5 Dieting Tips & Tricks!

1. Stare At The Color Blue

There’s a good reason you won’t see many fast-food restaurants decorated in blue: it functions as an appetite suppressant. So serve up dinner on blue plates, dress in blue while you eat, and cover your table with a blue tablecloth. Conversely, avoid red, yellow, and orange in your dining areas. Studies find they encourage eating. Don’t miss these other kitchen changes to help you eat less without noticing.

2. Walk Five Minutes At Least Every Two Hours

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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 moving is more beneficial than a standing desk. Plus, getting a break will make you less likely to reach for snacks out of antsiness. While you’re up, use this effective stretch for avoiding back pain.

3. Don't Buy Any Prepared Food

… that lists sugar, fructose, or corn syrup among the first four ingredients on the label. You should be able to find a lower-sugar version of the same type of food. If you can’t, grab a piece of fruit instead, especially if you show signs you’re eating too much sugar. Look for sugar-free varieties of foods such as ketchup, mayonnaise, salad dressing, and these other foods with way more sugar than you realize. Also, avoid partially hydrogenated foods, and look for more than two grams of fiber per 100 calories in all grain products. Finally, a short ingredient list means fewer flavor enhancers and empty calories. Sounds impossible, but you can actually learn how to give up sugar without missing it.

4. Put Your Utensil Down Between Every Bite

At the table, sip water frequently. Intersperse your eating with stories for your dining partner of the amusing things that happened during your day. Your brain lags your stomach by about 20 minutes when it comes to satiety (fullness) signals. If you eat slowly enough, your brain will catch up to tell you that you are no longer in need of food. Check out this other trick that helps you eat less.

5. Close The Kitchen For 12 Hours

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. Learning how to stop late-night snacking can save 300 or more calories a day, or 31 pounds a year. Learn more about how eating late at night makes you fat.

 

5 Weight Loss Tips & Tricks

1. Eat Three Fewer Bites Of Your Meal

…or one less treat a day, or one less glass of orange juice. Doing any of these can save you about 100 calories a day, and that alone is enough to prevent you from gaining the two pounds most people mindlessly pack on each year. Check out these other weight loss tricks that don’t require diet or exercise.

2. Watch One Less Hour Of TV

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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—in even just 15 minutes, you’ll reap these amazing benefits of walking. And during your favorite shows, get off the couch and try these exercises you can do while watching TV.

3. Wash Something Thoroughly Once A Week

Whether that’s a floor, a couple of windows, the shower stall, bathroom tile, your car, or one of these everyday items no one cleans enough, a 150-pound person will burn about four calories for every minute spent cleaning. Scrub for 30 minutes and you could work off approximately 120 calories, the same number in a half-cup of vanilla frozen yogurt. If you do treat yourself with fro yo, stick with these nutritionist-approved toppings.

4. Wait Until Your Stomach Rumbles To Reach For Food

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It’s stunning how often we eat out of boredom, nervousness, habit, or frustration—so often, in fact, that many of us have actually forgotten what physical hunger feels like. (Don’t miss these other common reasons you can’t stop eating.) If you’re hankering for a specific food, it’s probably a craving, not hunger. If you’d eat anything you could get your hands on, chances are you’re truly hungry. Learn how to recognize these feelings mistaken for hunger, then find ways other than eating to express love, tame stress, and relieve boredom. But talk to your doctor if you think you’re always hungry for a medical reason. 

5. Sniff a banana, apple, or peppermint when you feel hungry

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You might feel silly, but it works. When Alan R. Hirsch, MD, 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. Use these other tricks to become a more mindful eater.

5 Dieting Tips & Tricks!

1. Take A Time-Out

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Begin doing something that I have started recently, which is meditate. But let’s not even call it meditation; let’s just call it a daily time out. Put the distractions away and just sit on the floor comfortably. Pick a spot to look at, and don’t look away for five minutes. Let your thoughts come, one thought rolling into another thought. The meditation expert I’ve worked with gives these guidelines: If a thought about the past comes up, let the “movie” play with no questions; anything about what’s happening around you currently—for instance, thoughts about sounds you hear in the distance or how your body feels—go with it; but any thoughts about the future, shut them down. Those are the kinds of thoughts that bring on anxiety and worries. Instead, bring your mind back to your breathing, to the spot you're looking at, or to any thoughts that don’t concern the future. This is just one type of meditating. There are many types, and you can find many good guided meditations on YouTube. I urge you to explore until you find something that resonates with you, and to make a concerted effort to have a point in the day when you go inward, even just for a few minutes. You’ll see what a calming effect it can have. But even if the very idea of meditation is daunting don’t give up on it: Even sitting in a room in complete silence for 2 to 3 minutes can have a calming effect.

