You know the drill when it comes to losing weight: take in fewer calories, burn more calories. A study of 76 undergraduate students found the more they watched television, the more often they ate and the more they ate overall. Whether that’s a floor, a couple of windows, the shower stall, bathroom tile, or your car, a 150-pound person will burn about four calories for every minute spent cleaning.
It’s stunning how often we eat out of boredom, nervousness, habit, or frustration—so often, in fact, that many of us have actually forgotten what physical hunger feels like.
One study found that eating in front of mirrors slashed the amount people ate by nearly one-third.
The reason we’re suggesting 45 minutes instead of the typical 30 is that a Duke University study found that while 30 minutes of daily walking is enough to prevent weight gain in most relatively sedentary people, exercise beyond 30 minutes results in weight and fat loss.
After dinner, wash all the dishes, wipe down the counters, turn out the light, and, if necessary, tape closed the cabinets and refrigerator. In a study of 10 obese women conducted at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, 20 minutes of walking reduced appetite and increased sensations of fullness as effectively as a light meal. Conversely, the more food in front of you, the more you’ll eat—regardless of how hungry you are. You’re more likely to eat more—and eat more high-fat, high-calorie foods—when you eat out than when you eat at home. If you eat your dinner restaurant style on your plate rather than family style, helping yourself from bowls and platters on the table, you’ll lose weight. A study published in the Journal of Physiological Behavior found that we tend to eat more when we eat with other people, most likely because we spend more time at the table.
A body of research out of Pennsylvania State University finds that eating water-rich foods such as zucchini, tomatoes, and cucumbers during meals reduces your overall calorie consumption. You can eat twice as much pasta salad loaded with veggies like broccoli, carrots, and tomatoes for the same calories as a pasta salad sporting just mayonnaise. Fancy coffee drinks from trendy coffee joints often pack several hundred calories, thanks to whole milk, whipped cream, sugar, and sugary syrups.
Studies find that people who eat cereal for breakfast every day are significantly less likely to be obese and have diabetes than those who don’t. They provide lots of flavor with no fat and few calories, plus they turn up your digestive fires, causing your body to temporarily burn more calories. For the calories in one kid-size box of apple juice, you can enjoy an apple, orange, and a slice of watermelon. Studies have found that overweight people who ate a moderate-fat diet containing almonds lost more weight than a control group that didn’t eat nuts. Studies find that the more you eat in the morning, the less you’ll eat in the evening. That clean, minty freshness will serve as a cue to your body and brain that mealtime is over. We will use your email address to send you the newsletter each week, and we may also send you occasional special offers from Reader's Digest.
You must have observed that most quick weight loss plans and weight loss diets rarely work as promised.
Here’s the secret weight-loss advice used by the folks on The Biggest Loser and other reality shows.
Doing any of these can save you about 100 calories a day, and that alone is enough to prevent you from gaining the two pounds most people mindlessly pack on each year. Scrub for 30 minutes and you could work off approximately 120 calories, the same number in a half-cup of vanilla frozen yogurt. So serve up dinner on blue plates, dress in blue while you eat, and cover your table with a blue tablecloth. Having to look yourself in the eye reflects back some of your own inner standards and goals, and reminds you of why you’re trying to lose weight in the first place. A brisk five-minute walk every two hours will parlay into an extra 20-minute walk by the end of the day. Burning an additional 300 calories a day with three miles of brisk walking (45 minutes should do it) could help you lose 30 pounds in a year without even changing how much you’re eating. Intersperse your eating with stories for your dining partner of the amusing things that happened during your day. The idea of having to buy a whole new wardrobe if you gain the weight back will serve as a strong incentive to stay fit. Late-evening eating significantly increases the overall number of calories you eat, a University of Texas study found. Adding 2,000 steps will help you maintain your current weight and stop gaining weight; adding more than that will help you lose weight. So instead of using regular dinner plates that range these days from 10 to 14 inches (making them look empty if they’re not heaped with food), serve your main course on salad plates (about 7 to 9 inches wide). Restaurants today serve such large portions that many have switched to larger plates and tables to accommodate them. Most of us tend to eat an average of 150 percent more calories in the evening than in the morning. But eating with your significant other or your family, and using table time for talking in between chewing, can help cut down on calories. Cut down on the chips by pairing each bite with lots of chunky, filling fresh salsa, suggests Jeff Novick, director of nutrition at the Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa in Florida. They also consume more fiber and calcium—and less fat—than those who eat other breakfast foods.
These whole foods will keep you satisfied much longer than that box of apple juice, so you’ll eat less overall.
And you have more opportunities to burn off those early-day calories than you do to burn off dinner calories. If you're trying to drop a few pounds fast, these expert tips will make it easy for you to lose the weight quickly. Studies found that people who keep food diaries wind up eating about 15 percent less food than those who don’t. A University of Vermont study found that online weight-loss buddies help you keep the weight off. Your brain lags your stomach by about 20 minutes when it comes to satiety (fullness) signals. Other active ideas: a tennis match, a guided nature or city walk (check your local listings), a bike ride, or bowling. Instead of 16-ounce glasses and oversized coffee mugs, return to the old days of 8-ounce glasses and 6-ounce coffee cups. If you eat a 1:1 ratio of grains to veggies, the high-fiber veggies will help satisfy your hunger before you overeat the grains.
While avoiding sugar, white rice, and white flour, however, you should eat plenty of whole-grain breads and brown rice. You can also pack up baby carrots or your own trail mix with nuts, raisins, seeds, and dried fruit.
Watch out for weekends: A University of North Carolina study found people tend to consume an extra 115 calories per weekend day, primarily from alcohol and fat.
One theory is that sniffing the food tricks the brain into thinking you’re actually eating it.
If you eat slowly enough, your brain will catch up to tell you that you are no longer in need of food. Because the body processes hunger and thirst through different mechanisms, it simply doesn’t register a sense of fullness with water (or soda, tea, coffee, or juice). Bonus: Fiber is highly beneficial for preventing constipation, which can make you look bloated. One Harvard study of 74,000 women found that those who ate more than two daily servings of whole grains were 49 percent less likely to be overweight than those who ate the white stuff. Part-skim ricotta cheese has just 39 calories in one ounce, packed with fat releasing calcium.
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. Then cut out or down calories from spreads, dressings, sauces, condiments, drinks, and snacks; they could make the difference between weight gain and loss. 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. And research shows that despite the calories, sugary drinks don’t trigger a sense of fullness the way that food does. Also, avoid partially hydrogenated foods, and look for more than two grams of fiber per 100 calories in all grain products. You’ll get the nutritional benefits of skim milk, which is high in calcium and low in calories. Dark chocolate has about 168 calories in a one-ounce square, but it’s packed with fat releasers.
The best way to lose those extra pounds and keep it off is to follow a low calorie diet plan that is healthy and which you can consistently follow and stick to for a longer period. And, because the water has been removed, powdered milk doesn’t dilute the coffee the way skim milk does.
And a University of Tennessee study found that people who cut 500 calories a day and ate yogurt three times a day for 12 weeks lost more weight and body fat than a group that only cut the calories. By following a low-calorie and low-cholesterol diet and making few simple changes in your lifestyle and eating habits, you can reduce your calorie intake and effectively and healthfully lose weight without sweating it out too much. The researchers concluded that the calcium in low-fat dairy foods triggers a hormonal response that inhibits the body’s production of fat cells and boosts the breakdown of fat.
These easy weight-loss tweaks will help you get a body that is not only healthy but also more energetic.
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