One of the problems with many of the easy diets listed is that they include a lot of processed foods. Frozen products and microwavable meals are generally not as nutritious as a home-cooked meal. And if you get used to eating foods like brownies and chocolate shakes when you're slimming down you may continue to crave those foods after the diet is over. And of course, if you consume non-diet versions of those foods, the pounds will come back.
Of vinegar or apple cider vinegar, that is (just make sure you drink it the right way). It may serve as an appetite suppressant, although the studies are mixed. One study suggests that it is the unpleasant taste that causes our appetite to cease fire. Participants who drank vinegar with breakfast ate less than their counterparts who didn’t. The reason? They were nauseated. Decide for yourself whether appetite suppressants like that are worth it. You could also try one of these other 14 tips for controlling your strongest food cravings.
There's some scientific evidence that compounds in saffron could have beneficial metabolic effects on blood sugar, cholesterol, and potentially impact weight, says Rekha Kumar, MD, endocrinologist at the Comprehensive Weight Control Center at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. "That doesn’t mean putting [saffron] in a lollipop and telling people to eat it is a healthy approach to weight loss, body image, or nutrition," Dr. Kumar says.
So even if tea doesn't help you lose weight, there are plenty of other reasons to drink up. Drinking black tea, which is high in flavonoids, was tied to improved cardiovascular function in a small study in the Journal of Hypertension. Both black and green tea were shown to decrease risk of stroke and coronary heart disease in another study from Food & Function. And a 13-year study of nearly 40,000 people in the Netherlands found that those who drank tea frequently had a lower risk of heart disease-related death compared to people who didn't drink tea. While the four varieties of true teas tend to provide highest concentrations of antioxidants, herbal teas have also been linked to better heart health (hibiscus tea in particular) and other benefits.
Sleep’s a big deal. Losing a mere hour of shut-eye over the course of three days is enough to negatively impact the body’s hunger and appetite-regulating hormone, ghrelin. Quality sleep, on the other hand, fuels the production of fat-burning hormones, making it a top priority if you’re trying to drop a few pounds. Valerian is an herb that’s long been valued as a mild sedative, and now research is showing what tea enthusiasts have known for centuries. In a study of women, researchers gave half the test subjects a valerian extract, and half a placebo. Thirty percent of those who received valerian reported an improvement in the quality of their sleep, versus just 4 percent of the control group. Sleep deprived? Here’s Your One Day-Plan for Better Sleep.