Monday, February 28, 2011

Does Constipation Cause Weight Gain?

There are several factors held responsible for weight gain. One such predominant factor is constipation.

Constipation can occur due to various reasons such as lack of physical exercises, improper diet, dehydration and so on. Not only does it make an individual feel uneasy, but it can invite more troubles into one’s life. If you are able to fight constipation, you will be able to control your weight gain caused due to constipation. Let’s take a detailed look at the factors that lead to constipation so that they can be fixed to avoid this problem, thereby stay immune from constipation weight gain.
Fiber Rich Diet
Diet has a significant role to play in constipation. In fact, it won’t be an understatement to claim that improper diet is the prime culprit for the cause of constipation. Since constipation can pave way into your life due to lack of fiber, it’s imperative for you to include fruits and vegetables in your diet as they are a rich source of fiber.
Physical Exercise
Along with proper diet, physical exercise is a must to keep your weight under check. Exercise will boost up your dropping metabolic rate, thus lowering your chances of weight gain. Boost in your metabolic rate will help your body burn calories in a faster rate, thereby preventing excess flesh deposit in your body. Exercise also helps in blood circulation and flushes away disturbing toxins from our body. This reduces our chances of getting affected by constipation. Make sure that you take professional assistance before starting off, especially if you do not have any prior experience.
Colon Cleansing
Colon cleansing is one of the methods that have gained widespread attention from people across the world. This method will ease your constipation problem, thus allowing you to control weight again. Millions of television viewers saw this method being explained by Dr Oz in the Oprah Winfrey’s television show. It works by disposing the toxin substances present in our body. This method can be practiced effectively within the four walls of a house.
The above mentioned methods will help you deal with the problem of constipation and the subsequent weight loss symptom. As such, constipation is not a disease in itself. However, it can create health issues if neglected for too long. Try out the above mentioned time-tested methods and enjoy a healthy life.
Source: Health Guidance

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Want to cut calories?

 Here are a few tips for controlling your portion sizes.
  • If you eat at a restaurant, ask for a container and take half of your meal home, or split your meal with your dining partner.
  • If you like to snack while watching TV, measure out one serving of your snack - don't take a whole bag of chips with you into your TV room.
  • Serve dinner by the plate, rather than family style (serving dishes on the table), you'll be less tempted to load up on second servings if they're not right in front of you.
  • Start your meal with a clear soup or green salad to ease your hunger a bit so that you aren't as likely to over eat.
If cutting calories leaves you feeling hungry, add extra servings of nutrient-dense vegetables like carrots, green beans and celery. While one-half cup of rice or pasta has about 100 calories, one-half cup of green beans has only 14 calories.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Right timing to drink water.

Right timing to drink water, will maximize its effectiveness on the Human body.

Two (02) glass of water - After waking up -  Helps activate internal organs
One (01) glasses of water  - 30 minutes before meal - Help digestion
One (01) glass of water - Before taking a bath - Helps lower blood pressure
One (01) glass of water - Before sleep  - To avoid stroke or heart attack


Monday, February 21, 2011

Weight creep

"Weight creep" is the unwanted pounds that slowly show up on the scale.
You may think that a couple of pounds here and there is no big deal. When it happens every holiday season, though, it can add up. If you are overweight, shedding as few as five pounds can make a difference in your health.

Exercise may be the best way to keep a check on weight creep. How much exercise you need depends on the amount and type of the activity, and how much you eat. The more calories you consume, the longer or harder you have to work to burn them off.
Burning off caloriesA medium-sized adult would have to walk more than 30 miles to burn 3,500 calories, or one pound of fat. Although that may seem like a lot, you don't have to walk the 30 miles all at once.
  • Walk your kids to the bus stop instead of driving them.
  • Take a walk during your lunch hour and spend more time exercising instead of eating.
  • Walk across campus from class to class instead of hitching a ride.
  • Take a 10-minute walk after a meal.
These are small steps. It doesn't require a big change in your life, but it can make a big difference.
The goal for a healthy lifestyle should include at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. Even if you walk for 10 minutes, three times a day, you've reached your 30 minutes. To lose weight, you need to exercise more than that - for 60 to 90 minutes most days of the week.
Do something you likeWalking is a popular option for people looking to get off the couch. If this is your choice, start slowly. Gradually put some swing in your arms and increase your speed and distance. After a while, you may want to add 3- to 5-pound hand weights to burn more calories and to gain more definition in your upper body. Check with your doctor first to ensure the weights won't aggravate an existing problem such as arthritis or hernia.
Also make sure you pick an exercise that you enjoy. If you pick something you like, you're more likely to stick with it. Choose an activity that is right for your lifestyle, too.
Whether you walk or kick box, doing it regularly is rule number one. Also, exercise smarter, not harder. Intensity is important, but first try increasing the length of your workout.
Finally, "no pain, no gain" is a myth. Exercise should tire you, but it should never be painful.