2. Get Into The Compliment Business

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We spend so much of the day beating ourselves up for what we haven’t done or couldn’t achieve that we never stop to show ourselves some love. Stop yourself five times and give yourself a compliment, a pat on the back for something you did that was worthy. “Nice job on not eating that cupcake.” “You were awesome at work today.” “You were easygoing when that guy took your parking space.” “You took a walk during lunch.” Most of the overweight people I’ve met over the years have a very difficult time giving themselves compliments. They find it easy to pat someone else on the back, but get queasy when it comes to praising themselves. It’s not vain to do so.

3. Find A Challenge

A goal can help you stay focused and motivated. It’s true of any endeavor, but especially true of exercise. Make your workouts count for something. Look online or check local sports stores for upcoming events you can train for. Don’t freak out if it’s billed as a race. I have a slogan I use with cast members on our shows: Don’t compete, just complete. The point is to just cross the finish line. When you show up at the event, keep that line in your head: “I’m here to complete, not compete.” That’s going to prevent negative, shameful thoughts from popping into your mind and prevent you from quitting. All you need to do is finish—no matter how long it takes.

4. Be Honest And Relax

There are two things that I believe will help everything fall into place: One is being honest with yourself and others; the other is relaxing. If you’re honest with yourself—Did I do my best today? Did I keep my promises?—and honest with others—I’m having a hard time today; I could use some help—then you can just relax. By relaxing you are taking away all of the stress that can send you straight into self-destructive mode. Knowing that you did your best on a given day—or admitting to yourself that you didn’t—will free you to move forward. These are two simple concepts, but they’re not always easy. I’m great with the honesty part; I have to work on the relaxing part every day. Whichever way it plays out for you, don’t give up. Lying and stressing out make people fat.

5. After Breakfast, Stick To Water

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At breakfast, go ahead and drink orange juice. But throughout the rest of the day, focus on water instead of juice or soda. The average American consumes an extra 245 calories a day from soft drinks. That’s nearly 90,000 calories a year—or 25 pounds! And research shows that despite the calories, sugary drinks don’t trigger a sense of fullness the way that food does. Find out how to tell if you drink too many of your calories.

5 Weight Loss Tips & Tricks!

1. Break The Fast-Food Habit

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Cut fast food out of your life. It’s actually not that much more work—and it’s even cheaper—to just buy a rotisserie chicken at the market, a bag of tortillas, a can of beans, some lettuce and tomatoes, some broccoli, some olive oil and vinegar, and salsa. Right there, you have two nights’ meals: chicken, salad, and broccoli one night; chicken tacos and beans the next. You can even use the leftover chicken carcass to make chicken soup. You don’t, though, really even need to know much about cooking in order to break the fast-food habit. (Cut up some carrots and celery instead of steaming broccoli, and you won’t even need to use your stove on night one.)

2. Put A Positive Spin On Things

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When most golfers take a bad shot, they typically curse at themselves and, say, “That was the worst shot,” or, “I suck at golf,” then they move onto the next shot. That just reinforces negativity. What you want to do instead is reinforce positivity. Every time you take a shot you say, in your head, “great shot,” “good shot,” or “needs work.” Just a simple assessment of how you did. Then, before you move to the next hole, you take a practice swing and say to yourself, “great shot.” What you’re doing by rating your shot, then taking another stroke and saying “great shot” to yourself is training the pathways in your brain. You’re erasing the bad shot from your consciousness. When the last thing you hear is “great shot,” it seeps into your brain, setting the stage for actually making a great shot the next time around. One day, it occurred to me that this technique could help with weight loss. Step on the scale and look at the number. Then say to yourself, “great week,” “good week,” or “needs work.” Then step off the scale, look at it, and say, “great week.” The last thing your brain hears is going to be overwhelmingly positive. Here are reasons your scale might be lying.

3. Find Hidden Sugar

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I’m not saying that you should never eat foods that contain sugar, but once you reduce the amount you eat, you’ll crave it less. Grab a notebook and go on a sugar scavenger hunt through your refrigerator and pantry to see how much sweetness is lurking. There may be the obvious things, i.e., cookies, ice cream, certain cereals, and so on (though I hope you’ve got all those obvious sweets out of the house by now). Look for less obvious sugary foods, things like ketchup, BBQ sauce, salad dressings, Chinese sauces, pasta sauces, fruit yogurt, energy drinks, and even seemingly healthy things like dried fruit. Check labels for dead-giveaway ingredients: honey, brown sugar, turbinado, molasses, high fructose corn syrup, other syrups, raw sugar, agave and glucose (including other sweeteners ending in “ose”). People on a low-sugar diet swear by these tips.

