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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

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.

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