A University of Vermont study found that online weight-loss buddies help you keep the weight off. The researchers followed volunteers for 18 months. Those assigned to an Internet-based weight maintenance program sustained their weight loss better than those who met face-to-face in a support group. These are 50 easy ways to lose weight without a lick of exercise.
How you eat can be just as important as what you eat, and one of the easiest things to control is how fast you chew. “Eating slowly and chewing each bite thoroughly ensures you only eat as much as your body needs,” says Tehzeeb Lalani, clinical nutritionist and proprietor of Scale Beyond Scale. It takes about 20 minutes for the “I’m full” signal to reach your brain. Another trick to feeling full? Eat plenty of the best proteins for weight loss.
It's a one-time investment you'll never regret. Here's why: Strength training builds lean muscle tissue, which burns more calories — at work or at rest — 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The more lean muscle you have, the faster you'll slim down. How do you start strength training? Try some push-ups or a few squats or lunges. Use your free weights to perform simple bicep curls or tricep pulls right in your home or office. Do these exercises three to four times per week, and you'll soon see a rapid improvement.
Drinking water is a tried-and-true weight-loss tactic. It reduces cravings, increases energy, fills you up during meals, and helps you stay full longer. But… it’s so boring! “Set yourself up for success by keeping water on hand at all times,” Battistelli says. “If you’re craving bubbles, try switching to unsweetened sparkling waters.” Another idea: Try any of these 10 delicious fruit-infused water recipes.
Losing weight can be tough. Yes, there are a plethora of diets, workout routines, and pills out there that seem like a roadmap to the weight-loss promised land. But at the end of the day, keeping pounds off involves tweaking your lifestyle. Natural weight loss, which involves adopting healthy habits that you can incorporate long-term, can help that number on the scale go down in a safe, effective way.
Eat regular meals or snacks every 2-4 hours. Skipping meals isn’t the answer to losing weight, and it may even derail your efforts. Food gives you energy, so going too long without eating can leave you feeling tired, which decreases your activity level. Additionally, it triggers your body to crave high-calorie, high-sugar snacks for a quick energy boost. Instead of starving yourself, plan frequent, healthy meals.[3]
Drinking water is a tried-and-true weight-loss tactic. It reduces cravings, increases energy, fills you up during meals, and helps you stay full longer. But… it’s so boring! “Set yourself up for success by keeping water on hand at all times,” Battistelli says. “If you’re craving bubbles, try switching to unsweetened sparkling waters.” Another idea: Try any of these 10 delicious fruit-infused water recipes.
Work indulgence foods into your calorie plan. If you do want to have something that is a little higher in calories, then make sure that you work it into your overall calorie goal for the day. For example, if you are following an 1,800 calorie plan, and you want to have a brownie that is 300 calories, then you would only have 1,500 calories left for the day.
Why? This sweet, rich oil was shown to do some pretty nifty things for abdominally obese women in a 2009 study out of Brazil, including decreasing their waist circumference, increasing beneficial HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol and improving the ratio of “bad” LDL (low-density lipoprotein) to “good” HDL cholesterol. And in populations where coconut oil is commonly eaten, high cholesterol levels and heart disease are not common.
The final possible culprit behind stubborn weight issues may be the stress hormone, cortisol. Too much cortisol will increase hunger levels, bringing along subsequent weight gain. The most common cause of elevated cortisol is chronic stress and lack of sleep (see tip #10), or cortisone medication (tip #9). It’s a good idea to try your best to do something about this.
This technique is a great way for the digestive system to catch up and burn calories, says Patrick. He believes it can help teach the body to use its stored fat for energy. “I myself practice intermittent fasting by finishing my last meal of the day no later than 8 p.m. and then fasting until noon the following day. This gives my body a full 16 hours to totally process everything in my digestive tract and rely on my stored fat for energy,” he shares. “Disclaimer: Everyone’s body is different. You should assess your own response to this with regards to energy levels. It gets easier with practice.” Be sure to check with your doctor before trying any type of fasting. You’ll also want to try these 42 fast, easy tips to lose weight fast.
