilities out in the world? And how can you connect your services with their needs? The internet is usually just this way.
One of the most popular fitness goal is to obtain rock hard abs – a six pack, if you will – out of a formerly saggy guy. This is a popular goal, however, because it is so challenging. Getting the body you’ve always dreamed of – including the sexy belly – requires diet, exercise, and dedication for both men and women. Information is important too – what is the best way to lose belly fat after all? Here are some ways to set you on this path:
- Assess your situation. BMI (body mass index) is not recommended, as it can often give you faulty results depending on your body type. Instead, focus on more objective measure, like body fat percentage, belly circumference, and other indicators of your health and wellness. You need to know your baseline to begin.
- Find a body fat target. Body fat percentages vary between people and between men and women. In order to get a flat stomach, you will need to lower your body fat percentage to the point where your abs will show through. They are already there, lying in wait, but are currently covered by a layer of fat, so your goal is to lower your total body fat. In the process, you will lose weight, but you need to lose the right type of weight, as losing muscle or water weight will do nothing for you and may even make you look worse.
- The best way to lose belly fat with exercise is to perform ‘fat burning’ cardiovascular activities. There are two main kinds of activities that can help you. The first is high intensity interval training, in which you perform intense exercise for a short period of time, followed by a period of rest, and repeat throughout a shorter (20-30 minute) workout. You can vary the work:rest ratios based on your fitness level, but a minute of work to one, two, three, or even four minutes of rest are potential choices.
- If this kind of exercise is too intense for you, begin with some lighter cardio workouts in the “fat burning zone.” This is the 60-65% zone of your target heart rate. In this area, nearly 50% of the calories burned come from fat. On the other hand, if you are able to handle intense exercise, more vigorous workouts will burn more calories overall. So while you will burn less fat calories as a percentage with intense workouts, you will burn more fat calories overall.
- The best way to lose belly fat fast is through restricting your total calorie intake. Sure, working out will burn calories, but you will also save a lot of calories by lowering your portion sizes and making better decisions about what you eat. To get rid of belly fat you will need to lose a lot of other fat from your body – sorry, not targeting exercises are possible! Thus, you will need to lose a bunch of pounds to decrease your percentage. Luckily, this will make you look great all over, not just in your stomach area!
- Avoid gimmicks like belts, pills, fad diets, and ‘easy’ workout programs. This quest won’t be easy, and there is no magic bullet. In fact, there is never a magic bullet for a truly worthwhile change. Set goals, stick to them, and follow through with well laid plans. That is the essence of the best ways to lose body fat.
More information on how to get flat abs can be found in this site: The Truth about Six Pack Abs
Debt slowly eats away at your financial health. Each payment you make towards interest is burned money. For those carrying anywhere from a little debt to a crushing amount, how do you even go about fixing this problem? Here are some ways to get out of debt. They only require knowledge, planning, and willpower to complete, leading you to a life of financial freedom.
- Get a free credit report from one of the three credit agencies and analyze your situation. If there are any problem accounts, attack them first to restore your credit.
- Pay down your highest interest-rate debts first. For most people, this will be credit cards. One of the best ways to get out of credit card debt is to pay more than the minimum payment. Recent reforms require credit companies to be more forthcoming with how long it will take you to pay off your debt, but most people don’t realize that paying the minimum keeps them locked in years of debt slavery. Create a budget that eliminates unneeded expenses and luxuries, and put the savings towards wiping out the high-interest debt.
- Consider moving debt around from high-interest to low-interest accounts. For example, you could transfer balances to lower interest cards, or use a home-equity line of credit to wipe out higher interest rate debts. This is probably the best ways to get out of debt fast, but it is also dangerous: don’t let unused credit get filled up again, otherwise you’ll find yourself back where you started. Many credit cards offer promotions for balance transfers at a very low percent, so consider moving your debt around to these offers. (Always read the fine print for the stipulations.)
- The best way to get out of debt is to use all your assets at your disposal towards paying it down. Money sitting in a savings account is making a very low rate of return. Using that money to pay off a chunk of your debt will save you many dollars – it is like you are earning the %APR of the credit card back into your pocket! Also, if you have any assets you can sell – car, boat, motorcycle, electronics, etc. – consider parting with it to help pay off your outstanding debts. It may hurt now, but you’ll save yourself a deeper, more significant long-term pain.
