Yep, even with the holiday season upon us, you don’t have to turn merrymaking into extra pounds.
Use your teeth more
Insert food. Chew a few times. Gulp food down. Repeat. This routine isn’t doing anything for your fullness level. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who chew each mouthful 40 times ate 12 percent less food than those who chewed just 15 times. Chew more and you’ll eat less. It really can be that simple.
For eight hours that is. Intermittent fasting is so popular because it works. The plan is fairly simple. You choose the 8 hrs in which you will eat, say 10 am – 6 pm and eat freely. No calorie counting or specific diet. But the remaining 16 hours you fast. A pilot study published in Nutrition and Healthy Aging revealed intermittent fasters ate 350 fewer calories, lost about 3 percent of their body weight and lowered their systolic blood pressure.
Fast two days a week
Another fasting option is the 5:2 diet where you eat normally five days a week and two of the other days are limited to 500-600 calories. Research published in Nutrition Journal showed following the plan for about three months resulted in a weight loss of about 11 pounds and a fat mass reduction of 7.7 pounds without losing muscle mass.
Keep your eye on the clock
One more thing about fasting: Researchers from the University of Alabama revealed you can amp up your weight loss by eating the majority of your calories earlier in the day. So yes, skipping meals early in the day and binging all night doesn’t cut it. It’s like the old saying goes, “Eat like a king in the morning, a prince at noon and a pauper at night.”
Eat the bread
It’s so hard to resist a hearty chunk of freshly baked bread before the main course but if you put off taking a bite until after you eat your veggies and protein, it could pay off. A report in Diabetes Care says that when you eat a carb first, your blood sugar rises and increases the production of insulin but if you reverse the order and eat the bread last it has a significant impact on blood sugar levels and suppresses ghrelin, that sneaky hormone that tells your body to eat.
Bust binge eating
If you’re prone to regular binge eating, train yourself to be a mindful eater. It will be your best defense against future bingefests. According to the Journal of Health Psychology, people that practice mindful eating made more conscious food choices and developed an awareness of true hunger and fullness signals. Start practicing today by eating with no distractions (put away your phone), chew food thoroughly and take notice of the colors, smells and textures of the food (the avocado is a lovely shade of green and so creamy), and when you start to feel full, stop eating and drink some water.
Keep what you have
Muscle that is. Weight loss often comes with two unpleasant side effects, slower metabolism and muscle loss. A study published in Obesity showed that resistance training, while you are cutting calories, helps keep you toned while burning fat. Aim for three days a week for 30 minutes.
Diets can be a jump start to help you get on the track but if you focus on dieting day after day, chances are you’ll eventually gain the weight back, according to Frontiers in Psychology, an academic review. And you know it’s true. You lose the weight and then something happens-—an illness or a personal crisis–—and the weight creeps back up. Focus on being healthier, happier and active instead of counting calories. Adopting healthy lifestyle changes are the real secrets to keeping the weight off!