So maybe it’s time we turn the tables and instead look at fruits and veggies as a delicious way to “cheat” on a healthy weight loss diet. From fire-engine red bell peppers, and buttery-yellow zucchini, to juicy grapes as purple as wine, “eating enough produce seems to be one of the key elements in weight loss and weight maintenance,” says Dave Grotto, RD, LDN, dietitian and author of 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life.
In a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, one group of volunteers were given a meal of chicken with vegetables along with a glass of water. Another were given the same ingredients served as a blended soup. At intervals over the next 3 hours both groups were asked to rate their sense of fullness on a scale from one-to-ten. The soup group felt significantly less hungry.
Not in an extreme, Atkins sort of way, but having a little protein at every meal fires up your metabolism. "Your digestive system uses more energy to break it down, so you burn more calories," explains Lisa Dorfman, R.D. However, keep protein levels to between 20 and 35 percent of your diet; eating too much of it can cause kidney strain and may cause your body to store too much fat.
Green tea extract: Of the most popular weight loss ingredients, this seems to be one of the safest. However, it’s not guaranteed to work well enough to really cause noticeable results. Reported adverse effects may include headache and urinary tract infections, although these are rare. Possible benefits include a mild increase in energy expenditure and fat oxidation.
The amount of catechins in a cup of green tea varies depending on the precise type of tea, the ratio of tea to water, and how long it is left to infuse. A large Chinese trial investigated the effects of consuming green tea with different amounts of catechins on body weight and composition. Researchers randomly assigned 182 overweight participants to four groups. Each group was given a different type of green tea ranging from a control drink with the catechins extracted to one with extra catechins added. Subjects drank 2 cups a day for 90 days.
Studies show that eating breakfast plays a part in successful weight loss — almost 80 percent of people who successfully keep weight off chow down on this meal, according to a study published in Obesity Research. "Your metabolism slows as you sleep, and the process of digesting food revs it up again," explains Heller. Aim for a 300- to 400-calorie breakfast, such as a high-fiber cereal (another metabolism booster) with skim milk and fruit.
Think about it. Maybe you’re in a 3 p.m. slump and want a snack to get you through to dinner. Which will fill your belly better, a palmful of potato chips with 155 calories, or three cups of whole strawberries with 138 calories? A can of sweetened cola at 136 calories, or a heaping cup of grapes with about the same number? In each case, the produce lets you eat a lot more, fills you up fast, and keeps you full longer.
Knowing that dietary supplements — including weight loss pills, herbs, enzymes and teas — are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in ways that other medications are, you may be wondering if they’re safe to consume. (2) Better yet, do weight loss pills or other fat-burning supplements even work, making them worth any potential risks involved? Studies have found that risks of fat-burning supplements can include nausea, headaches, anxiety, indigestion and trouble sleeping. Most adverse effects are caused by factors like interactions with medications, ingesting too much caffeine or consuming “filler” ingredients not even listed on the product’s label. While weight loss products may possibly give you a lift in energy and mood, they likely won’t be enough to sustain any real weight loss without other lifestyle changes.
Regular inadequate sleep plays havoc with more than the bags under your eyes; it also interferes with hormones that regulate hunger and, as a result, sleep-deprived people tend to overeat. Boost your zzz’s by hitting the sack about one hour earlier each night. Learn 9 Tips to Get Better Sleep, and then eat 6 Evening Foods for a Better Night’s Sleep.
Meal prepping takes a few hours a week, but it's worth it: By getting your meals ready ahead of time, you won't be so tempted to order your go-to Chinese takeout when you're tired and hungry after work. "When you plan an entire week of dinner in advance, you're way less likely to go off course and indulge in foods that aren't good for you," says Pamela Salzman, a certified holistic health expert and cooking instructor. And since you planned things out, you'll actually get the protein, fruit, and veggies your body needs — and you'll lose weight in the process.
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. Most of us tend to eat an average of 150 percent more calories in the evening than in the morning. You’ll avoid that now because when your plate is empty, you’re finished; there’s no reaching for seconds.
It could be possible that the type of people who go on diets are those with a genetic propensity towards putting on weight, making them more apt to regain it. A large twin study was devised to test this theory. Researchers tracked the weight and height of 4129 twins from the age of 16 to 25 and collected information about the number of times they had intentionally lost weight on a diet. When they compared pairs of genetically identical (monozygotic) twins, one of which who had dieted in the past and one who had never dieted, they found that dieting increased the risk for accelerated weight gain independent of genetic factors.
Additionally, when applied topically to the skin in small amounts, grapefruit essential oil is an excellent diuretic and lymphatic stimulant — one reason why it’s included in many cellulite creams and blends for dry brushing. All of these benefits can be obtained from using several drops of pure grapefruit essential oil either diffused in your office/home, added to shower or bath, or massaged with a carrier oil onto your chest and wrists. Try this when a craving strikes, and you might just find you’re able to pass on the snacks.
Befriend the produce section. It's no secret that eating vegetables is good for you. But shockingly, only 27 percent of American adults eat the recommended three or more servings they should be getting daily, according to a CDC report. Aim to up your vegetable intake to one pound per day. Not only will it help you hit your weight-loss goals, but eating a rainbow of vegetables can also help protect against cancer, heart disease, and the effects of aging. (Looking for dinner inspo? These creative recipes make the most of spiralized veggies.)