1.Spice it up
Thai food is among the spiciest in the world. Hot peppers raise your metabolism, but the real benefit of food with a little zing is that it slows your eating, says James Hill, PhD, past president of the American Society for Nutrition. 'Americans eat too fast,' he says. 'By the time your body signals that it's full, you've overeaten. Eating slower is a good weight-loss strategy, and making food spicier is an easy way to do it.
2.Downsize the Supersizing
If you walk into a McDonald's in London, the clerk won't ask if you'd like to 'supersize' that. This option was discontinued in the U.K. after it accounted for less than 0.1 percent of sales. The Brits prefer smaller portions-perhaps a lingering vestige of the frugality instilled by World War II rationing, says Simon Hartley, executive editor of Reader's Digest U.K.
In the United States, McDonald's has backed off supersizing too. But a large Coke here still contains 100 calories more than one in the U.K., and there's no such thing as a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Great Britain. Take the hint: Who really needs to eat a half-pound of meat at a sitting?
3.Serve a side of rice and beans
All that shaking at Carnaval isn't the only body-friendly habit in Rio; Brazilians stay slim by enjoying this traditional dish with just about every meal, says Sérgio Charlab, editor of Reader's Digest Brazil. A study in the journal Obesity Research found that a diet consisting primarily of rice and beans lowers the risk of becoming overweight by about 14 percent when compared with typical Western fare. That's because it's lower in fat and higher in fiber, which is thought to stabilize blood sugar levels. It may be counter-intuitive, but a diet full of beans equals a beach-ready body.
4.Try fasting once in a while
Islam, this country's leading religion, encourages periodic fasting-no food or drink from dawn to dusk. Others in Indonesia practice mutih, which allows only water and white rice. Although experts don't recommend fasting for weight control, fasting in moderation can break patterns of mindless eating, says Hill, of the American Society for Nutrition. 'Most Americans never get hungry,' he points out. 'We've eaten the next meal before we've entirely digested the last one.' No need for strict abstinence to get these psychological benefits-try just cutting your calories in half for a day.
5.Eat at home more often than you eat out
Poles typically spend only 5 percent of their family budget on eating out. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics, the average American family spends 37 percent of its food dollars at restaurants and fast-food joints. To save money and pounds, start tracking how often you eat out and how much you spend each month, and gradually cut back. 'People who don't cook at home tend to eat less healthy food and be heavier than people who do,' says journalist and activist Michael Pollan. 'In fact, the collapse of cooking in a society tracks very closely its rise in obesity.
6.Eat your breakfast
An impressive 75 percent of Germans eat breakfast daily (compared with just 44 percent of Americans). They're not grabbing Egg McMuffins either; they're sitting down to fruit and whole-grain cereals and breads. Nutritionists have been advising people not to skip breakfast for years, but recent studies give a better picture of its importance. In one, British researchers discovered that if you haven't eaten breakfast, your brain's reward center will light up more vividly when you see a high-calorie food-making you more likely to indulge. Finally: a scientific explanation for that irresistible urge to pull into Dunkin' Donuts.
7.Swap the gas pedal for the bike pedal
Bikes (18 million) outnumber people (16.5 million) in the Netherlands. But unlike Americans-most of whose two-wheelers languish in basements and garages-54 percent of Dutch bike owners use them for daily activities, such as shopping and traveling to work. The average Dutchman pedals 541 miles per year. Traffic lights in parts of Amsterdam are even synchronized to bike speed. Bike-to-Work Day in the United States is Friday, May 21-try using your bike to commute that day or just for errands close to home. If you're of average size and pedaling at a moderate pace, you can burn around 550 calories per hour.
8.Try a bowl of muesli
Muesli is a porridge or cereal made from oats, fruit, and nuts, each of which has been linked to better health and weight control. It was developed by a Swiss physician more than a hundred years ago to nourish hospital patients, but the Swiss eat it for breakfast or as a light evening dish. Muesli's fiber makes it slow to digest, keeping you feeling full longer. Read the label carefully, though: Sugar content can vary from 2 to 14 grams per serving.