- Borrow from other sources – 401(k)s, friends and families, life insurance plans, etc. Be careful of any penalties that may be assessed by withdrawing money early. If you borrow from friends or family, make sure you draw up the terms of the loan in writing so that everyone involved is clear and comfortable with the arrangement.
- Stop buying stuff. The more your debt increases, the worse it will get.
- Find other ways to entertain yourself aside from gadgets and expensive goods. Find cheap hobbies that can take up your time and save you money which you can then use to repay your debts.
- Find some odd jobs/part-time work to increase your income, and use that money to pay off your debt.
- Hire a debt counselor to help you overcome your debt. These professionals will help you tailor your plan to your individual financial situation. For instance, a group like this may help you…
- Reorganize your debt and get better terms. If you are near the edge of bankruptcy, lenders may work with you to lower your payments and improve the terms of your credit. They don’t want you to go bankrupt because it is a financial risk to them, so they will often go the extra mile to help you.
- In the end, bankruptcy is the final option. Do not do this lightly. Always consult with professionals, including lawyers, to go over all your options.
For more information, check out The Debt Solution System.
Just like it’s easier to avoid unhealthy foods than to burn them off with exercise, it’s easier to avoid paying unnecessary money than to have to work extra to account for that cash. In other words, sometimes the best way to make money is to save money! Everyone – poor, rich, or in between – can benefit from easy ways to save money. This list of ways to save money will start with the larger money savers and descend to the smaller ones. Here are some tips that will help you in your question for wealth:
- Big purchases have the most impact on your bottom line. Making your best effort to save on cars, boats, homes, education, and other large expenditures will save you tens of thousands of dollars over your lifetime. While the rest of the tips are useful in saving you dollars and cents, concentrating most of all on getting great deals on these purchases is the best way to save money.
- Related to the above, watch out for high interest rates on loans. Whether a mortgage, car loan, personal loan, or the dreaded credit card, interest payments can eat into your savings and lower the amount of cash on hand. Try to avoid using lines of credit whenever possible. Credit cards are OK as long as you pay them off in full every month and avoid interest charges.
- One way to lower your interest charges if you do have to take out a loan is to maintain a high credit score. This means you must avoid late payments, don’t max out credit, and pay off your debts in full. Order a free credit report from each of the credit agencies once per year to monitor your current status and to check for errors that may be hurting your credit history.
- Look for ways to get extra money without having to do a bunch of work. This can come in the form of gift certificates, gift cards, prizes, and other offers that you can use to make ends meet. For example, click here for a way to get a $1000 Visa gift card (details apply).
- Cut back on non-essentials. This means actually going out and stop purchasing the gadgets and gizmos that drain your bank account, even if they are fun.
- Lower you food bills by cutting out the restaurant trips. This doesn’t mean you have to totally stop going out to restaurants, especially if you have coupons.
- Don’t buy or lease new cars. Automobiles lose a ton of their value the instant they leave the lot. To get the reliability and ‘newness’ of a car without paying inflated prices, buy ‘like new’ cars with around 30,000 miles or less.
- One of the best ways to save money is to cook more breakfasts, lunches, and dinners at home. Eating out constantly, especially with the high costs associated with drinks, alcohol, and tips, can really add up over time. This is especially true if you have a large family. The more you can coordinate meals, buying in bulk and preparing food ahead of time, the more overall money you can save.
- Also, avoid snacks and drinks (including coffee) when you are out on the town. They may seem cheap at the time, but $1 -$3 charges will accumulate rapidly, hitting your bank account hard without you even realizing it.
- Determine what you truly love to do and invest your money into that. Buying useless trinkets, gadgets, DVDs, and other stuff may make you feel good at the time, but the fun fades as the novelty goes away. Then you’re off to buy the next hot thing. Find a hobby or two that you enjoy and spend your time and resources on that. Perhaps you love to play the piano, so you spend money on instruments and music. Or perhaps you like your car, so you spend more time with that, or you like to cook, so you buy cook books and kitchen accessories. Whatever your love, find it and develop it.
- Use more public transportation, car pooling, or walking/biking to get around. The price of gas isn’t going down anytime soon, and it will most likely continue to ride. Also, the more you use your car, the more maintenance is required. If you could get rid of your car altogether, think of how much you’d save in insurance, maintenance, and car payments! This is one of the great ways to save money on a tight budget.
