December 30, 2013
I used to have a game I'd give to people who would attend an early morning bootcamp I taught at the park.
It went like this:
-You pair up with a partner and a deck of cards and deal each other a full deck of cards, alternating card by card.
-If you're dealt any card from 2 to 10, you do that number of push-ups.
-If you're dealt an Ace, you do 5 burpees. If you get a Jack, you do 10 jumping jacks. A Queen is 10 mountain climbers, a King 10 squats. And the dreaded joker was a wild card for which your partner got to choose any exercise and have you do 10 of them.
One of my friends – Michael Volkin, a sergeant in the US military, has taken a similar concept and put it on freaking steroids. He has a deck of cards called the “Strength Stack 52”. It goes like this:
Each card in the 52 card deck has a different body weight exercise on it.
Each card is color coded by muscles group: blue: cardio, red: core, pink: back, yellow: legs, orange: arms, green: chest
Each card has an exercise, silhouette of the exercise being performed, a description of how to perform the exercise and a suggested number of repetitions for each exercise.
Each card has a QR code. When scanned with any number of free smartphone apps (i.e. i-nigma), you can see a video of the exercise being performed. A bit.ly shortlink is also on each card so you can watch the exercise video by simply typing in a short address into the URL of any browser.
Pretty cool, huh?
Michael also likes to figure out unique and new ways to boost the metabolism and burn fat faster. Below, he shares with use how a light switch, and other household items, can help you lose weight. Enjoy!
How a Light Switch, and other Household Items, Can Help You Lose Weight
When I was 19, I could eat whatever I wanted and not worry about the intake of calories. Fast-forward a couple decades and those “glory days” are long over. However, losing weight isn’t as difficult as it may seem. Even common household items you have in your house right now can help you burn calories and lose weight without ever hearing the dreaded word “diet”. Below are a few of my favorite household items that can help you consume less calories.
Aromas can influence your thought patterns. That’s not an opinion, it’s a scientific fact. The smell of vanilla can quell the cravings of needless calories from mindless snacking. Try lighting a vanilla-scented candle when you sense a snack craving approaching. Smelling a bottle of vanilla extract or wearing vanilla-scented lotion will also work to quell your cravings the next time you want to snack on something sweet.
Peppermint toothpaste is proven to suppress appetites. Brushing your teeth right after dinner sends a signal to your brain that you’re done eating and discourages you from eating that calorie packing bedtime snack. While you’re at it, don’t forget to floss!
Note from Ben: be sure to use natural, organic toothpaste. I personally use Dental Herb Company Tooth and Gum Paste.
-Your TV Remote
The average person spends five hours a day in front of the television. Imagine how many calories you could burn turning off your TV for just 30 minutes and flipping 10 Strength Stack 52 bodyweight exercise cards. Flip 10 cards for a quick solo workout or play a fitness game with your family or friends in the room. This burns so many more calories than lying lifeless in front of the TV.
-Eat off Smaller Plates
Countless studies have concluded that the larger your plates and bowls, the more food you serve yourself. Serve yourself food from a smaller plate and you will feel just as full and satisfied compared to a normal sized plate.
Log into Facebook and announce you’re going to lose X amount of weight. Now, you’re accountable to others and motivated by the ones who care about you. Studies have proven that while trying to lose weight, being accountable to someone other than yourself increases your chances dramatically that you will reach your weight loss goals.
-The Light Switch
A Cornell University study concluded the secret to eating less and feeling more satisfied about what you eat could be to simply turn down the lights. Researchers found people who ate a meal under soft lighting consumed 175 fewer calories than those who ate in a brightly lit room. The participants who dined under mood lighting ate 18% less food and also rated their food “more enjoyable” than those eating under bright lights. Scientists theorize that's because the bright fluorescent lights commonly found in fast food restaurants may create a psychological need to rush through meals and eat more. So do your belly a favor; get romantic and light a candle at dinner.
Even More Fat Loss Tips
If you enjoyed those tips from Michael, you'll probably also like these previous resources from BenGreenfieldFitness:
–How To Stop Carbohydrate Cravings (audio)
–How To Fight Candy Cravings (article)
Questions, comments or feedback about how to use common household items to lose weight? Have your own items to add? Leave your thoughts below, and be sure to check out the Strength Stack 52 bodyweight exercise cards.