9.Carve out a dacha plot
Country houses, or dachas, where 51 percent of city folk spend vacations and summer weekends, almost always feature a garden. Russians grow their own vegetables and fruits and preserve and can what they grow. That makes their diet more nutritious. And 'there's not much you can grow in a garden that will make you fat,' notes Hill.
10.Turn up the turmeric
This spice, a key ingredient in curries, grows wild in Malaysian jungles. One of its chief components is a substance called curcumin, which may turn out to be a potent fat fighter. A recent Tufts University study found that mice fed a high-fat diet with small amounts of curcumin gained less weight than did other mice given similar but curcumin-free meals. Researchers think the ingredient suppresses the growth of fat tissue and increases fat-burning. Try some in your next stir-fry.
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8 Methods To Help Yourself Lose Weight
51. Brush your teeth after every meal, especially after dinner. That clean, minty freshness will serve as a cue to your body and brain that mealtime is over.
52. Serve individual courses rather than piling everything on one plate. Make the first two courses soup or vegetables (such as a green salad). By the time you get to the more calorie-dense foods, like meat and dessert, you’ll be eating less or may already be full (leftovers are a good thing).
53. Passionately kiss your partner 10 times a day. According to the 1991 Kinsey Institute New Report on Sex, a passionate kiss burns 6.4 calories per minute. Ten minutes a day of kissing equates to about 23,000 calories — or eight pounds — a year!
54. Add hot peppers to your pasta sauce. Capsaicin, the ingredient in hot peppers that makes them hot, also helps reduce your appetite.
55. Pack nutritious snacks. Snacking once or twice a day helps stave off hunger and keeps your metabolism stoked, but healthy snacks can be pretty darn hard to come by when you’re on the go. Pack up baby carrots or your own trail mix made with nuts, raisins, seeds, and dried fruit.
56. When you shop, choose nutritious foods based on these four simple rules:
1. Avoid partially hydrogenated.
2. Avoid high fructose corn syrup.
3. Choose a short ingredient list over long; there will be fewer flavor enhancers and empty calories.
4. Look for more than two grams of fiber per 100 calories in all grain products (cereal, bread, crackers, and chips)
57. Weed out calories you’ve been overlooking: spreads, dressings, sauces, condiments, drinks, and snacks. These calories count, whether or not you’ve been counting them, and could make the difference between weight gain and loss.
58. When you’re eating out with friends or family, dress up in your most flattering outfit. You’ll get loads of compliments, says Susie Galvez, author of Weight Loss Wisdom, which will be a great reminder to watch what you eat.
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The Simple Ways Of Losing Weight
41. Eat a frozen dinner. Not just any frozen dinner, but one designed for weight loss. Most of us tend to eat an average of 150 percent more calories in the evening than in the morning. An easy way to keep dinner calories under control is to buy a pre-portioned meal. Just make sure that it contains only one serving. If it contains two, make sure you share.
42. Don’t eat with a large group. A study published in the Journal of Physiological Behavior found that we tend to eat more when we eat with other people, most likely because we spend more time at the table. But eating with your significant other or your family, and using table time for talking in between chewing, can help cut down on calories — and help with bonding in the bargain.
43. Watch one less hour of TV. A study of 76 undergraduate students found the more they watched television, the more often they ate and the more they ate overall. Sacrifice one program (there’s probably one you don’t really want to watch anyway) and go for a walk instead. You’ll have time left over to finish a chore or gaze at the stars.
44. Get most of your calories before noon. Studies find that the more you eat in the morning, the less you’ll eat in the evening. And you have more opportunities to burn off those early-day calories than you do to burn off dinner calories.
45. Close out the kitchen after dinner. Wash all the dishes, wipe down the counters, turn out the light, and, if necessary, tape closed the cabinets and refrigerator. Late-evening eating significantly increases the overall number of calories you eat, a University of Texas study found. Stopping late-night snacking can save 300 or more calories a day, or 31 pounds a year.