By:  Barbara Kunz, PhD

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What is Body Mass Index (BMI) ?

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number calculated from a person's weight and height. BMI is used to indicate if you are normal, overweight, obese, or underweight.
Formula to calculate your BMI:


BMI < 18.5
Normal Weight

BMI: 18.5 to 24.9

BMI: 25 to 29.9

BMI >= 30

Alternatively, you can also use  BMI Chart to determine your BMI. Use the following BMI Chart to determine your body mass index (BMI).
Please note: This BMI chart is for adults, 20 years old and older.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Are you truly ready for weight-loss?

Your weight-loss success depends in large part on your readiness to take on the challenge. If you jump in before you're ready, your weight-loss plan may buckle under the first challenge. Use these questions to assess your weight-loss readiness.
1. Are you motivated to make long-term lifestyle changes?
Successful weight loss depends on permanent lifestyle changes, such as eating healthy foods and exercising more. That could represent a significant departure from your current lifestyle. Be honest. Knowing that you need to make changes in your life and actually doing it are two different things. You may have to overhaul your diet so that you're eating more whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products, for example. You'll also need to find time to exercise for at least 30 minutes nearly every day of the week. Exercise is especially important to prevent regaining your lost weight.
Your motivation for undertaking these changes may be better health, improved appearance or just feeling better about yourself in general. As long as your motivation is a healthy one, it doesn't really matter what it is. Find your motivation and focus on it.
2. Have you addressed the big distractions in your life?
If you're dealing with major life events, such as marital problems, job stress, illness or financial worries, you may not want to add the challenge of overhauling your eating and exercise habits. Instead, consider giving your life a chance to calm down before you launch your weight-loss program.
3. Do you have a realistic picture of how much weight you'll lose and how quickly?
Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is a lifelong process. Over the long term, it's best to aim for losing 1 to 2 pounds (0.5 to 1 kilogram) a week. To lose 1 to 2 pounds a week, you need to burn 500 to 1,000 calories more than you consume each day. You can do that through a low-calorie diet and regular physical activity or exercise.
Initially you might lose weight more quickly than that if you make significant changes — just be sure the changes are health supporting. Don't get discouraged if your rate of weight loss slows a bit after bigger initial losses.
4. Have you resolved any emotional issues connected to your weight?
Emotions and food are often intertwined. Anger, stress, grief and boredom can trigger emotional eating. And if you have a history of an eating disorder, weight loss can be even trickier. Start by identifying your emotional issues related to food so that you're prepared for the challenges. Talk to your doctor about what weight-loss options are best for you.
5. Do you have support and accountability?
Any weight-loss program can be difficult. You may face moments of temptation or become disheartened. Having someone in your corner to offer encouragement can help. If you don't have friends or family you can rely on for positive help, consider joining a weight-loss support group.
If you want to keep your weight-loss efforts private, be prepared to be accountable to yourself with regular weigh-ins and a log of your diet and activity. You might also want to consider joining an online program or using a certified health coach.
6. Have you embraced the weight-loss challenge?
If you don't have a positive attitude about losing weight, you may not be ready. If you dread what lies ahead, you may be more likely to find excuses to veer off course. Try to embrace the vision of your new lifestyle and remain positive. Focus on how good you'll feel when you're more active or when you weigh less. Picture yourself celebrating every little success along the way, whether it's opting for a low-fat cottage cheese snack instead of chips or going for a walk.
You're ready for weight loss: Now what?
If you answered yes to all or most of these questions, you're probably ready to make the lifestyle changes necessary to work toward permanent weight loss. You may be able to forge ahead on your own, creating your own lifestyle program for healthy eating and exercising. Or you may feel you need help.
Educating yourself about the process of successful weight loss and maintenance is a start. For example, learn more about the dietary changes necessary for losing weight. See a dietitian or enroll in a behavior-based weight program that can help you change the habits that can interfere with weight loss, such as eating when you're stressed or bored. If you have a significant amount of weight to lose, you may benefit from medically supervised weight loss with a team of health professionals that may include a dietitian, a therapist or an obesity specialist.
What if you're not ready?
If you answered no to more than one of these questions, you may not be ready to embark on a weight-loss program right now. And that's OK. Explore what's holding you back and face those obstacles. In some cases it may simply be a matter of timing. For instance, you may need to resolve other stressors in your life first. In other cases, you may need to work on related issues, such as your feelings toward weight loss or your willingness to commit to permanent lifestyle changes.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