- Buy in bulk. The more you buy at one time, the less you’ll pay for each unit, saving you cash in the long run.
- Buy items online. You can save tons of money by buying from sites like amazon.com that can get you steep discounts on everything from clothes to household supplies to toys. Also checkout sites like craigslist and Ebay for other great deals on secondhand goods. In fact…
- Buy used goods whenever possible. A huge secondary market exists filled with people wanting to sell their stuff. You can get so much like new stuff – including clothing, cars, video games, furniture, whatever – for a mere fraction of the cost if bought new. Check out thrift stores, garage sales, and discount stores in real life, and auction sites, craigslist, and other sites on the internet.
- Drain the maximum value or use out of everything your purchase. Whether it’s food, clothing, or entertainment, get the most out of every dollar you spend. Look for ways to get extra cash to supplement your budget as well.
- Use the library. Your local library has thousands of books and DVDs that you can borrow for free. Stop buying books for full price at the book store, and don’t waste your cash on movies you watch once, even if you rent them. Exploit the library to the fullest possible extent. You might even learn some new info and skills in the process.
- Always be on the lookout for places to cut, scrimp, and save. Saving 50 cents here, $1.50 there, and 35 cents here will add up over time for a minimum of effort.
- Avoid silly fees wherever possible – late fees, annual fees, interest fees, overdraft fees, etc. These are all completely avoidable with some careful attention to your finances and financial choices.
- Use fewer utilities. Conserve electricity, water, and heat, and kill your internet, cable, or phone bill. Your wallet will thank you for it.
If work, children, money, and other stressors are damaging your once lovely relationship, take heart: all is not lost.With enough information, patience, and effort, even the most damaged relationship can be saved from oblivion. Want to know how to save a marriage? Here are some tips:
- Admit that there is a problem and that you want to fix it. You and your partner need to be able to say, “I want to save my marriage,” and mean it. Without commitment from both sides, any expended effort will be wasted.
- Take care of yourself first. This may seem a paradoxical way to save your marriage, but it’s actually vitally important for the well-being of the marriage. If you are overweight, sick, depressed, or stressed, you need to improve your own situation. In part, you will do this as a couple, but this also requires some alone time to sort out your own issues. You may need to seek professional help – counseling, medical doctors, personal trainers, etc. – to help you along.
- One of the most important ways to save a marriage is to spend more time together. Many couples drift apart as work, family, and personal obligations get in the way. You need to schedule in time for each other like you schedule your other tasks. If this partnership is to be saved, both sides must raise the priority of together time to the “A” level.
- Another one of the best ways to save your marriage is to improve communication. Once you are spending more time together, you’ll need to not only DO things, but also TALK about things. Whether it’s about your dreams, fears, or conflicts, communication is critical for healthy relationships. Improve marriage communication and sharing, and the rest will take care of itself.
- Spend romantic time with each other. Go on a date, to dinner, to the movies, or some other locale. It doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy to be effective. Whatever the choice, rekindling some of that magic is one of the most effective ways to save marriage partnerships. If you have kids, consider hiring a babysitter once every two weeks or so to provide you with some free time to pursue your most significant interest: each other.
- Do the little things. Not every change has to be a grand gesture. Little gifts, compliments, and the like can remind your partner that you love and think about them. Sometimes relationships can get too comf0rtable, and partners treat each other with the assumption that they will never leave. While this can be true, it will only lead to suffering for both parties. Act like you did when you were dating, and try to win your spouse’s heart back with both actions and words.
- Money can be a huge stress to a relationship. Make sure to communicate and plan expenditures, savings, investments, and other financial issues. Being clear on the expectations of your financial relationship can often clear up other ‘issues’ between you that seemed to be so pressing.
- For more information, check out this e-course: The Marriage Savior.
Many people enjoy drinking with friends or to relax after a long days work. But for others, drinking is more a nightmare than anything else. Alcoholism and its related diseases and accidents cause much misery in households across the United States and the world, and many people look for ways to stop drinking. Even if you are not an ‘alcoholic’ per se, and you just want to reduce what you see as a bad habit, these tips could be helpful for you as well. If your problem is severe, you will want to see a doctor for your problem, as he or she will direct you on eliminating your alcohol habit given your medical and psychological situation.