46. Sniff a banana, an apple, or a peppermint when you feel hungry. You might feel silly, but it works. When Alan R. Hirsch, M.D., neurological director of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, tried this with 3,000 volunteers, he found that the more frequently people sniffed, the less hungry they were and the more weight they lost — an average of 30 pounds each. One theory is that sniffing the food tricks the brain into thinking you’re actually eating it.
47. Order wine by the glass, not the bottle. That way you’ll be more aware of how much alcohol you’re downing. Moderate drinking can be good for your health, but alcohol is high in calories. And because drinking turns off our inhibitions, it can drown our best intentions to keep portions in check.
48. Watch every morsel you put in your mouth on weekends. A University of North Carolina study found people tend to consume an extra 115 calories per weekend day, primarily from alcohol and fat.
49. Stock your refrigerator with low-fat yogurt. A University of Tennessee study found that people who cut 500 calories a day and ate yogurt three times a day for 12 weeks lost more weight and body fat than a group that only cut the calories. The researchers concluded that the calcium in low-fat dairy foods triggers a hormonal response that inhibits the body’s production of fat cells and boosts the breakdown of fat.
50. Order your dressing on the side and then stick a fork in it — not your salad. The small amount of dressing that clings to the tines of the fork are plenty for the forkful of salad you then pick up.
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Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Help Yourself Lose Weight
31. Eat fruit instead of drinking fruit juice. For the calories in one kid-size box of apple juice, you can enjoy an apple, orange, and a slice of watermelon. These whole foods will keep you satisfied much longer than that box of apple juice, so you’ll eat less overall.
32. Spend 10 minutes a day walking up and down stairs. The Centers for Disease Control says that’s all it takes to help you shed as much as 10 pounds a year (assuming you don’t start eating more).
33. Eat equal portions of vegetables and grains at dinner. A cup of cooked rice or pasta has about 200 calories, whereas a cup of cooked veggies doles out a mere 50 calories, on average, says Joan Salge Blake, R.D., clinical assistant professor of nutrition at Boston University’s Sargent College. To avoid a grain calorie overload, eat a 1:1 ratio of grains to veggies. The high-fiber veggies will help satisfy your hunger before you overeat the grains.
34. Get up and walk around the office or your home for five minutes at least every two hours. Stuck at a desk all day? A brisk five-minute walk every two hours will parlay into an extra 20-minute walk by the end of the day. And getting a break will make you less likely to reach for snacks out of antsiness.
35. Wash something thoroughly once a week — a floor, a couple of windows, the shower stall, bathroom tile, or your car. A 150-pound person who dons rubber gloves and exerts some elbow grease will burn about four calories for every minute spent cleaning, says Blake. Scrub for 30 minutes and you could work off approximately 120 calories, the same number in a half-cup of vanilla frozen yogurt. And your surroundings will sparkle!
36. Make one social outing this week an active one. Pass on the movie tickets and screen the views of a local park instead. Not only will you sit less, but you’ll be saving calories because you won’t chow down on that bucket of popcorn. Other active date ideas: Plan a tennis match, sign up for a guided nature or city walk (check your local newspaper), go cycling on a bike path, or join a volleyball league or bowling team.
37. Order the smallest portion of everything. If you’re ordering a sub, get the 6-inch sandwich. Buy a small popcorn, a small salad, a small hamburger. Studies find we tend to eat what’s in front of us, even though we’d feel just as full on less.
38. Switch from regular milk to 2%. If you already drink 2%, go down another notch to 1% or skim milk. Each step downward cuts the calories by about 20 percent. Once you train your taste buds to enjoy skim milk, you’ll have cut the calories in the whole milk by about half and trimmed the fat by more than 95 percent.
39. Take a walk before dinner. You’ll do more than burn calories — you’ll cut your appetite. In a study of 10 obese women conducted at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, 20 minutes of walking reduced appetite and increased sensations of fullness as effectively as a light meal.
40. Substitute a handful of almonds in place of a sugary snack. A study from the City of Hope National Medical Center found that overweight people who ate a moderate-fat diet containing almonds lost more weight than a control group that didn’t eat nuts. Really, any nut will do.