10 Healthy Drinks That Can Help You Lose Weight.

1.     Ice Water

Probably the most powerful weight loss tool at your disposal, and also the cheapest, is plain old ice water (who’d a thunk!). Drinking plenty of water is great for your body because it helps you feel full, boosts your metabolism, and it contains zero calories. Furthermore, some studies suggest that drinking just two extra glasses of ice water per day can help boost your metabolism by as much as 30%. This equates to about 5 pounds of fat loss per year!
2.     Vegetable Juice
Vegetable juice is every bit as nutritious as fruit juice but with about half the calories. Most vegetable juices are also rich in fiber which can help make you feel full and in turn eat less.

3.     Fruit Smoothies

Mix-up a delicious batch of smoothies using your favorite fruits and a little bit of skim milk. Do not consume smoothies with added sugar, whipped cream, honey, or other sweeteners that can add hundreds of calories – in other words, don’t eat smoothies from your favorite local restaurant or ice-cream shop and think that you’re eating healthy because you’re not!

4.     Fruit Juice

Fruit juices have loads of vitamins and nutrients, but it’s important to make sure that there’s no added sugar…sorry Sunny D and Tang! Also remember that the pulpier, the better. Fruit juice with lots of pulp contains added fiber that can help you feel more full and eat less.

5.     Black Coffee

Coffee has plenty of positive health benefits and best of all, it contains no calories! Black coffee is rich in antioxidants that can help boost your mood, improve concentration, reduce the risk of diabetes and cancer, as well as many other benefits. Keep you coffee consumption at 4 cups or less per day – as with anything, moderation is the key.

6.     Green Tea

Like coffee, green tea has a plethora of positive health benefits and contains plenty of helpful antioxidants. It also helps to boost your metabolism if consumed on a daily basis, which can help to speed up your body’s fat-burning mechanism – as much as a 40% increase in some cases!

7.     Milk

The calcium in Low-fat or skim milk can help contribute to the breakdown of fat cells in your body. Too much milk, though, can pack on the pounds because it does contain a lot of calories, so stick to 3-4 small servings per day in order to benefit from milk’s weight loss benefits.

8.     Protein Drinks

Protein drinks, such as from powders or pre-mixed varieties, can have a great effect on your weight loss regiment, because lean muscle is very efficient at burning fat. In other words, the more muscle you have, the more fat your body will burn. Protein is a big part of this equation, because it’s the building block of muscle growth.

9.     Fiber Drinks

There’s many fiber-rich drinks on the market today, and they can be a great tool for any weight loss program. Fiber helps to make your body feel full, and it also has plenty of other positive health benefits as well.

10.  Apple Cider Vinegar

Sounds a little gross, and it may be too gross for some people to try, but apple cider vinegar is a sort-of “old school” health drink that was very popular in the ’70s as a weight loss tool. Although there aren’t any scientific studies that actually prove it works, many fitness gurus swear by it, saying that it greatly boosts your metabolism if taken regularly…Hey, it’s worth a try! Here’s a recipe to make your own apple cider vinegar. Kick start your metabolism with the same ingredients used in the 1970’s version of the weight loss drink. A pinch of cayenne pepper and dash of garlic juice adds spice to your apple cider vinegar drink and may increase your circulation. In addition, some dieters use this drink to wash down a B6 vitamin three times a day.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Does losing weight scares you the most ?