4. Do Cardio Intervals

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Intervals—pushing your pace up, then slowing down to recover so you can speed up again—help you burn more fat in less time. In 2008, researchers at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, had a group of women ride stationary bikes at intervals of 8 seconds sprinting and 12 seconds slow riding for 20 minutes (60 repeats in all). The researchers then compared them to a second group of women who rode for 40 minutes straight at the same speed only to find that, at the end of 15 weeks, the interval trainers lost more weight and more body fat than the steady riders. The only question is, Why would you not do intervals?!

5. Be A Stand-Up Guy (or Gal)

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Even if you exercise for an hour or more a day, according to new research, it doesn’t cancel out the bad effects of sitting the rest of the day. I was working out hard in the morning, then sitting at my desk all day. Had to change that. Standing more won’t necessarily help you lose weight, but it will, by all accounts, help extend your life. Now, as soon as I get an email, I delete it, get up, walk to the person’s office, then stand while talking to them. I stand when I talk on the phone. When there’s a crowded room, I let others take the chairs and stand up instead. At my kids’ school, they now break every 15 minutes to stand up and shake out their bodies. Set your watch or phone to remind you to do the same. And next time someone offers you a seat, say "no, thanks."

5 Weight Loss Tips & Tricks!

1. Skip The Package Deal

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A lot of the packaged foods people eat don’t come from their kitchens, but from vending machines, the break room kitchen at their work, a quick duck into the mini-mart when they stop for gas, and so on. Decrease those packaged/restaurant meals. I’m not suggesting you never eat out, but try to reduce eating out as much as you can. If you always buy lunch at the corner deli, try brown-bagging it, and I bet you’ll lose five pounds—if not more. Avoid meals with these menu words when do you eat out.

2. The Top-of-the-hour workout

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At the top of every hour, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., do either five push-ups or run up one flight of stairs. Five push-ups might take you 15 seconds, but if you do it at the top of every hour, you will have done 40 push-ups for the day. Running up a flight of stairs takes less than 10 seconds, but at day’s end, you will have done about 8 flights. Do this every day for 7 days, then add a push-up or flight of stairs for the next 7 days. Keep adding until you’re ultimately doing 8 push-ups/4 flights eight times a day (a total of 64 push-ups or 32 flights daily). I did the push-ups challenge at my office and by the week’s end, there were nine of us doing it. At the top of every hour, we’d all run out of our offices, meet in the hallway and get our push-ups on. It was incredibly fun.

3. Get The White Out

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A diet made up almost wholly of foods collectively know as “white foods”—pasta, white bread, white rice, crackers, and most cereals)—will make you fat and damage your health. Refined foods are stripped of fiber, one of the elements of food that helps you feel full. Refined foods also raise blood sugar, triggering the release of insulin. Both things can make you feel hungry and crave more calories. Take all of the white foods I named out of your diet. Try it again for another day, and another. Not wanting to break the streak may actually lead you to a healthier diet.

4. Do What You Have To Do (first)

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Do what you have to do, before you do what you want to do. I say this to my kids every day. “Dad, let’s play basketball!” “Did you do your homework?” “Not yet.” “Okay, do your homework, then we’ll play ball.” Working out, eating right, and getting your life in order are the priorities to put at the top of your list. Then do things that you want to do like watching TV, going online, and sleeping in. It may seem unrelated to weight loss, but it’s all a part of reorganizing your life for the better.

5. Go Commercial-Free

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Most likely, consciously or unconsciously, you associate watching TV with eating. Super Bowl Sunday and cheesy nachos, binge-watching The Walking Dead and binge-eating mint chip ice cream—they go together like salt and pepper. When you watch TV, do not watch a singlecommercial. Instead, get up and move. Every one-hour show has 18 minutes of commercials; if you watch two hours of TV without moving, that’s 36 minutes of exercise that you’re losing out on. Make it heart-pumping and nonstop for the whole break—jumping jacks and squats are always good. The next time there’s a commercial break, change it up, maybe do some push-ups and sit-ups. The time after that, do burpees or run up the stairs. If you’ve DVR’d your show or are watching premium channels without commercial interruption, create a rule for yourself and set the timer on your phone: every half hour of binge watching you’ll stop and take an exercise break.

