We’ve all played at least a few action video games. At some point, we find ourselves in a corner we can’t seem to escape and consult our list of Csgo cheat codes to get extra ammunition, a bigger gun, or restore our battered health. Suddenly we’re invincible and everything falls into place.
Trying to lose weight often leads to the same kind of frustration. No matter what we try, we can’t seem to move on to the next level. We hit a plateau and no matter which way we turn or what strategies we use, the scale refuses to budge. For those days that threaten our best laid plans, we need our own diet cheat codes.
Here are some samples:
1. Vegetable day.
Set aside a day or two when you will consume nothing but vegetables. Don’t worry about which kind, even those with the highest carbohydrate and calorie counts will work as long as you eat them raw or steamed. The key is to eat nothing else: no butter, dressing, sauce, oil, dip, salt and no beverages other than black coffee, unsweetened tea or, best of all, plain water. Even the most unruly appetite will find it hard to eat more than a few hundred calories and your system will flush itself out for days.
2. Soup day.
Convince yourself that you’ve just had dental work and couldn’t chew if your life depended on it. Give yourself a day or two with only soups that require no chewing. Ignore the expensive stew-like concoctions and aim for the cheaper varieties that are broth-based: consommé, vegetable, oxtail, celery, cabbage, French onion (no cheese), miso, or egg drop. Avoid anything that is creamed like the plague and stay away from accompaniments such as bread, crackers, and croutons.
3. Steamed or poached fish.
Any kind of fish, including shellfish, works wonders in nudging our body fat along and those omega-3 oils help everything. The easiest way to prepare any fish is to steam it or poach it in water or clam juice in the oven. Allow yourself a squeeze of lemon but shun butter, oil, sauce, and capers. Not only will you break through that plateau but you’ll be healthier for it.
4. Hard-boiled eggs.
Skip this method if you have a dangerously high cholesterol condition but for most of us, a day or two on even a large number of eggs won’t have any permanent effects on our cholesterol levels. Are you familiar with how filling just one or two hard-boiled eggs can be? Unless you’re Cool Hand Luke, you’ll find it hard to eat more than six eggs throughout the day. Use no condiments and drink huge quantities of water to quench the thirst they will surely generate.
5. Cottage cheese.
Years of weight watching have taught me to like, if never really love, cottage cheese. As a substitute for potatoes or rice, it definitely has its place. However, on its own, it quickly becomes downright boring, like eating creamed chalk. It does, however, contain good protein and rapidly raises the level of your blood sugar to alleviate headaches, light-headedness, and hunger pangs. Try it alone for a couple of days and by the second afternoon you’ll not even be hungry and may choose to skip your evening portion.
A huge bowl of salad greens can fill you up with barely a hint of calories. The secret is to avoid the non-salad enhancers we usually add for flavor and variety. No croutons, no fruit, no cheese, no beans, no seeds, no nuts, and absolutely no dressing. A squeeze of lemon or lime is acceptable but not even the lowest calorie dressing is allowed for this experimental period.
7. Green tea.
The merits of green tea have been trumpeted in the media for the past few years and it does seem to have some secret properties that help our bodies hum along more efficiently. Make it the centerpiece of your diet for a day or two, consuming as many pots as you can brew. If the liquid alone can’t keep you going, combine with one of the other suggestions here.
8. Liquid protein.
Pure protein, without any carbohydrates or fats, is a miracle worker for weight loss when combined with a copious intake of liquids (a pure protein regimen generates almost constant thirst). There are canned protein drinks to sip through a straw and powders to be mixed into thin shakes. Easiest of all is to take a few spoonfuls of protein syrup throughout the day. Your hunger will stay in check, your scales will start to respond, and you’ll free up a lot of time to spend doing something more important to the world than simply chowing down.
9. Fad diets.
Fad diets have a bad name because they are ineffective over the long haul. We’re not looking at the long haul now – you already have your diet, whatever you chose. We are looking for a short term jolt to get our bodies back on the losing track. Pick whatever two or three day fad diet you like and stick to it religiously. It will do the trick of scaring your body into giving up some of its fat and then you can return to your long term “sensible” diet until the next plateau hits.
I am somewhat reluctant to mention this, despite its proved effectiveness over thousands of years, because we are looking at short term jumpstarts and the first three days of fasting can be difficult – after about the fourth day, your body stops craving food and the true benefits of fasting kick in. However, if you’re really frustrated and willing to do anything to get your weight moving, a few days of eating nothing at all will work wonders. Educate yourself a little first, reading up on water and juice fasts, and don’t pursue this for more than a few days unless you have considerable prior experience or know a fasting expert to turn to for advice.