If losing weight scares you the most, then don't worry, you are not alone! Many people embark on the journey to weight loss and can't ever seem to get any success.
4 mistakes below are what causing you to have a nightmarish experience with getting in shape:
1.) Skipping Breakfast - Skipping breakfast will not only decrease your energy levels for the day and make you feel miserable; it will also decrease your metabolism and cause you to binge later on in the day!
So, what I suggest you to do is to have a hearty breakfast every morning loaded with protein, antioxidants, healthy carbs (fiber), and vitamins/minerals.
2.) Eating More Bad Carbs than Good Carbs - Another surefire way to make it a nightmare for you to get in shape is to eat more bad carbs (foods high in sugar and processed foods) than you do good carbs (fiber, Greens, Vegetables, fruits, salad, Raw Almonds). Bad carbs will be stored in your body as fat and cause a mountain of diseases. Good carbs burn fat and will fight off diseases. It doesn't get any simpler than that!
3.) Not Getting Enough Good Fats in Your Diet - One of the first things people think about when approaching their diet is to go straight to low-fat options. This is a big mistake. The reason why is because there are healthy fats (monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, omega fatty acids) that you MUST get in your diet in order to effectively drop pounds, burn fat, and improve your overall health. Not getting healthy fats can make it very difficult and will also make you susceptible to STORING body fat.
Great food options loaded with healthy fat are fish, nuts, and olive oil to name a few.
4.) Not moving enough – “Move it to lose it”. If you move - not exercise, but just move around a lot during the day - you can lose a lot of weight. Study showed that the heavy people didn't sit around because they were too overweight to be active. Instead, it seems that the tendency to be a couch potato is inborn. You gain weight because you don't move much, not the other way around. The researchers found that the difference in movement between their heavy study participants and the lean ones amounted to 350 calories per day. If the heavy people could move enough to burn that number of calories, they could lose 30 to 40 pounds in a year.
 If you can find ways to build more movement into your life - standing instead of sitting, walking instead of driving - you may find it easier to lose weight.
You can also begin learning how to dance, do yoga or just playing games/sports can do the trick too.

Note: Keep food 100% natural and you don't have to worry about starving, cravings, or putting back on weight that you've just lost! Natural food works better than processed food because it naturally raises your metabolism as you are eating REAL FOOD and that’s what your body (especially liver) understands.

Friday, February 4, 2011

How to Stop Eating When Bored

What determines your hunger signals? Boredom? Indulgent cravings? Habit?
What should determine your hunger signals?

Here's how to make it so.

InstructionsThings You'll Need: Just a little will power

1.RECOGNIZE IT BEFORE ACTING - When I feel the urge to eat a snack or meal, I ask myself where this urge is coming from.
Good questions to I've asked myself to stop overeating:
Am I busy when the urge came on?
Do I feel as though I could eat a lot or a little?
What am I hungry for?
All of these small questions help me evaluate my desire for food, to see if it is genuine hunger or my mind playing a trick on me. Self-awareness is the most important thing.

2.DO SOMETHING ELSE - After I've concluded that I want to eat purely because I am bored, I DO SOMETHING, and that helps me be productive too ;).
Re-writing a resume
Starting a blog
Playing a game
Catching up with a friend...
I don't need to list daily activities you can do to live your life instead of eat it!

3. WHEN GIVING IN, GIVE IN MINIMALLY - Complete self-denial should never be what we're after, because that only spawns self resentment and ultimate failure. If you really want a snack after sincerely trying to cure your boredom, eat one! But this is the pivotal moment to exercise your moderation skills. Here's why...
When you're eating and not hungry, you're more likely to overeat. This is because your stomach is already stretched and ready for more food, plus, and perhaps more importantly, your MENTAL HUNGER comes with NO biological indicators to make you feel full. So if it's mental hunger you're feeding, you could eat forever. Yikes.

Good minimal "giving-in" snacks:
·        Fruits
·        A cup of warm milk
·        Slices of cheese
·        Handful of nuts
·        Bottle of water
·        Cup of Yogurt
These are all good things!

