5 Unusual Health Hacks

While there are no true shortcuts or hacks for being a fit and healthy person, we’ve shared some lesser known fitness and health tips and facts that just might help you reach your goals faster:

 1) Add Olive Oil to your Protein Shake

If you’re looking to increase healthy fats in your diet, help with inflammation, and increase testosterone and cardiovascular health, mix some olive oil into your protein shake. This is a great option for those looking to gain muscle and aid in muscle recovery and those on the Keto diet. To avoid weight gain, limit yourself to 2 teaspoons of olive oil, and decrease other fat sources in your diet such as butter, cream cheese and sour cream.

Since olive oil is slow digesting, we recommend adding it to your protein shake after training and not before – to avoid feeling sluggish during your workout. If you’re interested in trying it out, be sure to opt for extra-virgin or pure olive oil to benefit from the most antioxidants.

2) Gain Weight to Drop Sizes

Because muscle weighs more than fat. So shifting your goal from ‘lose weight’ to ‘gain lean muscle’ can help you minimize your measurements. How can you build muscle while still losing fat, you may be wondering? Keep your caloric deficit small (too much of a deficit will hinder muscle gain), get enough protein (at least 25 grams four-times per day), and focus more on strength training than cardio and HIIT. We recommend strength training with a Nielsen Fitness personal trainer at least three times per week. If you don’t have that much time, even one strength training session per week done consistently can help you build lean muscle over time.

3) Workout at your Desk

It may be hard to believe, but sitting is worse than smoking. Several studies associate increased sedentary time with physical and mental illnesses including coronary heart disease, diabetes, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. In addition to taking regular breaks to get up and walk around, there are simple exercises you can do right at your desk. We recommend isometric shrugs for your shoulders, isometric triceps pushdowns for your arms, and isometric neck extensions for your neck and back. If you haven’t already, consider investing in a Swiss Ball, which is the more ergonomic “chair” you can find at a fraction of the price. Sitting on a Swiss Ball while working will help you to engage your core and improve your posture. Who doesn’t need that?

4) Drink Ice Water to Burn Calories

While staying hydrated is the goal no matter the temperature of your water, if you want to give your metabolism an extra boost and burn a few more calories, try drinking ice water. Why? Because your body has to work to bring the ice-cold water up to body temperature. For someone who drinks eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day (as we all should), this amounts to roughly 70 Calories. While 70 Calories is not a lot, it adds up in the big picture. This is a great tip to supplement to your plan of healthy eating and exercise.

5) Eat More to Lose Fat

Some Nielsen Fitness clients have mentioned they’re afraid of eating too much, and particularly too much fat. It’s true that fat intake – especially of unhealthy fats – needs to be monitored, however, studies have shown a correlation between a higher intake of Omega-3 fats and fat loss. The truth is, not eating enough can slow your metabolism; if you’re in too much of a caloric deficit, your body will start trying to conserve energy by reducing the number of calories it burns, which can cause you to stop losing weight. The bottom line: eat a greater quantity of nutritionally dense foods – including foods high in protein and fat – to lose fat.

The Best Tip Of All

While not something unusual or unheard of, the best fitness tip of all is to follow a regular plan of healthy eating and exercise supported by a professional trainer. Nielsen Fitness is comprised of professional, knowledgeable, and certified Personal Trainers who can give you the motivation – and health and fitness hacks – you need to reach your goals. Click here to book your first free assessment and workout and begin to see how working out with a personal trainer as little as once or twice per week can have a great impact on your life.

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