Eating dessert every day can be good for you, as long as you don’t overdo it. Make a spoonful of ice cream the jewel and a bowl of fruit the crown. Cut down on the chips by pairing each bite with lots of chunky, filling fresh salsa, suggests Jeff Novick, director of nutrition at the Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa in Florida. Balance a little cheese with a lot of fruit or salad.
^ Abenhaim, Lucien; Moride, Yola; Brenot, François; Rich, Stuart; Benichou, Jacques; Kurz, Xavier; Higenbottam, Tim; Oakley, Celia; Wouters, Emil; Aubier, Michel; Simonneau, Gérald; Bégaud, Bernard (1996). "Appetite-Suppressant Drugs and the Risk of Primary Pulmonary Hypertension". New England Journal of Medicine. 335 (9): 609–16. doi:10.1056/NEJM199608293350901. PMID 8692238.
Italian researchers found that drinking a cup of black tea per day improves cardiovascular function—and the more cups you drink, the more you benefit! Better cardiovascular function means you can breeze through that 5K you signed up for. And a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed that drinking 20 ounces of black tea daily causes the body to secrete five times more interferon, a key element of your body’s infection-protection arsenal. Just make sure to ditch the dairy. A study in the European Heart Journal found that while black tea can improve blood flow and blood vessel dilation, adding milk to the tea counteracts these effects.
3. Go with natural foods. Our ancestors never saw refined food, and the less you see of it, the better. Focus on minimally processed natural foods, meaning more grains and less refined grains and sugars. Gradually boost your fiber intake to at least 25-30 grams. Whole grains and vegetables contain insoluble fibers that promote healthy digestion, while the soluble fibers in fruits, oats and cooked dried beans and peas lower cholesterol and keep blood sugar steady, helping prevent heart disease and diabetes. Both kinds help control weight.
Appetite suppressants work by tricking your brain into believing that you are not hungry and that your stomach is full. One way that they do this is by increasing the levels of the ‘feel-good’ hormone serotonin, which is responsible for regulating your mood, appetite and sleep patterns, amongst other things. If your brain thinks you are full, you won’t feel hungry, and therefore you are likely to eat less.
Like protein, fiber slows the rate at which your body plows through carb calories so you feel full for longer and maintain steadier blood sugar levels, one reason why research consistently links fiber intake to weight loss. That means fibrous whole grain bread tends to be a better choice than white bread and also explains why fruits, which contain fiber and valuable vitamins in addition to sugar, beat straight-up candy every time.
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There is some scientific legitimacy to today’s lower-carb diets: Large amounts of simple carbohydrates from white flour and added sugar can wreak havoc on your blood sugar and lead to weight gain. While avoiding sugar, white rice, and white flour, however, you should eat plenty of whole-grain breads and brown rice. One Harvard study of 74,000 women found that those who ate more than two daily servings of whole grains were 49 percent less likely to be overweight than those who ate the white stuff. Eating whole grains is not only one of many great ways to lose weight; it can also make you smarter.
Cynthia Sass is a registered dietitian with master's degrees in both nutrition science and public health. Frequently seen on national TV, she's a SHAPE contributing editor and nutrition consultant to the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays. Her latest New York Times best seller is S.A.S.S. Yourself Slim: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches.
"Researchers around the world say what really works is not just cutting calories but satisfying your hunger with the right kinds of foods," says Health’s Frances Largeman-Roth, RD. In fact, women following a low-fat diet who were allowed to fill up on all the fruit and vegetables they wanted lost 23% more weight than women on a low-fat diet alone, a new study from the United Kingdom reports.
Enjoy the rich flavor of sweet potatoes? While home on Sundays, cook up a batch. Wrap each one in foil and bake for about an hour at 425 degrees F, or until their luscious, sweet juices start to ooze out into the foil. At work the following week, just pop one in the microwave for a quick warm-up. They’re loaded with taste, so they don’t need any extra toppings. If you want a little zest, swirl in a teaspoon or two of no-salt-added Dijon mustard or a quarter cup of plain nonfat Greek yogurt.