5 Proven Weight Loss Tips

1. Show Your Coworkers that you mean business

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The workplace is the worst place for people who want to lose weight. There’s always some guy who brings in doughnuts every Monday morning. And the group lunches ordered from fast-food places; meetings with frothy, fattening drinks; and the big bowl of candy sitting on a well-meaning (but clueless) coworker’s desk. Arm yourself with the right stuff. Bring an apple or other healthy snack to a meeting. Everyone else will be envious of your willpower and forethought, and the snap of the apple as you bite into it will get everyone’s mouth watering. (Bring an extra one and give it to the person who comments first.) Brown bag it even if you know the boss is springing for pizza in the conference room. Stock your desk drawer or locker with nutritious foods. There’s a kind of built-in bonus to showing such discipline at work. It will show your boss that you are in control of your life, which can be a good career move. Being in control is powerful, and powerful people usually get paid more. Try one of these 31 healthy snacks for adults.

2. Take The Candy Bar Challenge

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Say you unwrap a candy bar, break it in half and set it out where you can see it oozing caramel and peanuts. If you had cameras on you, it would keep you honest. Nobody wants his or her weakness to be public knowledge. But if you’re in a one-bedroom apartment and that candy bar is sitting on the coffee table, the voice in your head telling you to grab and eat it is going to get very loud. Take a photograph of that candy bar and post it on Facebook with a sentence about how, in a test of willpower, you’re not going to eat it for 24 hours. Then report in. “Four hours down.” “Fifteen more hours to go.” You’ll get comments like, “Oh my god, I could never do it!” and “You go, girl.” How great will it be when, at the 24-hour mark, you post a picture of yourself tossing that candy bar in the garbage? (Let me just add that, as a precaution, pour soap over that candy bar. I’ve had people tell me that they’ve dug food out of the garbage.) You might even take a video of yourself running over the candy bar with your car. Post the video; people will love it! Here's how you can train your brain to hate junk food.

3. Talk, Talk, Talk

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When you feel yourself wavering in the face of temptation—or maybe you already made a mistake—call someone and talk about it. Even if you don’t have a friend or family member who has struggled with weight, choose someone who can be honest with you. You don’t want your go-to to be someone who’s going to pat you on the back and say you did a great job when you didn’t. It has to be someone who will say something like, “Okay, you made that mistake, now move on,” or, “Okay, you’re feeling temptation, everyone does, but you made a promise to yourself.”

4. Play With Perception

In my household, we eat our dinner on salad plates. I’m no saint: If I had a regular-size dinner plate, I’d fill it up just like everyone else. I used to do it all the time, and the upshot was that I’d end up eating a giant bowl of pasta and other out-sized meals. But then we started using the salad plates and our portions came down to a healthier size. But we didn’t feel deprived. Maybe you’ve heard this change-your-plates tip before, but believe me, it really works. That’s because we’re not really hungry for everything on our plate, but we eat it anyway because it’s there. If you’re using smaller plates and bowls, you’ll still eat what’s there, but it will be less—though your brain won’t register that. It’s all about perception.

5. Keep Promises To Yourself

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I don’t mean kind of keep them. If you say you’re going to eat a healthy lunch, don’t grab a bag of potato chips at the register. As with everything, go for reasonable, not radical. Don’t promise to do an hour of cardio if you haven’t exercised in a year. Make a list of your promises for the day. Things like, “I promise to do 30 minutes on the treadmill.” That does not mean you get off at 25 minutes or even 29 minutes, no matter how much you want to. Believe me, your body will send powerful signals telling you to get off early, but if you stay with it, eventually your body will get accustomed to the challenge and reward you for finishing. Plenty of people I work with on my shows say “I could never run at a 5.5 on the treadmill.” To prove them wrong, I put a towel over the readout, slowly move the pace up to a 7, and they don’t even notice! So don’t let a number put a glass ceiling on your progress.

 

 

5 Weight Loss Tips

1. Record Your Victories

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Little acts of courage are performed every day, yet often go unnoticed. But there’s no doubt that they add up and can even inspire you to do bigger things. Keep a log of your little victories. Write down three things each day that you accomplish. “I went to the gym even though I didn’t want to.” “I took care of that huge pile of laundry that was covering the floor of my bedroom.” It only has to be a few sentences a day, but putting a date stamp on it will serve its purpose six months from now when you look back and see how many successes you’ve racked up.

