10 Really Good Diet Hacks

Every year, billions of authors publish trillions of diet books with complicated schemes and demands to buy their pills, powders and lotions.

Today, I’m going to give you …10 Really Good Diet Hacks…guaranteed to help you drop a bunch of body-fat…without forcing you to read a 300 page book or buy any diet pills or drinks.

diet hacks 10 Really Good Diet Hacks

1.    Eat a Big Breakfast

Your grandma was right. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Egg Crepe 10 Really Good Diet Hacks

What Grandma didn’t know was that eating a big breakfast helps reduce hunger and promotes weight loss.

In one study comparing a Big Breakfast Diet with the uber-effective low carb / Atkins style diet plan…

After four months of dieting:

  • The Low Carb Dieters lost approximately 28 pounds
  • The Big Breakfast Dieters lost about 23 pounds

Both groups did well, losing between 6 and 7 pounds per month…with Low Carb beating Big Breakfast

However…after eight months of dieting:

  • The low carb dieters had regained an average of 18 pounds. This produced a net loss of 10 pounds over 8 months – an average of 1 1/4 pounds per month.
  • The Big Breakfast Dieters lost another 16 1/2 pounds during the maintenance phase. This produced a net loss of 39 1/2 pounds – an average of 5 pounds per month.

As an added bonus, at the end of the study, the Big Breakfast Dieters reported that they experienced less hunger and fewer cravings for carbohydrates than the low carb group.

Next Page – Macronutrient Timing

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Doug Robb is a personal trainer, a fitness blogger and author, a competitive athlete, a social media nerd and a student of nutrition and exercise science. Since 2008, Doug has brought his real-world experience online via his health & fitness blog, Health Habits.

33 Comments

  1. craig

    April 11, 2014 at 8:38 am

    What is this ‘eat low fat’ nonsense? Have I gone back to the 60’s? Stopped reading at point 2…..

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  4. GwendolynBridgetOptimism

    January 2, 2012 at 5:27 am

    Why should I take fish oil specifically at night? Would you be able to do an article on when the best time to take supplements is? I am never sure! :(

    Thanks – I love your stuff!

    • healthhabits

      January 11, 2012 at 3:25 pm

      There is no advantage (that I am aware of) to timing your fish oil suppements. Fat soluble supplements (vit e, fish oils obviously) are absorbed by your bady and used as needed. Unlike water soluble nutrients (like vit c) which result in excess being excreted as waste

  5. nduhamel

    December 28, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    Good list except krill oil is not vegetarian. Flax oil or a specialized vegan Omega 3 supplement are good vegetarian options.

  6. Pea Protein Powder

    December 23, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    Stop eating bread is a great one! I have also tried using plant based protein powders to great effect. Getting that protein in on a daily basis helps stop those cravings which is a definite killer!

  7. troy.pesola

    December 20, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    What do you think of Intermittent Fasting? After reading the research from Brad Pilon and Martin Berkhan I jumped on the bandwagon – even though I love breakfast foods more than anything else.

    http://cubedwellerfitness.com/2011/06/quit-eating-breakfast-intermittent-fasting/

    I know you are right with #6 “stop eating bread”, but … I just can’t stop. I like it too much.

    • hivehealthmedia

      December 22, 2011 at 8:48 am

      Troy, Intermittent Fasting actually has a fair amount of scientific support. On the other hand, if you love breakfast food / bread, you might find it pretty difficult to incorporate in your diet. I tried intermittent fasting–regularly for 2 weeks, and I did seem to get quick results, but it takes a ton of dedication to stick to it on a sustained basis. Martin’s protocol’s also probably work best if you have flexible work hours. -Jarret (not Doug) @troy.pesola

      • troy.pesola

        December 22, 2011 at 9:51 am

        @hivehealthmedia Jarret,

        Thanks for the response.

        My solution was simply to eat breakfast foods for my first meal … lunch. ;)

    • healthhabits

      January 11, 2012 at 3:38 pm

      @Troy

      Personally, it doesn’t help with fat loss, but I have had a few clients thrive on it. No hunger pangs and a good amount of fat loss

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  9. qwerty

    April 11, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    But what if I like eating porridge oats for breakfast…

    I see the logic but the point I was trying to make was/is that its not so straightforward, there are no “catch all” rules, every rule has its “BUT!”‘s and you have just illustrated them beautifully in your contradictory article.

    And I don’t see why you’d need any extra sugar drinks if your trying to lose weight. Every lost calorie counts as far as I feel and consuming more via a liquid form I can drink fast and which leave me feeling just as hungry by the time I get home for dinner as I would had I had nothing or a simple satsuma makes no sense to me at all. But then I’m trying to lose weight, not everyone doing the same 2 hour workout is also trying to lose weight and some may need the extra sugar drinks. I just don’t advocate this for weight loss myself.

    P.S: Do you have any science on the storage of energy with/without the cardiovascular work out rate? I would be interested to read real life scientific studies on this.

    • healthhabits

      April 12, 2011 at 5:38 am

      Hi qwerty

      I agree with your position on rules.

      When it comes to nutrition, health, obesity, etc… this is how I see it:

      There are highly nutritious foods & foods devoid of nutrition
      There are foods that you love to eat & foods that you avoid like the plague
      There are foods that lead to obesity & foods that don’t
      There are also ways of combining foods into meals that are healthy & not healthy – taste great & taste like prison food.

      How you choose to eat is decided by a whole host of factors. If we ignore everything else except health & nutrition, you would probably choose all healthy food. But, as you noted about porridge for breakfast, nutrition isn’t the only deciding factor.

      Based on my research, a big bowl of oatmeal isn’t the best breakfast you could choose – inflammatory response to grains, relative lack of protein, the sugar most people dump all over it, etc.