Tips & Warnings

• Make small changes each day
• Never think there is "nothing" you can do!
• Imagine how your life would be different if you ate a little bit more consciously
• Keep "giving-in" snacks on hand
By: Laura Catella, eHow Member

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Stress Management & Relief Techniques

Following are the stress reduction tips that will tell you how to relieve stress.
  1. Take deep breath for instant stress relief
    Breathe deeply slowly and exhale out slowly. Deep breath helps you get plenty of oxygen and may give you instant stress relief. For better results, as you breathe out, speak "rel-a-a-a-a-a-x" in your mind very slowly. You can speak anything like 1-2-3-4-5 or Om or 5-4-3-2-1 or any God. Do it 10 times, you will feel stress relief immediately. Slow and deep breathing will bring your heart rate back to normal and will reduce your muscle tension. You can do it at any place, any time; on your desk, on your bed, while sitting, in a queue, on your computer chair, in office, in toilet, etc. This stress management technique is very effective. Make it a habit to do it 4-5 times daily.
  2. Be organized. Manage time
    One of the main causes of stress is poor time management. If you are organized, you can manage things in proper ways without putting pressure on you. Plan ahead. Make a schedule for the day, week and month. Include time for stress reduction as a part of your schedule.
  3. Know your stressors
    Determine what events distress you. Try to avoid, eliminate or reduce these stressors, if possible. Determine how your body responds to the stress. See if you can reduce the intensity of your stressors. Plan your strategies to overcome these stressors. Remove your cause of stress or worries. If the reason is your office, discuss the problem with your colleagues and seniors. Don't keep the problem with you. Consider going on vacation for some days. If you are stressed due to non-completion of tasks in time, then time management techniques may be helpful.
    Change your perception of physical danger or emotional danger. Don't think and worry about things which may not happen at all.
  4. Talk to others
    Involve yourself with others. Talk to your friends, family member, teacher, neighbor, or counselor. This will reduce sadness, loneliness, frustration and stress. Consider to offer your services to neighborhood or volunteer organizations.
  5. Be physically active
    Physical activity plays a key role in reducing and preventing the effects of stress. When you feel nervous, angry or upset, release the pressure through exercise or physical activity. Take a walk for example. Or do any activity that you like most. Consider gardening, jogging, swimming, cycling, dancing, playing table tennis, mowing grass, playing with your dog or cat, or similar activities. Such activities can relieve your tension. Exercising with stress balls is good stress reduction technique.
  6. Eat healthy food
    Eat healthy nutritious food daily.
    Prunes are high in magnesium which releases happy hormones such as serotonin and can help reduce stress. Do not skip meals. Avoid smoking, caffeine and other stimulants. Always get enough sleep. Maintain your sleep times. Healthy eating and adequate sleep fuels your mind and body to cope with stress.
  7. Have a good cry
    A good cry can bring relief to your stress. Crying is a part of the emotional healing process.
  8. Avoid alcohol, drugs and cigarettes
    Smoking, alcohol and drugs do not remove the conditions that cause stress. They may give you only temporary relief.
  9. Laughter therapy is the best for stress! Laugh heartily with your friends or family members. Read jokes on the internet or from books.
  10. Hugging is good for stress relief.
    Give a good hug to your beloved one; to your spouse, children grand children or pet. This melts away your stress.
  11. Know your capabilities & limits
    You should be aware of your capabilities and limits. If a problem is beyond your control, don't try to do it. Do not want the things to happen your way that are not in your control. A major cause of stress is to control events on whom you have little or no power.
    Also do not think that you are always right and you are the supreme. And do not think that other people also think your way. Your way of thinking may not always be right. Discuss the things in a friendly manner or in a compromising way. This will definitely reduce your stress.
  12. Negative thinking does not help
    Negative thinking never pays. Do not think that the whole world is against you and all the people are making a conspiracy against you.
Foods that aggravate stressYou should stop eating foods which can aggravate the stress. These foods are: alcohol, butter, cheese, coffee, cocoa, coconut oil, egg yolks, junk foods, nuts, sugar, soft drinks, shrimps, tea, etc.
Foods Good for stress
Some foods are beneficial for stress. These foods include vegetables and fruits, prunes, Sprouted beans, soups, skimmed milk and yogurt, etc.
Aromatherapy & StressMany flowers have calming effects on the central nervous system, thereby relieving you of stress and increasing concentration levels. Some of these are also helpful in loss of memory, anxiety, creativity and lethargy. Some of the aroma oils that work best to relieve stress include Lavender oil, Neroli oil, Geranium oil, Basil oil, Fennel Sweet Oil, Rosemary oil
Put 1 or 2 drops only (not more than that) of one essential oil, Lavender oil, Fennel Sweet Oil, Rosemary oil, etc on a cotton bud or tissue paper and place it near you.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snacks: How they fit into your weight-loss plan