2. Take A lunch "Break"

What I really mean is break up your lunch. One season, we made our cast members walk three miles to Subway, the sandwich shop. They were probably happy to have arrived, but before they could get too complacent, we told them they were only getting part of their lunch—to get the rest, they’d have to walk to the next Subway, another three miles away. You may not have the luxury of getting six miles in during lunch, but you can still break it up. Buy an apple at one place, then walk to another place for your sandwich, then another place for your drink. If you don’t work in a place where you can walk restaurant to restaurant, or if you’re brown-bagging it, split your lunch break in half: Spend half the time—or less—eating, then spend the remaining minutes going for a walk. These healthy salad recipes can make lunch fun again.

What I really mean is break up your lunch. One season, we made our cast members walk three miles to Subway, the sandwich shop. They were probably happy to have arrived, but before they could get too complacent, we told them they were only getting part of their lunch—to get the rest, they’d have to walk to the next Subway, another three miles away. You may not have the luxury of getting six miles in during lunch, but you can still break it up. Buy an apple at one place, then walk to another place for your sandwich, then another place for your drink. If you don’t work in a place where you can walk restaurant to restaurant, or if you’re brown-bagging it, split your lunch break in half: Spend half the time—or less—eating, then spend the remaining minutes going for a walk. These healthy salad recipes can make lunch fun again.

3. Everybody Needs A Mantra

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Working out is hard; making the right decisions about food is hard. But what if you had a mantra, a reminder that swims around your head providing encouragement and reinforcement. When you think you can’t do that last rep or push-up, when you want to walk off the treadmill at 58 minutes, not 60 like you promised yourself, when you hear that bag of salt-and-vinegar potato chips calling your name, pull out that mantra. If there’s some quote you’ve heard that speaks to you, make it your mantra. Or create your own. Here are a few that might work for you, too: "Whatever you put into it, you’re going to get out of it." "The only thing in life that isn’t hereditary is your attitude." "Fall down five times, get up six." One of my favorite mantras was one used by a cast member named Rod. Whenever he was wavering on working out or about to cheat on his diet, he’d say to himself, “Can’t go back . . . won’t go back. . . . Not this time.” He even got it tattooed on the inside of his forearms.

4. See It, Believe It

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When everyone around you is enjoying pizza and beer, ordering the salad and sparkling water feels like punishment. Remember why you’re doing this. Go into your closet and pull out that pair of jeans that hasn’t fit you in years, and bring them out. Hang them somewhere in your bedroom so that every time you walk in, you can see them. We once had someone on the show that hung the dress she wanted to wear on her refrigerator. Every time she went to get something to eat, she hadto make the right choice. That’s drastic, but a good idea.

5. Move More During The Day

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Fitness trackers are great for letting you keep tabs on how much you move per day (obviously with the goal being to burn more calories), but you don’t need a fancy gadget to get an idea of whether you’re getting up and around enough. Using a stopwatch or the stopwatch function on your watch or phone, track how much time during your day you spend walking around, climbing stairs, just getting from place to place. I’m not talking about working out; just your regular daily movement. What I like about this is that it turns into a little competition with yourself. Can you do more than the day before? Can your weekly tally beat the previous week? Trust me, charting your movements is going to make you want to move more. Add it to your daily routine. Here are sneaky things your fitness tracker knows about you.

5 Proven Weight Loss Tips Inspired by the ‘The Biggest Loser’

1. Just take a walk

That’s it. Start with something you know you can accomplish: Go for a 30-minute walk after dinner. Don’t worry about speed; don’t worry about distance. Just walk. Go out 15 minutes, come back 15 minutes. If it’s not safe for you to walk at night where you live, do it on your lunch hour or some other time of day. What you want to do is create a habit. This is a very simple way to start training yourself to live differently. Ultimately, use these walks to segue into a more vigorous cardiovascular workout routine. This could be anything from more walking to running or working out on an elliptical trainer. Here are some of the most inspiring, real-life weight-loss stories you will ever read.

That’s it. Start with something you know you can accomplish: Go for a 30-minute walk after dinner. Don’t worry about speed; don’t worry about distance. Just walk. Go out 15 minutes, come back 15 minutes. If it’s not safe for you to walk at night where you live, do it on your lunch hour or some other time of day. What you want to do is create a habit. This is a very simple way to start training yourself to live differently. Ultimately, use these walks to segue into a more vigorous cardiovascular workout routine. This could be anything from more walking to running or working out on an elliptical trainer. Here are some of the most inspiring, real-life weight-loss stories you will ever read.