      But, it is also far from the worst breakfast you could eat and the pleasure you derive from eating it has to count towards improving mental health and generally being happy with your life.

      However (and I know that I am rambling) – if you were trying to lose weight and came to me for advice, I would probably recommend dumping the oatmeal or at least cutting back on the portion size and adding in some protein

      Re the drinks – if you are doing one of my workouts, you are setting up a hormonal situation in your body where sugar calories will go to your muscles for repair & growth and NOT be directed towards fat cells

      Start here for more info on the subject

  10. qwerty

    March 26, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    So on one hand you say “drink a sugar drink between workouts” re the peri workout, then you go say “stop drinking your calories”…confusing.

    You say “eat a big breakfast” but then say to “stop eating bread” and “stop eating junk food”, so what, eat a huge bowl of cereal and ignore the generally assumed fry-up (with toast) which most people assume is a big breakfast? but then I would consider breakfast cereal a processed and thus junk food item, what else would you eat? 100g of porridge? yesterdays pasta bake? bowl of soup…?

    And if your not supposed to be drinking your calories, smoothies are out, as much as I agree with this, a vast percentage of the population rely on smoothies for one of their 5 a day.

    These rules make sense but not in the same list, you need to decide what school of thought your going with before you create such a list or it just makes you look ignorant and uncompetant.

    • healthhabits

      March 26, 2011 at 6:01 pm

      @qwerty

      Let’s see if I can help you understand the logic:

      1. sugar calories consumed as part of a peri-workout nutrition program is more likely to be stored in muscle cells than fat cells. Sugar calories consumed during the lower activity periods of your day are more likely to be stored in your fat cells. That’s the difference – sugar for times of high physical activity & no sugar for times of low physical activity

      2. Breakfast doesn’t mean grains. For example, my breakfast this morning was scrambled eggs with spinach, onion & garlic

  11. Thomas Johnson

    March 26, 2011 at 5:20 am

    #2 macronutrient timing sound like a good theory. Might try that one.

  12. George Super Boot Camps

    March 26, 2011 at 4:33 am

    As others have done, I find I have to disagree a little.

    – what about home made, home ground partially digested bread?

    – don’t drink your calories? Are you not drinking your calories with fruit smoothies?

    – fibre with every meal? Agreed, how about replacing it with ‘eat veg at every meal’? (something that Dr John Berardi recommended that I quite like)

    Keep up the good work.
    George

  13. Alex

    March 25, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Talk about information that is useful! I will print this and hang it up next to my desk.

    Alex

  14. Sharona

    February 24, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    Love this list!

    My coworkers think I’m crazy for keeping a stash of fiber bars in my desk in addition to a bag of ground flax seed in the office kitchen to add to soups or smoothies I occasionally make in said kitchen as an afternoon snack. Three out of five of them have been doing Jenny Craig/Weight Watchers/etc for months with little to no results. Seriously, who’s the crazy one?

    • healthhabits

      February 25, 2011 at 1:00 pm

      Too bad they don’t model their behaviors after you

  15. Nancy

    February 18, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    I’m also going to need more abt peri-workout nutrition. Neither agreeing nor disagreeing, just need info.

    Also, I take my omega 3s in the morning to help with vitamin D absorption. Any benefit to switching to night?

  16. Yum Yucky

    December 15, 2009 at 9:40 am

    I need a do-over on #6. It’s not like me normally, but it was Christmas Party Bread. I had to overdose.

    do-over starts now.

  17. Liam | EverythingZing

    December 15, 2009 at 7:36 am

    This list is right up my street! “6. Stop Eating Bread ……Just stop it. Seriously” When are people going to get how much damage bread does to our waistlines? Glad to see you’ve got it healthhabits.

    • MakingFitHappen

      March 9, 2012 at 4:38 pm

      Funny, I’m sitting pretty at 10% body fat, yet I eat bread, wheat, rice. Bread isn’t the problem. Too much bread is the problem, just like too much everything else is the problem…

      • healthhabits

        March 9, 2012 at 10:06 pm

        We’re all built a little different – genetics & epigenetics

        I can’t begin to tell you how many clients I have had that have seen massive transformations after removing grains or sugar and replacing them with veg. A lot of them have stories of how they could eat anything when they were younger and never get fat. IMHO, they were laying the groundwork for future obsity…it just took time for them to become insulin resistant and for their increasing fat mass to start pumping out the hormones.

        With all that being said, I totally agree with moderation. If I had to eat nothing by bean sprouts & tuna to stay lean, I would choose to moderate my diet and be a littl overweight

  18. sangita

    December 15, 2009 at 3:36 am

    Great post! Great for fitness “babes in the woods” like myself! I am forwarding this to my friends. Loved the story about the Starbucks women! Also r u against all kinds of bread – I mean the multigrian, whole wheat etc? looking forward to the post on peri nutrition.

    • healthhabits

      December 17, 2009 at 9:53 am

      I LOVE bread.

      But, I don’t like love handles

  19. Robinsgothealth

    December 14, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    I am really interested in what you have to say about the Peri-workout Nutrition tomorrow. I will not disagree till I hear the whole story on why you suggest this.

    Thanks for sharing

    Yours in Health, Robin

  20. Steve Parker, M.D.

    December 14, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    I depend on my glycogen stores for energy during my workouts. Plain water for hydration, usually.

    Looking forward to your explanation why that’s sub-optimal.

    -Steve

  21. Josh

    December 14, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    I’m gonna go ahead and disagree about the peri-workout nutrition recommendation…

    • healthhabits

      December 14, 2009 at 3:39 pm

      how come?

  22. Brit

    December 14, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    “6. Stop Eating Bread”

    This is the one that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to follow.