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NGN Hacks

Exercise Hacks

Exercise Hacks 

Hack 1 – No matter what exercise you’re doing, always suck your belly button into your lower back. This ensures that you’re protecting your lower back at all times and helps prevent injuries developing. (Chapter 3)

Hack 2 – If you want to reduce your blood pressure and increase your deep sleep cycles, exercise in the morning, before 11am. A study conducted by Appalachian State University found that those who exercised in the morning spent up to 75% more time in reparative “deep sleep” than those who exercised later in the day. (Chapter 4 – body weight)

Hack 2 – Look at adding intermittent fasting to your diet. Studies show that you can lose 2-3 pounds (0.9-1.3 kg) per week. Start with fasting for 12 hours each day and work your way up to 16-20 hours (with 20 hours being the maximum time to fast) per day. This is a great way to burn excess body fat quickly and safely. Make sure you check this diet out properly before starting it! (Chapter 4 – body weight)

Hack 4 – Eat less than 75 grams of carbs per day while you’re looking to lose weight. 75 grams is equal to 1.5 cups of rice, 2 slices of bread and 18 ounces of cola. Doing this one thing can help you to lose up to 3 pounds (1.3 kg) per week plus whatever you lose working out. (Chapter 4 – body weight)

Hack 5 – If you get bored when you’re exercising, it’s because you’re not enjoying what you’re doing. If this is you, then here are a few more options to consider:

Dance (think Zumba)

Hula hooping (bonus section included on this!)

Take your exercise outdoors. I find that this changes things for me enough to keep me from getting too bored – after all, I’m only exercising for 30 minutes! (Chapter 5 – body weight)

Hack 6 – Still feeling bored? Then try turning your workout into a game! There is a great iOS app called Teemo that takes you on virtual adventures during your workout. If you like to run and have an Android phone, then Ingress is another virtual world that you might like to check out too. (Chapter 5 – body weight)

Hack 7 – Let’s talk about the cheat day. Here’s what you need to do: Pick a 24-hour period (I find Friday night through Saturday night works really well!). Eat whatever you want during this period that you choose not to eat during the week – things like pizza, pasta, sweets, fast food, etc., etc.

Here are some hacks to minimise the fallout from your cheat day. These are taken from Tim Ferriss’s The 4-Hour Body, and if you want all the scientific research and data on why the process below works, you can read about it in his book.

Make the first meal of the day a proper healthy meal. Not a binge meal. Keep it normal and between 300-500 calories.

Drink 170 ml (6 oz.) of grapefruit juice before your second meal.

Before every meal on your cheat day, take the supplements A.G.G. or PAGG (the combo works out cheaper than taking each individual supplement)
Either squeeze a lemon over your food, drink a lime juice squeezed into water or drink Kombucha with each meal.

All 4 of these things will reduce the impact of any crappy foods you eat.

If you want to speed up the gastric emptying of all this crap, follow these tips:

- Drink 100-200mg caffeine at the most crap-laden meal/s or
- Drink 400 ml – nearly two cups (16 oz.) of cooled Yerba Mate tea

Lastly, you should aim to do brief exercises on this day. Definitely don’t do a massive cardio workout! Do this instead:

- 1-2 minutes of air squats wall tricep extensions chest pulls immediately prior to your main course
- 1-2 minutes of exercises (see above options) 1.5 hours following each binge meal (use your smartphone alarm to monitor this)

Do 30-50 reps of each exercise. [Source -] (Chapter 4 – body weight)

Hack 8 – Looking to replace dumbbells? Use 1-litre, 1.5-litre and 2-litre bottles. Where possible, make sure they are filled only with water. You don’t want a bottle of Coke bursting on you mid-workout – believe me it’s not pretty! (Chapter 5 – weighted)

Hack 9 – Don’t have kettle bells? You can use bulk bags of sugar, rice, flour, etc., anything that you can purchase in bulk and weighs more than 2.2 lbs (1kg). (Chapter 5 – weighted)

Lifestyle Hacks

Hack 1 – If you struggle with staying productive when you need to get stuff done, you should try using a couple of different productivity apps. I personally use Focus@Will, which I play when I need to focus and block out everything else. It times the block of time I’ve set aside with a timer and plays my choice of music, which is normally classical – helps me focus and keeps me on track.

Another option is the Pomodoro Technique, which a lot of people have used successfully as well. Similar to Focus@Will, the premise behind this technique is that you should have a break for every 25 minutes of focused work you do. So you set the Pomodoro timer and it will ding when you’ve done 25 minutes of work and time your 5-minute break. This is perfect if you struggle to stay on task and need more breaks.

Hack 2 – Email is the bane of my existence, it really is! It interrupts my day and has me hopping around from task to task if I let it. So just like Tim Ferriss recommended in his book “The 4-Hour Work Week”, I now batch my emails and only look at them 3 times throughout the day.