2. Upset your grocery cart

Our grocery store rituals are embedded in our psyches. We’re all always grabbing the same stuff—it’s one of the hardest habits to break. If the same stuff were always, say, broccoli, carrots, strawberries, fish, whole-grain bread, a bag of beans, and almonds, that habit wouldn’t be a problem. But you know and I know it’s not. Do your regular shopping and choose the things you usually do. Count how many packages are in your cart versus the number of produce or meat/poultry/seafood bags (frozen food bags only count if you have healthy frozen fruits and vegetables or lean sources of protein like fish in them). Write it down. Twenty-five packaged goods, three bags of fruits and vegetables, one bag from the poultry department, whatever. The next time you go to the market, shift the balance. If you have 25 packaged goods, try to get it to less than 20 items. The next time, get it to less than 15 packaged items. Before you know it, you will have totally transformed your kitchen without even trying. Here are 50 supermarket tricks you probably fall for.

Our grocery store rituals are embedded in our psyches. We’re all always grabbing the same stuff—it’s one of the hardest habits to break. If the same stuff were always, say, broccoli, carrots, strawberries, fish, whole-grain bread, a bag of beans, and almonds, that habit wouldn’t be a problem. But you know and I know it’s not. Do your regular shopping and choose the things you usually do. Count how many packages are in your cart versus the number of produce or meat/poultry/seafood bags (frozen food bags only count if you have healthy frozen fruits and vegetables or lean sources of protein like fish in them). Write it down. Twenty-five packaged goods, three bags of fruits and vegetables, one bag from the poultry department, whatever. The next time you go to the market, shift the balance. If you have 25 packaged goods, try to get it to less than 20 items. The next time, get it to less than 15 packaged items. Before you know it, you will have totally transformed your kitchen without even trying. Here are 50 supermarket tricks you probably fall for.

3. Turn “I can’t” into “I can”

There are two types of people. Those who say they can and those that say they can’t, and both are right. You’re about to gradually become an “I can” person. Start counting how many times a day you either say out loud or to yourself “I can’t.” It doesn’t have to relate to eating or exercise. Maybe you say things like, “I can’t finish all these dishes tonight, I have to go to bed” or “I can’t face looking at the want-ads even though I know I need a new job.” It could be anything, big or small. Just count how many times you stop yourself from doing something because you don’t think you’re capable. Tomorrow, start replacing one of those “I can’ts” with “I can.” If you counted seven “I can’ts,” knock it down to six. Reduce the number the following day, then again the day after that. Train your brain. You think you can never avoid the cupcakes they bring in for birthday parties at work? Try it. Tell yourself, “I can avoid them,” then watch yourself succeed.

There are two types of people. Those who say they can and those that say they can’t, and both are right. You’re about to gradually become an “I can” person. Start counting how many times a day you either say out loud or to yourself “I can’t.” It doesn’t have to relate to eating or exercise. Maybe you say things like, “I can’t finish all these dishes tonight, I have to go to bed” or “I can’t face looking at the want-ads even though I know I need a new job.” It could be anything, big or small. Just count how many times you stop yourself from doing something because you don’t think you’re capable. Tomorrow, start replacing one of those “I can’ts” with “I can.” If you counted seven “I can’ts,” knock it down to six. Reduce the number the following day, then again the day after that. Train your brain. You think you can never avoid the cupcakes they bring in for birthday parties at work? Try it. Tell yourself, “I can avoid them,” then watch yourself succeed.

4. Partner up

Over the last few years, something has come to light about people who live well into their 90s and even to 100. All of them have a sense of community. They reach out to other people. Identify someone—or several people—that you can exercise with. It can be a spouse, your child, a neighbor, a friend, a relative, even just an acquaintance that you think would be willing. This is going to allow you to kill two birds with one stone. You’ll get out and move because there is someone there to hold you accountable (just as you are there to hold the other person accountable). It will also give you the opportunity to add that all-important social factor to your day.

Over the last few years, something has come to light about people who live well into their 90s and even to 100. All of them have a sense of community. They reach out to other people. Identify someone—or several people—that you can exercise with. It can be a spouse, your child, a neighbor, a friend, a relative, even just an acquaintance that you think would be willing. This is going to allow you to kill two birds with one stone. You’ll get out and move because there is someone there to hold you accountable (just as you are there to hold the other person accountable). It will also give you the opportunity to add that all-important social factor to your day.

5. Tune into your hunger cues

You're probably not as hungry as you think. I’m going to take a wild guess and say that you like to pile up your plate high. And maybe once you’ve stuffed all of that food down, you feel pretty uncomfortable. Still, you do it again at the next meal, and the one after that. Your eyes are bigger than your stomach because it takes time for your brain to get the signal that your stomach has had enough. If you keep eating without pause, you’re never going to get the message. Make up your dinner plate as you normally would. Dish up the vegetables, put some chicken beside it, spoon on some rice—whatever you usually eat when you’re trying to eat healthfully. Eat half of it. Take your plate into the kitchen, and go for a 30-minute walk. If you’re still hungry after the 30 minutes are up, eat the rest of the food. Most people never do. These hunger-fighting foods can help you lose weight.

