If the idea of counting calories or following a strict diet just makes you want to reach for a candy bar, then you’ll love these expert-approved ways to drop weight. .
Indulge your Candy Crush addiction
Turns out playing video games reduces the vividness and frequency of cravings compared with waiting it out, according to new research in the journal Appetite. Why? Because playing games distracts your laser focus on about that pint of ooey-gooey chocolate ice cream sitting in your freezer.
Keep good food close
Laziness plays a bigger role in your food choices—both good and bad—than you might think, suggests another study published in Appetite. Undergraduates at Saint Bonaventure University in Upstate New York were separated into three groups: one that sat with apple slices within reach and buttered popcorn roughly six feet away, one with the popcorn within reach and the apple slices six feet away, and one with both snacks within reach. Even though the participants told the researchers they preferred to eat the popcorn over the apples, they ate whatever was nearest to them.
There’s no better way to indulge in your lazy tendencies than to get more sleep. Sleeping fewer than five hours a night could send the scale soaring 30 per cent higher than if you got seven hours or more, suggests a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
Order your drinks unsweetened
“Order a plain latte instead of flavoured, plain iced tea, plain coffee,” says Beth Saltz, RD. Opting for the plain latte over the flavoured will save you 40 calories per 16-ounce serving and forgoing the half and half in your coffee will save you up to 20 calories and 2 grams of fat per one-tablespoon serving of the creamy stuff.
Eat sitting down
“You would be amazed how many calories you consume without paying attention, especially from tray-passed foods and buffets at parties or get-togethers,” Saltz says. Mindless eating is the enemy of weight loss. Studies out of Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab show we unconsciously eat more out of bigger containers, and in social situations. “If you’re sitting down at a table, though, you will be more mindful of what you are eating and keep extra calories from sneaking in from tray-passed snacks and buffet food,” she says. To reduce temptation even more, sit further away from the food.
Save the salad for last
Salad comes with your meal; just eat it at the end of your meal. “Rather than taking seconds of the main course, a salad can be a very filling, low-calorie option,” says Debra Wein, RD, president of Wellness Workdays, a leading provider of worksite wellness programmes. “By eating it last, it will give your brain a chance to catch up with your stomach so you realise that you aren’t as hungry as when you started your meal. Just make sure you skip the creamy dressings.”
A low-stress lifestyle may keep belly fat away, suggests research published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology. For a year, researchers from the University of California at San Francisco followed 61 healthy women; 33 were chronically stressed while the other 28 were not. All were asked to keep a record of their consumption of high sugar, high fat foods. Researchers found that eating these unhealthy foods frequently predicted metabolic risk, including a larger waistline, more belly fat, higher oxidative damage, and more insulin resistance—but only in the high-stress group. Women in the low-stress group who also ate a lot of high fat, high sugar foods did not experience the same negative metabolic effects.
Make water your go-to drink
Sure, we’ve all been told we should make sure to drink enough water, but it bears repeating—research shows it can be an effective weight-loss aid. In one Virginia Tech study, overweight people who followed a low-calorie diet and drank two eight-ounce glasses of water before every meal lost an average of 15.5 pounds over three months. People who reduced their calorie intake but didn’t down the H20 dropped just 11 pounds.