Well-planned, healthy snacks can complement your weight-loss plan. Here are creative and healthy ways to satisfy your hunger.
Your stomach is growling, but lunch is hours away. You could indulge yourself with a snack, but you think it's best to grit your teeth and wait for lunch. Not so, if weight loss is your goal.
Although you may feel guilty about snacking, snacks aren't necessarily bad. In fact, well-planned weight-loss diets, allow for snacks to help manage hunger and reduce bingeing. Eating a healthy snack of a piece of fruit or some raw veggies can tame your hunger without ruining your appetite for your next meal. The key to incorporating snacks into your weight-loss plan is to keep moderation and balance in mind.
Choose healthy snacks
Select foods that satisfy your hunger, supply your body with energy and provide important nutrients. Opt for snacks of 100 calories or less to stay within your daily calorie goal. You can eat more of foods with low energy density, such as carrots, grapes and air-popped popcorn, for your 100 calories. Choose snacks from these food groups:
§  Fruits and vegetables. Eating fruits and vegetables provides a feeling of fullness with little to no fat and only a small number of calories. Fruits and vegetables also provide vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients.
§  Whole grains. Whole-grain snacks are rich in fiber and complex carbohydrates, which give you energy with staying power. Look for items such as low-fat whole-grain crackers, whole-grain pretzels and whole-grain crispbreads.
§  Nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds provide protein, so you will feel fuller longer. They can be high in fat, but it's mostly monounsaturated, a healthy kind of fat. Nuts and seeds are high in calories, however, so don't eat them in large quantities.
§  Low-fat dairy products. Cheese, yogurt and other dairy products are good sources of calcium and protein, plus many other vitamins and minerals. Choose the low-fat versions. Some yogurts have extra added sugar, so look for low-calorie or "light" varieties.

What does a 100-calorie snack look like?
Although snacks can contribute to a healthy diet, they can also be a source of excess calories if you aren't careful. For example, a small handful of almonds (about 14 nuts) contains 100 calories. But eat a cup of almonds, and the calorie count jumps to over 800 calories.
So what are some smart choices? Here are several suggestions for 100-calorie snacks:
§  1 cup sliced bananas and fresh raspberries
§  2 cups of carrots
§  3 1/2 cups air-popped popcorn
§  5 melba toast crackers, rye or pumpernickel
§  2 tablespoons of peanuts
§  2 domino-sized slices of low-fat Colby or cheddar cheese
§  1 fat-free chocolate pudding cup
When a snack fills in for a meal
With today's busy world, healthy meals often lose out to busy schedules. A grab-and-go snack could be the difference between some nourishment and none at all. You'll find it easier to choose good-for-you snacks if you stock your refrigerator and shelves with foods that are fast — not fussy. These ideas for healthy snacks minimize fat and calories and maximize whole grains, fruits and vegetables. They're all around 200 calories.
§  Toast one-half of a whole-wheat English muffin. Top with one slice Canadian bacon, a tomato slice and one slice low-fat American cheese. Microwave until the cheese melts.
§  Spread 1 tablespoon part-skim ricotta cheese over one-half of a small cinnamon-raisin bagel. Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired and top with a thinly sliced apple.
§  Top a small baked potato with 2 tablespoons fat-free plain yogurt and sprinkle with Cajun seasoning.
§  Layer a 6-inch soft corn or flour tortilla with 2 tablespoons shredded low-fat cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese. Microwave until the cheese melts. Slice into bite-sized pie shapes. Dip into some salsa if desired.
§  Mix 1/4 cup cold leftover chicken or convenience-type chunk chicken with sliced seedless grapes, 1/2 tablespoon sunflower seeds, 1 tablespoon plain low-fat yogurt or fat-free mayonnaise, and a dash of curry powder. Stuff into half of a whole-wheat pita pocket.
Heed your hunger pangs, but forget the guilt. With planning and a little preparation, you can have healthy foods on hand so that you're ready when temptation strikes.