You're probably not as hungry as you think. I’m going to take a wild guess and say that you like to pile up your plate high. And maybe once you’ve stuffed all of that food down, you feel pretty uncomfortable. Still, you do it again at the next meal, and the one after that. Your eyes are bigger than your stomach because it takes time for your brain to get the signal that your stomach has had enough. If you keep eating without pause, you’re never going to get the message. Make up your dinner plate as you normally would. Dish up the vegetables, put some chicken beside it, spoon on some rice—whatever you usually eat when you’re trying to eat healthfully. Eat half of it. Take your plate into the kitchen, and go for a 30-minute walk. If you’re still hungry after the 30 minutes are up, eat the rest of the food. Most people never do. These hunger-fighting foods can help you lose weight.

11 Strange-But-True Health Tips

Crazy health tricks that really work

Many methods to improve your health are pretty straightforward: to lose weight, eat less and exercise more; to boost your energy, get more sleep; to prevent dehydration, drink more water. Others, however, are totally counterintuitive. The following 12 tips really do work—but they may leave you scratching your head.

Drink coffee to have a better nap

In a Japanese study that examined how to make the most of a nap, people who took a "coffee nap"—consuming about 200 milligrams of caffeine (the amount in one to two cups of coffee) and then immediately taking a 20-minute rest—felt more alert and performed better on computer tests than those who only took a nap.
Why does this work? A 20-minute nap ends just as the caffeine kicks in and clears the brain of a molecule called adenosine, maximizing alertness. "Adenosine is a byproduct of wakefulness and activity," says Allen Towfigh, MD, medical director of New York Neurology & Sleep Medicine. "As adenosine levels increase, we become more fatigued. Napping clears out the adenosine and, when combined with caffeine, an adenosine-blocker, further reduces its effects and amplifies the effects of the nap."

For healthy teeth, don't brush after eating

Don't brush your teeth immediately after meals and drinks, especially if they were acidic. Acidic foods—citrus fruits, sports drinks, tomatoes, soda (both diet and regular)—can soften tooth enamel "like wet sandstone," says Howard R. Gamble, immediate past president of the Academy of General Dentistry. Brushing your teeth at this stage can speed up acid's effect on your enamel and erode the layer underneath. Gamble suggests waiting 30 to 60 minutes before brushing.

To wear a smaller size, gain weight

Muscle weight, that is. If two women both weigh 150 pounds and only one lifts weights, the lifter will more likely fit into a smaller pant size than her sedentary counterpart. Likewise, a 150-pound woman who lifts weights could very well wear the same size as a 140-pound woman who doesn't exercise. The reason: Although a pound of fat weighs the same as a pound of muscle, muscle takes up less space, says Mark Nutting, fitness director of SACO Sport & Fitness in Saco, Maine. "You can get bigger muscles and get smaller overall if you lose the fat," he says. "The bulk so many women fear only occurs if you don't lose fat and develop muscle on top of it." Cut back on calories and add weight to your workout to lose inches.

To eat less, eat more

Grabbing a 100-calorie snack pack of cookies or pretzels may seem virtuous, but it's more likely to make you hungrier than if you ate something more substantial, says Amy Goodson, RD, dietitian for Texas Health Ben Hogan Sports Medicine. "Eating small amounts of carbohydrates does nothing but spike your blood sugar and leave you wanting more carbs." Goodson recommends choosing a protein such as peanut butter or string cheese with an apple. "They are higher in calories per serving, but the protein and fat helps you get full faster and stay full longer—and you end up eating fewer calories overall," she says.

Skip energy drinks when you're tired

Energy drinks contain up to five times more caffeine than coffee, but the boost they provide is fleeting and comes with unpleasant side effects like nervousness, irritability, and rapid heartbeat, says Goodson. Plus, energy drinks often contain high levels of taurine, a central nervous system stimulant, and upwards of 50 grams of sugar per can (that's 13 teaspoons worth!). The sweet stuff spikes blood sugar temporarily, only to crash soon after, leaving you sluggish and foggyheaded—and reaching for another energy drink.