(Note: This advice is for entertainment purposes only. Consult with professionals before you act on any major changes in your diet or lifestyle.)
- The easy way to stop drinking is to reduce your intake over time. Note your daily intake of alcohol, or how much you drink at social events, and reduce the amount by one drink a day/session each week. You will thus habituate your body to this lower amount of alcohol, and psychologically the change will be easier to handle. Gradual reduction in your intake will help you stick to your new behavior. Total elimination of your alcohol habit is not necessarily required, depending on your addiction to it. Many studies have found that imbibing one drink a day (one beer or glass of wine) can yield health benefits.
- Get a system and get support. There’s plenty of information out there for people who need to stop drinking now. For instance, check out this program that can help you create an alcohol free social life.
- Write a journal or log of your drinking. Communicate to yourself (and others!) why you want to stop drinking. The way to stop drinking is to understand exactly why you want to change this behavior. You may find reasons through your own reflection or from the advice of friends and family. In addition, writing your goals down will help you follow through with them, especially if you rewrite them every day. Studies have shown that people who write their goals are much more likely to succeed than those who don’t.
- Watch how, when, where, and why you drink. Perhaps you drink too fast, and can’t keep track of how much you drink, or perhaps you only drink with friends, at bars, or when stressed out or sad. Being aware of the circumstances of your habit will help you identify the trigger to this behavior. Once you identify the trigger, reduce its prevalence or its impact on you. This is one particularly easy way to stop drinking, because if you eliminate the cause, you wipe out the effect.
- Drink something else instead of alcohol. Find another beverage, like soda, juice, water, or sports drinks, that you can drink in social environments or whenever the alcohol trigger fires. Soda is a particularly good choice – it’s tasty, fizzy, and fun. Be careful, however, that you don’t drink too much – you don’t want to gain weight and yet another addiction or problem!
- If you have to live someone who is a problem drinker or alcoholic, it can be incredibly difficult to keep harmony in the household. There’s plenty of support for you too; check out this site, for example, which gives advice tailored to people in your situation.
Know any ways to stop drinking alcohol? Leave them in the comments!
We all want the magic bullet, the quick fix, the instant gratification. This is especially true for those who want to lose weight fast. You may be sick of the way you look and feel, and just desperately want to lose those extra pounds. After trying many diets and other programs and failing, you may want to just cut right to the chase. So, what’s the quickest way to lose weight?
Note: This advice is for entertainment purposes only. Consult with a doctor before embarking on any diet, exercise, or weight loss program.
- The cheap answer, aside from chopping off a limb or two, is to lose water weight. In fact, losing excess water may actually reduce bloating in your system, making you feel and look instantly better! Ironically, the best way to do this is to drink water, as your body will release the stored water it contains as soon as it is rehydrated. You can also engage in vigorous exercise and sweat away the pounds, though you will quickly be dehydrated and could end up in a medically precarious position. Drinking water is a great habit to build anyway, and a simple lifestyle change that can go a long way to improving overall quality of life. However…
- Warning: Any “lose weight quickly” diet is usually going to lead you nowhere. Usually, the quickest ways to lose weight are the most unsafe. Starvation diets, dehydration, and the like can all lead to serious medical consequences down the road. Not only is it dangerous, but it won’t last. Certainly, the quickest way to lose weight in a week may yield a loss of 5 to 10 pounds, but it is not sustainable, nor is any ‘real’ weight being lost. As soon as you revert to your normal behaviors, the weight will pile on quickly. The true secret to weight loss is consistent effort – nothing short of a whole lifestyle transformation.
- When discussing ‘weight,’ differentiate between different types. If you lost 30 pounds of muscle, you’d weight “less,” but you’d certainly wouldn’t be healthier. Nor would you look better, as you’d simply be reduced to a flabby, weak mess. Muscle, fat, and water are the primary three weight-bearing substances in the body, and the proportions of these components lost will depend on the type of program (speed, duration, intensity, exercise frequency, etc.) that you engage in.
In short, there is no quick fix to anything. Any claims of ‘easy,’ ‘fast,’ or ‘effortless’ ANYTHING are usually false and potentially harmful. Slow and steady wins the race, both in life in general and in the weight loss game.