11.Sip some rooibos tea
Enjoyed throughout the country, rooibos tea is more robust than green tea, and because it's naturally sweet, it needs no sugar. Ditching your daily Frappuccino for a cup of rooibos-Starbucks now sells it-could save you thousands of calories per month. 'Tea-drinking cultures generally have lower rates of obesity,' says Dr. Pescatore. 'That may be from special compounds, such as catechins, that certain teas contain, or it may simply be that we often think we're hungry when we're really dehydrated.
12.Crunch more pickles
Hungarians like things pickled-not just cucumbers but bell peppers, cabbage, and tomatoes. These tart treats can help keep you thin, probably because of the vinegar that pickles them. Growing evidence suggests that acetic acid, the main component of vinegar, helps reduce blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and the formation of fat. Pickles aren't your thing? Swap your ranch salad dressing for oil and vinegar.
13.Take a Sunday family tour
It's a deeply rooted Norwegian habit: On Sunday, everyone from toddlers to grandparents heads out to hike (in summer) or cross-country ski (in winter). Compare that with the typical American household, where the only Sunday expedition is from the fridge to the football game on TV. Start a Nordic tradition in your house. At halftime, shoo everyone outdoors for a walk around the neighborhood.
14.Get yourself all twisted up
Most Americans respect yoga's stress-busting and flexibility-enhancing power, but not many realize it facilitates weight loss. In fact, a recent study found that yoga devotees have a lower body mass index (BMI) than other exercisers do. There are probably multiple reasons. Yoga is best done on an empty stomach and can build muscle (depending on your preferred poses), which boosts your metabolism. And it encourages mindfulness, which includes paying attention to whether you feel full.
15.Perfect the power nap
In this on-the-go country, many people take time for a daily 20- to 30-minute nap, says James Maas, PhD, a sleep researcher at Cornell University and the author of Power Sleep. There's increasing evidence that chronic sleep deprivation raises the risk of weight gain. Maas blames two hormones: leptin, which helps the brain sense when you're full, and ghrelin, which triggers hunger. The less sleep you get, the lower your leptin levels-and the higher your ghrelin. 'Many people think they're hungry when they're actually sleepy,' Maas says. 'Instead of a snack, they need some shut-eye.
16.Make the midday meal the biggest
Instead of ingesting the bulk of the day's calories in the evening, as most Americans do, Mexicans traditionally eat their biggest meal between 2 and 4 p.m. If you eat less at night, you'll wake up hungrier and eat a bigger breakfast, which facilitates weight control. As a general fat-fighting rule, try to get the bulk of your daily calories at breakfast and lunch.
17.Sit long, talk lots
The French excel at the leisurely family meal. On average, 92 percent of French families dine together nightly, compared with 28 percent of American families. 'For the French, eating is the event of the day,' says Fred Pescatore, MD, president of the International & American Associations of Clinical Nutritionists. 'For us, it's something we do before heading out to do something else.' Lengthy meals actually encourage less eating, Dr.Pescatore says: Conversation slows down the fork and gives you time to realize you're full.
18.Take up nordic walking
This is one of the Finns' favorite outdoor activities. It's not as exotic as it sounds: All that's required is a pair of inexpensive, lightweight walking poles. Holding these in your hands aids balance, which is great if you're older or if you're on slippery terrain. Even better: Because they make you use muscles in your shoulders, arms, and torso, the poles transform walking into a total-body workout that burns 20 percent more calories, according to a study at the Cooper Institute in Dallas. Winter or summer, it's a simple way to derive more fat-reducing benefit from your regular walk.
19.Swallow more herring
The Dutch down about 85 million of these slippery fish per year-raw. That's about five for every person in the country (and five more than eaten here). They're pickled, then served unadorned as snacks or in soft buns with onions and gherkins for lunch.Oily fish like herring is slimming for a few reasons, says Dr. Pescatore, author of The Hamptons Diet. It contains lots of omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol-and cortisol is known to increase the amount of fat deposited around your middle. What's more, lunching on herring or canned sardines guarantees you'll ingest far fewer calories than you would if you eat a burger or even fish sticks. Just don't forget the breath mints.
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