Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Tips To Losing the last 10 pounds!
You've trained hard; filled your fridge, freezer, and pantry with healthy fare; and been diligent about getting your H2O. But despite all that, a little bit of flab lingers. Don't give up! These 14 simple strategies will help you drop 10 pounds in just a month. (Do at least one a day for the first two weeks, then continue using the ones that work best for you for the next two.) You can't get around cutting calories--just don't go below 1,200 a day; 1,500 if you're also doing our bikini body workout, page 98--but the process won't be painful. The tips are designed to boost satiety, banish bloat, rev up your metabolism, and strip away unnecessary additives that can make you retain weight and feel sluggish.
DRIZZLE ON SOME OLIVE OIL
A University of California, Irvine, study found that oleic acid, found in "good" fats, curbs hunger pangs by triggering the production of a compound called oleoylethanolamide in your small intestine. Two of the best sources: olives and olive oil. Use a teaspoon of olive oil on grilled vegetables, pop a few seasoned Greek olives as an appetizer, or whip up these olive-enhanced lettuce wraps: Fill two large romaine leaves with 2 tablespoons each roasted-red pepper hummus and chopped cucumber, five sliced black olives, and 1 teaspoon toasted pine nuts; roll up the leaves. They make a quick, cool, low-calorie meal-perfect for post-workout noshing on a warm summer night.
DON'T RUSH YOUR MEALS
You've heard it before, but new research conforms it-eating slowly can help you eat less but feel just as satisfied. And that keeps you slim. A study involving more than 3,000 men and women published in the British Medical Journal showed that speedy eaters are three times more likely to be overweight than those who are slower-paced. Additional research at the University of Rhode Island found that leisurely eaters took in four times fewer calories--while the people who gobbled down their food reported feeling unsatisfied after their meal, despite eating more in less time.
"Give yourself at least 20 minutes to eat. Putting your fork down or taking a sip of water between bites will help you slow down and will let you really focus on the flavors in your food," says Christine Gerbstadt, M.D., R.D., a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. "It sounds so simple, but most of us don't do it."
FLATTEN YOUR BELLY WITH FIBER
Excess body fat isn't the only thing that leads to tummy bulge: About 80 percent of us struggle with constipation at some point. While brief periods of irregularity are normal, they can make the scale creep up and cause that little extra pooch. The easy solution: Up your intake of soluble fiber, found in apples, citrus fruits, beans, and edamame. "This sticky fiber soaks up water to form a gel-like substance that stimulates the muscles of your digestive system so they contract and push waste through faster," says Gerbstadt. A simple way to boost your intake is to sprinkle chia seeds (found at health food stores) or ground flaxseed into yogurt or a smoothie.
ADD HEALTHY BACTERIA
Yogurt and kefir contain probiotics, such as acidophilus, which may be a hidden factor in weight control. Everyone has bacteria in their digestive system, but in obese people, the blend of those bugs may cause them to extract more calories from the food they eat, and therefore contribute to their being overweight. "Getting more probiotics in your diet can change the balance of bacteria," says Steven Pratt, M.D., author of SuperHealth. And that can lead to weight loss.
EAT FIRST THING IN THE A.M.
"Having breakfast is my No. 1 tip for dropping pounds," says Mark Hyman, M.D., author of UltraMetabolism. The best meal option is a combination of slow-burn foods (foods that are low on the glycemic index), which raise your blood sugar gradually. A bowl of oatmeal with berries, a yogurt smoothie and slice of whole-wheat toast, or scrambled egg whites and veggies rolled in a corn tortilla are all good bets.
A recent British study showed that this type of meal increased production of a potent satiety hormone called GLP-1 by 20 percent, so you take in fewer calories but feel fuller longer.
CRANK UP THE FAT BURN
Capsaicin, the natural substance in peppers that gives them their heat, helps you use more calories, even at rest--and every little bit helps. "Studies show that eating the amount of capsaicin found in one small chili pepper at meals may boost metabolism by 23 percent in the short term," says Julie Upton, M.S., R.D., co-author of Energy to Burn. In other research, people who got about a gram of red pepper in capsule form or stirred it into tomato juice before they sat down to eat cut their calorie intake by 16 percent over the course of the day but didn't feel deprived. Try using fresh chilies or peppery Thai, Indian, or Latin seasonings to spice up egg, bean, tofu, seafood, beef, and chicken dishes.
GO SOLO AT SOME MEALS
Seven out of 10 office workers regularly eat lunch at their desks, according to an American Dietetic Association survey--and that's not a bad thing. "In general, if you eat with someone else, you'll take in 35 percent more food than you would if you ate alone," says Brian Wansink, Ph.D., John Dyson professor of consumer behavior at Cornell University. Conversation distracts you, and you tend to sit at the table longer. Overcome the effect by ordering small dishes (try two starters instead of an appetizer and main course) to limit the amount of food you have in front of you.
To Be Continued...