To cut calories and lose weight, you have to eat right. That means no empty calories from unhealthy foods, including chips, cakes and cookies. Skip foods that contain simple carbohydrates and eliminate soda altogether. By drinking water and avoiding breads, you may reduce your caloric intake enough to lose weight. If not, opt for vegetable dishes over meat-based ones and choose non-fat dairy when you can.
You don't really want dessert, but your friends are having some, and they're urging you to join them. So you give in and order a piece of tiramisu. Sorry to say it, but you've just committed sociotropy, aka people pleasing, a behavior that can make you gain weight. In a recent study, women and men who regularly experienced negative emotions like guilt, anxiety, and anger, and were impulsive and disorganized, tended to be heavier than those who were more even-keeled. "Women score slightly higher than men on people-pleasing measures," says Julie Exline, PhD, an associate professor of psychology at Case Western Reserve University. That may be because guys are raised to be assertive while women are socialized to value relationships and "basically to be nicer," Exline explains. In other words, we're inclined to go along with what the rest of the group wants to do, which includes digging into the tiramisu after dinner. If you feel pressured to pig out, "tell your friends politely but firmly that you're fine with what you have and that you're not hungry for more right now," Exline advises. Hold your ground and your pals will get the message.
You likely keep almonds stocked in your pantry because they’re brimming with healthy fats that keep you slim and satiated. So what if we told you that swapping your sugary pre-workout snack with your favorite nut can help skyrocket your workout’s effectiveness? According to a study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, popping about 2.6 ounces of whole almonds increased cyclists’ endurance performance and improved oxygen utilization more than cookies did. Researchers suspect that almonds’ nutrients arginine and quercetin may contribute to these fat-burning effects.
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Getting enough decent sleep is also important to ensure a healthy hormone balance. Your body produces the most testosterone and growth hormone at night, which are key hormones for better body composition. Quality sleep also reduces the stress hormone called cortisol. When we’re sleep deprived, cortisol increases in order to keep your body running – but the result of this is lower ‘real’ energy, fatigue, food cravings and mental fog.
While it’s often assumed that bread is off-limits when you’re trying to lose belly fat, the right bread may actually expedite the process. Switching to sprouted bread can help out carb-lovers eager to get their fix without going up a belt size, thanks to the inulin content of sprouted grains. The results of a study published in Nutrition & Metabolism reveal that found that pre-diabetic study subjects whose diets were supplemented with inulin shaved off more belly fat and total weight than those whose meal plans didn’t pack this healthy prebiotic fiber.
You don’t have to go low-carb to ditch those extra pounds around your waist in a short period of time. In fact, opting for more whole grains might just get you there faster. Researchers at Tufts University have linked eating three or more daily servings of whole grains to as much as a 10 percent reduction in visceral body fat, the kind that ups your risk for chronic diseases, like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZVS9FaPvXc
A little garlic in your meals could mean a lot less weight around your middle. The results of a Korean study found that mice given a high-fat diet supplemented with garlic lost significantly more weight and abdominal fat than those who just ate fatty foods. Even better, they also improved their liver health, making it easier to stay healthy and burn off that excess fat in the long term. For more flavorful ways to make your food more enjoyable, turn to the 20 Spicy Recipes That Fire Up Your Metabolism and watch those pounds melt away.
The trick to keeping your appetite in check is avoiding foods that make you lose control. That's tough to do when you're surrounded by mouthwatering choices everywhere you go, but Stice says that a technique called mindful resistance can help. "If you're tempted to have a scone with your coffee at Starbucks, instead of thinking about how delicious it will taste, tell yourself you'll get health benefits such as a smaller waist or a healthier heart from not having it," he says. "Doing this actually changes your brain by strengthening the area that helps you resist things and weakening the region that makes you think of treats as a reward."
All of our RD experts agree: H2O is crucial for weight loss. “Water is so important when trying to lose weight since it helps to you feel full between meals,” says Amy Shapiro, RD, founder of Real Nutrition NYC in New York City. Here’s a simple hydration rule of thumb: Shoot to consume half as many ounces of water as your total body weight in pounds. (So if you weigh 180, sip on 90 ounces of water each day.)
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It's easy to overdo it when you're eating something delicious — and that's why it's good to focus on foods that will force you to slow down. "Slowing down can help you check in with your hunger levels. For that reason, I love snacking on 100-calorie packs of in-shell pistachios," Gorin says. "Shelling the pistachios helps you slow down your snacking, and the shells leave a visual cue to remind you of how much you've eaten. Because you're more in tune with what's gone into your mouth, you may be less likely to have extra servings." In one preliminary study, people snacking on in-shell pistachios ate 41% less calories than those who ate the shelled version. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxktmQ3zJOA
If you’re consistently hitting the weight rack and scheduling cardio kickboxing classes at your local gym, you’re already on your way to losing your gut. But stepping into your workout space isn’t the only way to ensure you’re getting the most out of that sweat sesh. If you’ve been sticking to your exercise regimen and not seeing the waist-trimming results you’d hoped for, don’t sweat it; we’ve got some science-backed ways to improve your fat-burning capacity and make every sweat droplet count.
While there may be no scientific studies showing it’s the ultimate fat burner, water will help fill you up more – something that staves off hunger and stops you overeating. A good trick is to drink one or two glasses of water 10 minutes before you eat a meal – especially if you’re out at a restaurant – this will help with dietary adherence and stop you over-eating. We advise clients to try and drink a litre of water per 25kg of bodyweight every single day.
Consuming too many starchy foods, such as potatoes, rice, pasta, and breads (especially at one sitting), provides your body with more than it needs for energy and glycogen stores; anything left over will be stored as fat. "You don't have to eliminate starchy carbs completely," says IFBB pro Mike Matarazzo. "But you should really cut back on them when trying to shed body fat." Limit total starch servings per day to 3-5, where a serving size is one cup of pasta, rice, or sliced potatoes.
With potatoes, leave the skin on (with baked or mashed potatoes) or if you peel them, make snacks of them. For example, drizzle olive oil, rosemary, salt, and garlic on the peels and bake at 400 F (205 C) for fifteen minutes for baked Parmesan garlic peels. Keeping the skin on potatoes when cooking them helps keep more vitamins/minerals in the flesh (just don't eat any parts of skin that are green).