High-Fiber Foods: These include things like chia seeds, flaxseeds or fresh veggies and berries. Because fiber is not able to be digested once consumed, plus it absorbs so much of its own weight in water, these foods help slow your body’s digestion of glucose (sugar), keep you feeling full and beat cravings. Many foods high in fiber are also very nutritionally dense, meaning you get more bang for your nutritional buck.
Be choosy about carbs. You can decide which ones you eat, and how much. Look for those that are low on the glycemic index (for instance, asparagus is lower on the glycemic index than a potato) or lower in carbs per serving than others. Whole grains are better choices than processed items, because processing removes key nutrients such as fiber, iron, and B vitamins. They may be added back, such as in “enriched” bread.
Generally speaking, you want to load up on essential vitamins and minerals through whole food sources. Still, nobody's perfect. Supplementing your everyday diet can bring about total-body benefits, including increased muscle tone, more energy and, yep, weight loss. (This is what you need to know about vitamin IV infusions.) If that last one is your main goal, Dr. Gottfried suggests making these a regular part of your diet:
Caffeine: Studies show possible modest effects on body weight or decreased weight gain over time when consuming caffeine. Caffeine is usually OK in small to moderate amounts for most people but can also cause side effects like heart palpitations and restlessness. There’s no sound evidence that caffeine alone will help you lose weight, and the cons of taking too much caffeine definitely seem to outweigh the pros.
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.
Finding something you enjoy is an important component to any fitness routine, too, because—duh—it means you'll be more likely to stick with it. So if running isn't your thing, don't sweat it—try a Zumba class, or meet girlfriends for Spin after work. (You could even try working out according to your Zodiac sign.) "You might get results from something you hate, but those results won't last," says Jess Sims, C.P.T., a Fhit Pro trainer at Fhitting Room in New York City. And don't be afraid to branch out and see if there's something else to love. "Varying your workouts will help keep you entertained and help you progress because your body doesn't get used to the same movements," adds Sims. Plain and simple: There's no one-size-fits-all workout, so don't box yourself in.