Low lighting may be ideal for a romantic dinner, but you’re going to want to turn the lights up if you’re watching your waistline, according to a study published in the Journal of Marketing Research. Diners who ate in well-lit dining areas were 16 to 24 percent more likely to order healthy fare, the researchers found. Find out the 13 things experts won’t tell you about weight loss.
Yeah, we just told you to pump iron, but you also need to eat it. "If you don't have enough of this mineral, your body can't get enough oxygen to your cells, which slows down your metabolism," explains Samantha Heller, R.D., a nutritionist at the New York University Medical Center. Most multivitamins contain around 18 mg (the RDA for adults); you can also get your fill by eating three to four daily servings of foods rich in iron, such as lean red meat, chicken, fortified cereal, and soy nuts. If you're feeling symptoms like fatigue and weakness, ask your doctor to test you for anemia (it's a simple blood test) at your next physical.
They should help keep you from feeling deprived and bingeing on higher-calorie foods. For instance: honey has just 64 fat-releasing calories in one tablespoon. Eggs have just 70 calories in one hard-boiled egg, loaded with fat-releasing protein. Part-skim ricotta cheese has just 39 calories in one ounce, packed with fat-releasing calcium. Dark chocolate has about 168 calories in a one-ounce square, but it’s packed with fat releasers. 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. 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.
Between social media ads and TV commercial breaks, it's nearly impossible to escape messaging around natural weight-loss supplements. A lot of them are plant-based—green tea extract, bitter orange, raspberry ketones—and harmless-sounding. But do they work? Not exactly, says Melinda Manore, Ph.D., professor of nutrition at Oregon State University. In her research of hundreds of natural weight-loss supplements (a $2.4 billion industry in the United States), she concluded that there's not a single product that results in significant weight loss. And, what's worse, many of them have side effects that can hinder your fitness goals (including bloating and gas). Not exactly a surefire way for you to fit into those skinny jeans.
Simply being outside in green spaces is linked to weight loss, according to research done by the American Diabetes Association. Sure, you’re more likely to move if you’re on a hike or at a park, but being outside also boosts your mood and reduces stress, two known factors that impede weight loss. Good news: The vast majority of Americans already live within walking distance of some type of park, so go get yours.
In one study healthy men were randomly assigned to one of three high-fat diets that differed only in terms of the ratio of long-chain fatty acids to medium-chain fatty acids. They could eat as much as they liked of the foods they were offered. Food intake and total calories consumed were significantly lower on the diet with the highest amount of medium-chain fatty acids. The men in the high medium-chain fatty acid group even lost a little weight, whereas those in the other groups gained weight.
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.