After dinner, wash all the dishes, wipe down the counters, turn out the light, and, if necessary, tape closed the cabinets and refrigerator. Late-evening eating significantly increases the overall number of calories you eat, a University of Texas study found. Learning how to stop late-night snacking can save 300 or more calories a day, or 31 pounds a year.
Make sure that you don't get hungry by eating small portions throughout the day at regular intervals. Between your meals, eat a 150-calorie snack to keep your metabolism burning and to stave off hunger. Be sure that you don't eat a fattening snack such as sweets or crisps. When you're hungry, your body conserves calories and slows down your metabolic processes.
Avoid sweetened drinks. Drinks that are sweetened, whether artificially or naturally, will have little nutritional value and add lots of empty calories to your diet. Do not drink fruit juice or other sweetened drinks. Even natural sugars will increase your daily calorie intake and prevent weight loss. If you chose to drink juice, do not exceed 4 oz per day (1/2 cup). Instead of drinking sweetened beverages throughout your day, drink unsweetened, calorie-free beverages. Some beverages to avoid include:
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One of the biggest reasons why more vegetables can aid in weight loss is the addition of added fiber. Nutritionist Kimberly Snyder, CN, New York Times best-selling author of the Beauty Detox series and author of the new 30-Day Roadmap for Healthy Weight Loss, says increasing your fiber intake will help you slim down. “Fiber helps to fill you up without adding extra calories,” she explains. “Fiber is cleansing, versus trying to get full from eating dense fat or protein alone. Eat lots of veggies and soups and smoothies (versus juice alone, which has the fiber removed).”
Often times, we think the best weight-loss strategies start with a lofty exercise program. But the reality is that workouts are only one part of the picture, and there are a slew of recommendations for how much exercise we should be getting on a regular basis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for example, recommends that adults should exercise 150 minutes a week at a moderate intensity, or incorporate 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Meanwhile, a study published in Circulation found that the amount of exercise we get has a direct relationship to our heart health—the more you get, the healthier your heart will be—and they suggest two full hours a day as the new goal.
If you drink regular, go to 2%. If you already drink 2%, go down another notch to 1% or skim milk. Each step downward cuts the calories by about 20 percent. Once you train your taste buds to enjoy skim milk, you’ll have cut the calories in the whole milk by about half and trimmed the fat by more than 95 percent. One disclaimer: There are times when fat-free dairy isn’t the best option.
Fermented foods: These enhance the function of good bacteria while inhibiting the growth of bad bacteria. Sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, yogurt, tempeh, and miso all contain good amounts of probiotics, which help to increase good bacteria. Researchers have studied kimchi widely, and study results suggest that it has anti-obesity effects. Similarly, studies have shown that kefir may help to promote weight loss in overweight women.
You’ve heard of a self-fulfilling prophecy? If you keep focusing on things you can’t do, like resisting junk food or getting out the door for a daily walk, chances are you won’t do them. Instead (whether you believe it or not) repeat positive thoughts to yourself. “I can lose weight.” “I will get out for my walk today.” “I know I can resist the pastry cart after dinner.” Repeat these phrases and before too long, they will become true for you.
Control Your Environments. Another simple strategy to help cut calories is to control your environment -- everything from stocking your kitchen with lots of healthy options to choosing the right restaurants. That means avoiding the temptation by staying away from all-you-can-eat restaurants. And when it comes to parties, "eat a healthy snack before so you won't be starving, and be selective when you fill your plate at the buffet," suggests Ward. Before going back for more food, wait at least 15 minutes and have a big glass of water.
Chronic stress may increase levels of stress hormones such as cortisol in your body. This can cause increased hunger and result in weight gain. If you’re looking to lose weight, you should review possible ways to decrease or better handle excessive stress in your life. Although this often demands substantial changes, even altering small things – such as posture – may immediately affect your stress hormone levels, and perhaps your weight.
The bacteria in your gut influence your entire body, including your weight. Give the good bugs some backup by filling up on probiotic-rich foods, like yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, and other fermented foods. Yogurt makes you gag? Another option is to take a probiotic supplement every day, says Chanté Wiegand, ND, director of education at The Synergy Company. “Certain healthy bacteria in the gut predispose you to a faster metabolism,” she says.
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