Health and fitness hacks have become a popular self-improvement trend in recent years, but should you try them?
While some advice borders on the bizarre and often ridiculous, other tips are grounded in science and offer legitimate benefits when applied in a holistic approach to a healthy lifestyle.
While these tips are not quick-fixes, these 3 hacks could possibly boost your results or help you get more benefit from your diet and exercise regimen.
1. Include protein in every meal
When it comes to healthful eating or dieting, most people fixate on the carbohydrates or fats in their diet. While many people understand how important protein is to the muscle-building and repair processes, there are other potential benefits from this important macronutrient.
For starters, protein is more satiating than carbohydrates. That means you can eat less and still feel full and satisfied
. Importantly, adding protein to carbohydrate reduces the glycaemic response by delaying gastric emptying and stimulating insulin secretion.
These effects have numerous possible implications for our health and nutrition, such as supporting the role of high protein diets to help manage diabetes by lowering the glycaemic load of meals.
Increasing your muscle mass, which requires adequate protein, can also help you lose or maintain your weight by increasing your resting metabolic rate.
2. Multiple mini workouts
If your office job and daily schedule are too busy to keep moving around to boost your NEAT, try micro workouts.
These short bouts of easy activity or intense exercise performed periodically throughout the day, rather than in a single session, can also deliver health and fitness benefits.
Options range from a few reps between meetings or power-walking up the stairs at the office to two-, three- or 10-minute interval sessions incorporating 2-3 compound exercises before and after work and over lunch.
A growing body of research suggests that micro workouts can certainly deliver benefits. For example, a study published in 2022 in the Exercise and Sports Science Review, determined that performing short ‘exercise snacks’ every day, rather than longer exercise sessions, was enough to improve metabolic health.
A study published in journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, determined that 20-second bursts of intense stair climbing offered “a practical, time-efficient strategy” to boost fitness levels and improve cardiorespiratory function (in previously untrained women).
The key is to vary the intensity and the total volume and frequency of these exercise snacks throughout the day.
3. Trick your hunger
For many people, sticking to a diet is the hardest part of a body or lifestyle transformation, particularly due to the hunger that accompanies a reduced calorie intake. You can make this a less daunting task with simple diet hacks that help you suppress your appetite.
Adding a supplement like Biogen Appetite Suppress can help to temporarily dull your hunger and increase the feeling of fullness.
You can also try one of the oldest hacks in the book – drinking a glass of water before a meal.
A 2018 study published in the Clinical Nutrition Research journal, confirmed that drinking water before eating reduced the amount of food consumed. These results prompted researchers to conclude that pre-meal water consumption “may be an effective weight control strategy”.
Another study, published in the European Journal of Nutrition in 2016, showed that drinking 568 ml of water before a meal decreased calorie intake and hunger while increasing fullness and satisfaction.
Author: Pedro van Gaalen
When he’s not writing about sport or health and fitness, Pedro is probably out training for his next marathon or ultra-marathon. He’s worked as a fitness professional and as a marketing and comms expert. He now combines his passions in his role as managing editor at Fitness magazine.