30-Second Weight Loss Tricks

Cut calories and burn fat in the blink of an eye with these simple weight loss tips
By Emily G. W. Chau
Slice Your Food Exhibit A for why table manners ought to make a comeback: Cutting your food into smaller portions slows down your food intake, and it also visually tricks you to think that you’re eating more. Researchers from Japan’s National Food Research Institute found that people thought piles of sliced meats and veggies were 27 percent larger than when the food was kept in one piece. Satiety is affected by visual cues, so making your portions appear larger will help you feel satisfied with less.
Pick Pistachios
Researchers from University of Eastern Illinois say that when people eat this snack twice a week, they’re less likely to gain weight than those who don’t.

In a nutshell, the study also found that people who snacked on in-shell pistachios ate 50 percent less than those who ate the shelled kind, yet they reported feeling just as full and satisfied.
Weigh Yourself Daily
Think you can guesstimate how well you’re losing weight? Study after study shows that regularly stepping on the scale can help you drop pounds.  People who log weekly and daily weigh-ins lose about 12 to 18 pounds more than those who check less frequently, concludes a review study in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.
Just Add Flax
Sprinkle this healthy extra on your oatmeal, casserole, or soup for a light, nutty kick, says Sari Greaves, RD, spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association and Nutrition Director at Step Ahead Weight Loss Center in Bedminster, NJ. The extra fiber will help fill you up for only 35 calories a tablespoon, and you’ll get the added benefits of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Dress Down
Take advantage of Casual Friday. A University of Wisconsin, La Crosse study found that people who wear jeans to work take 491 more steps a day than those in business wear.

Brush Immediately After DinnerBrush your teeth soon after you’ve finished supper. Traditionally, brushing your teeth is a signal to stop eating, so you’re primed to resist after-hours snacking. The essence of peppermint has been reported to suppress appetite, and cleaning your chompers with strong-tasting toothpaste may help distract your taste buds from craving another flavor.
Add Air
Whipped versions of classic foods contain more air per volumetric unit, so you’re eating fewer calories per serving. Choose whipped yogurt over the regular kind (save 30 calories) or whipped butter over sticks (save 50 calories). But remember, this doesn’t mean whipped cream is a health food.
Make Your Own Salad Dressing
Bottled dressings can be a nutritional nightmare—even 2 tablespoons of blue cheese dressing packs about 140 calories and 14 grams of fat. Instead, mix together a quick dressing that’s 2 parts lemon juice to 1 part oil.  Pour your homemade vinaigrette into a spray bottle and spritz on your salad for extra portion control.
Try Acupressure on Your Ear
Place your hunger on hold: The next time you have a hankering for a Mars bar, take your thumb and forefinger and squeeze the flap of skin that juts out by your ear canal (not your earlobe). Activating this pressure point may help curb cravings.
Switch Seats at the Dinner Table
Cornell researchers examined the eating habits of diners at a Chinese buffet and found that the fattest patrons tended to sit facing the serving area, while the skinniest sat with their backs to the food. Just seeing that you can get seconds may encourage you to eat more, so sit strategically during mealtime. Same goes for when you’re mixing and mingling at a party—talk facing away from the tables of food.
Trade Mayonnaise for Hummus
Hold the mayo and slap on some hummus instead, advises Greaves. The chickpea spread is just as creamy as mayonnaise, but you’ll save yourself about 70 calories per tablespoon.
Place a Measuring Cup in Your Pantry
Rather than eyeball portions, place a measuring cup in your pantry so that you’ll know exactly how much you’re doling out. Keep a serving of cereal to one cup, a portion of dry macaroni to ¼ cup.
Phone a Friend
Reach for the phone, not the potato skins, the next time you’re feeling blue. Emotional eating can spiral out of control really fast, so instead of turning towards food for a pick-me-up, dial a friend to vent or schedule some Frisbee to blow off some steam.