If someone needs to reach me urgently, they can call me, text me, ping me on Twitter or a variety of other methods. But email – that is one of the slower ways to get through. I’ve also used Sane Later, a great plugin for your email that will save your inbox once trained! It takes 2 weeks to learn where you want your email to go and then it magically makes your inbox messages fit to one page! I love it and you will too.

Hack 3 – Learn to apply the 2-minute rule to everything that comes across your desk or even just in your everyday life. The premise behind this rule is that if a task lands on your plate, you ask yourself, can I do this in less than 2 minutes? If you can, then do it. If it will take longer, add it to your to-do list and take care of it at a later point. See also “do it now unless it takes longer than a minute” rule.

Hack 4 – If you’re into bio-hacks, then you’ll love this one. Add butter to your coffee every morning. Now you can’t just use any type of butter, it needs to be organic, grass-fed butter. You should also add a tablespoon of coconut oil or MCT. This will lead to hours of hunger-free energy and focus, perfect for helping with your weight-loss or maintenance program.

Hack 5 – Do you always take free food if it’s offered to you? I do, I’m a foodie but I am also a bit of a tight ass and if I can get something like food for free, then I will. However, that is not very conducive to a healthy lifestyle. So now, I run the following question through my head (unless it’s cheat day!), “If it weren’t free, would I stop and buy it?” If it doesn’t pass this question, then I turn it down. It hurts, but I love my body more than free food.

Hack 6 – I found the act of physically writing it down made it more real for me and created the habit faster. You can learn more about this by reading the article in full at

Food Hacks

Hack 1 – Eggs should be on your list for healthy eating, but they can take a while to cook and can be messy. Plus, I’m not a fan of making eggs first thing in the morning; my tummy can’t stomach the texture at 6am. So instead, I make omelettes in a muffin tin. Instead of using whole eggs, opt for egg whites (you can have 1-2 yolks in there). Prepare your omelette mixture like normal and then dispense into your muffin tin. Cook and serve hot or pop in the fridge and have for breakfast the next few mornings – delicious and super easy.

Hack 2 – Soup is another way to fill yourself up without adding calories into your diet. If you prefer yours creamy like I do, puree your veggies and make a soup out of them instead. Blend your veggies with a low-fat milk or broth and then heat. I personally love cauliflower and Parmesan; they taste great together.

Hack 3 – If you love brownies (and who doesn’t?!) then you’ll also know how much gluten is in them from the flour. Substitute black bean puree instead. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. It tastes the same but with fewer calories and it’s completely gluten-free!

Hack 4 – While rice is a healthier option as far as gluten-free eating is concerned, it is still a white carb and can leave you feeling pretty heavy. Swap it for Quinoa and you’ll notice the difference immediately. With 100% more protein than white rice, it’s a no-brainer and tastes very similar.

Hack 5 – Replace vegetable oil with coconut oil. Not only is this a healthier option, it’s also a great weight-loss option, as coconut oil contains 66% medium-chain triglyceride fats.

Hack 6 – Replace all of your flour with a gluten-free option or with something like coconut flour. It has fewer carbs than normal flour and 11 x the fibre levels than normal white flour. You won’t feel heavy on coconut flour.

Trying at least a couple of the hacks outlined above will ensure that you not only speed up your weight-loss process, but you’ll find yourself maintaining your idea weight easier and enjoying the body you’ve always wanted much quicker.

NGN Apps - Tracking and Measuring

When it comes to measuring, the easiest way to do this is to use an app to hold all your details or you can download my Google docs spreadsheet so that you can track and measure your progress and use the chart function to make comparisons. I’m a visual person, so I need to see things laid out in this way. If this doesn’t work for you, stick with the apps instead.

Here are some of the apps you can use to track and measure your progress:

Simplenote App – if you want to “write” your details down, this is a simplistic app that takes away all the fuss. I use this app to jot down what I did during my exercise session rather than taking down my measurements.

Tracker – Fitness and Nutrition Tracking – this app is great to not only track your workouts and weight/body fat, but you can also track your nutrition, which is great if you’re struggling to stay on top of the food you’re eating.

Weight Loss Tracker – this will purely track your weight and body fat, based on the information you provide it. It’s a nice, simple app for anyone that is looking to just track their weight loss or keep an eye on their weight for maintenance purposes. iPhone and Android compatible.

Fitlist – Workout & Fitness Tracker – this is my favourite. You can enter in your own workouts and track your progress over time. This is what I’m currently using in conjunction with my spreadsheet. iPhone and Android compatible.

I can’t reiterate enough how important it is to keep track of your weight loss/maintenance progress. Tracking and measuring are important to the success of your weight loss and it will also drive your maintenance program. If you struggle with doing something like this, then definitely use one of the suggested apps, preferably Fitlist, Honestly, if I wasn’t tracking my weight, I wouldn’t be able to gauge my progress and I also wouldn’t be able to monitor and make sure I am maintaining it.

Bonus Body-Weight Exercises

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