When you go to drink this weight-loss tea, give it a good, long sniff. Preliminary research from Wheeling Jesuit University found that people who inhaled the fresh, minty scent every two hours for five days ate fewer calories and sugar. It appears the scent is a powerful—and yummy—way to quash hunger. Luckily, unlike peppermint candies, peppermint tea is one calorie-free indulgence. (Sniffing these foods could help you slim down.)
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.
Here’s a great example: For the same number of calories that are in a handful of peanuts (about two ounces), you can eat 2½ pounds of strawberries (about five of those green boxes that strawberries come in.) Eating “big” foods like strawberries, salads, and other fruits and vegetables can prevent hunger from taking over and taking you places you don’t want to go
The stem, fruit and root bark of the barberry shrub contains berberine–a powerful, naturally occurring, fat-frying chemical. A study conducted by Chinese researchers revealed that berberine can prevent weight gain and the development of insulin resistance in rats consuming a high-fat diet. Previous studies have also found that consuming the plant can boost energy expenditure and help decrease the number of receptors on the surface of fat cells, making them less apt to absorb incoming sources of flubber. Pair it with this definitive plan of 14 ways to turn on your get-lean genes to slim down fast.
For more info about how to go veggie, even part time, and build a balanced plate, check my article on how to eat more plant based meals. And if you’re becoming vegan and want to be sure you’re getting enough nutrients like iron, zinc, and calcium, I highly recommend a book written by two of my colleagues Becoming Vegan: The Complete Guide to Adopting a Healthy Plant-Based Diet.
Study after study demonstrates how incredibly good for you tea can be: teas have been known to prevent dental decay, arthritis, strokes and cardiovascular disease, and even cancer. Given all of the amazing health benefits that we’ve discovered are waiting for us in teas, it should be no surprise that they can play a powerful role in supporting weight loss. There are teas that speed up your digestion, reduce your bad cholesterol levels, and can actually help you shrink fat cells. With the guidance of Dr. Deepa Verma, we have selected 10 teas that can assist you in achieving your weight loss goals.
Before a workout, turbocharge the fat-blasting effects by sipping a cup of green tea. In a recent 12-week study, participants who combined a daily habit of 4-5 cups of green tea each day with a 25-minute sweat session lost an average of two more pounds than the non tea-drinking exercisers. Thank the compounds in green tea called catechins, flat belly crusaders that blast adipose tissue by triggering the release of fat from fat cells (particularly in the belly), and then speeding up the liver’s capacity for turning that fat into energy.
But all this was rather abstract. I wanted to see how real people living in the 21st century would do on the simple diet plan. I decided to recruit some volunteers at my gym to test the diet. All of the people I chose were healthy exercisers, in their early 20s to their 60s. While some had elevated cholesterol or were on medications, most just wanted to lose weight. About 40 stuck with the diet for six weeks, and some of those stayed on for another six-week study with 15 volunteers from another local gym.
Researchers at the University of Illinois Medical School examined the science behind this discovery. The scientists examined 3193 overweight volunteers with an average weight of 217 pounds. The participants were given inhalers that contained peppermint and were instructed to use it every two hours over a 6-month period. The participants who consistently used the inhalers lost and average of 2% body weight each month.
Plant-based nutrition isn’t just anchored in wholesome plant foods such as fruits, veggies, legumes, grains and nuts, but is also the elimination of all kinds of animal products and by-products from your diet. Plant-based eating is one of many parts of a vegan lifestyle. Embracing veganism goes beyond just what we eat but also rejects the consumption and use of any goods — clothes, cosmetics, furnishings etc. – originating from or tested on animals.
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Green tea is kind of trendy these days largely because of the many health benefits that it provides. Among them is green tea’s role as a natural appetite suppressant. “Green tea extract affects two important peptide hormones, norepinephrine and dopamine, which activate the sympathetic nervous system,” Dr. Axe says. “Together, these two hormones are called catecholamines and are well known for their ability to suppress appetite.” In particular, green tea contains a powerful compound called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that is thought to prevent the breakdown of catecholamines, leading to a reduction in appetite, he explains.
While manufacturers of weight loss pills continue to promote the convenience and rapid results associated with their products, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other health authorities warn against their use. Some of the main reasons that appetite-suppressing weight loss pills are considered to be at least somewhat dangerous include medication interactions, tainted or unlisted ingredients, high amounts of caffeine, and fillers or synthetic additives that cause negative reactions, just to name few.