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Drink water when you're bloated

When you feel bloated, drinking water sounds as if it would only make matters worse, but it can often help, says James Lee, MD, gastroenterologist with St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, Calif. If you're on a high-fiber diet, for instance, then your body needs more water to work more efficiently, says Dr. Lee. "Water mixes with water soluble fiber and makes it into a gel like substance. This affects the motility of the gut and reduces the symptom of bloating." Drinking more water also relieves bloating caused by dehydration. When you're dehydrated, your body clings to the water your body does have, causing you to puff up.

Ditch diet soda to lose weight

You should ditch all soda, including diet. Research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health revealed that overweight and obese adults who drank diet beverages ate more calories from food than those who drank regular soda. Additionally, a University of Texas study found that diet soda drinkers had a 70% greater increase in waist circumference than non-drinkers over the course of about 10 years. 

"In addition, many people think 'low-fat,' 'low-sugar,' or 'light' means fewer calories, but that's not always true," says Goodson. "Typically when manufacturers cut something out and the end result tastes just as good, they've added something like additional sugar." 

Drink a hot beverage to cool off 

Which will cool you off faster on a steamy summer morning: iced coffee or hot? Two recent studies say the latter—and so do other cultures where drinking hot tea in hot weather is the norm, like in India. When you sip a hot beverage, your body senses the change in temperature and increases your sweat production. Then, as the sweat evaporates from your skin, you cool off naturally.

Exercise when you're tired

After a long, exhausting workday, exercising sounds like the last thing you'd want to do, but getting your sweat on will actually energize you. Fatigue along with mood and depression improved after a single 30-minute moderate intensity exercise session, according to a study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. "Everything we do uses oxygen, so when you exercise it helps you work more efficiently and you don't tire as easily," says Nutting. "You also function better mentally."

Handwrite notes to boost your brainpower

Typing notes enables you to jot down more material, but you're more likely to remember those notes if you handwrite them, according to research from Indiana University. "To learn something means you have processed it," says Dr. Towfigh. "And when you take handwritten notes you 'process' or learn more information. You begin the learning process as you listen to the lecture." Plus, since you look at the page on which you are writing, you naturally review the material and reinforce the information you've already processed, Dr. Towfigh says.

13 Easy Ways to Cut 100+ Calories Every Day

In not-so-breaking news: Not all calories are created equal.

A serving of grilled salmon is more nutritious than a serving of fried chicken. So, if you’re trying to lose weight, you need to be smart about your calories: Cut the calories you don’t need and focus on the quality of the calories that you are eating.

With that in mind, we’ve put together 13 easy ways for you to cut 100+ calories every day. Just follow one or more these tips on any given day:

 

1. Eat a simple, healthy breakfast

Your morning meal is an important one, but like any meal, it can be easy to go overboard at breakfast (we’re looking at you, buttermilk pancakes with syrup. And whipped cream).

Pick easy, make-ahead recipes that include ingredients high in fiber and/or protein, like sweet potato egg cups or blueberry banana oatmeal muffins. Fill your tank with filling, nutritious foods in the morning and you’ll be less tempted to stop for an apple fritter (460 calories) or a sausage-egg biscuit (530 calories) on the way to the office. This may save you about 140 calories each day.

2. Drink your coffee black

Gotta get your fancy latte fix? Hate to break to you, but even a 16-ounce plain latte (no sugar added) has about 190 calories. A 16-ounce vanilla latte contains about 250 calories. To add insult to injury, most of those vanilla latte calories are coming from added sugar (35 grams), which is linked to weight gain.

The good news: Swap your plain latte for a 16-ounce cup of black coffee, which is a measly five calories. Sass it up with cinnamon or two tablespoons of half and half (50 calories) and you can easily save yourself about 140 calories every day — and money to boot.

If you’ve gotta have your flavored latte, you still have some options: ask for fewer pumps of syrup, swap to sugar-free syrup if available, or switch to non-fat milk.

Pro tip: You won’t save a lot of calories by swapping in almond, soy, or coconut milk — most coffee places only offer sweetened versions, so make sure to ask first.

 

3. Quit Drinking Soda

A 12-ounce can of soda contains 155 calories, and almost all of it is from added sugar — 37 grams. (For reference, the American Heart Association recommends women consume no more than 25 grams per day, and 36 grams for men.)

Research shows that people who drink soda don’t eat fewer calories to compensate for the extra calories they’re consuming, which is what normally happens when you eat solid food.

If you can’t quit soda cold turkey, dial down the amount gradually until you get there. Eliminating one 12-ounce soda daily saves you up 56,575 calories and over seven pounds of sugar every year!

4. Swap Veggies in for Rice and Pasta

Swap in broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, carrots, butternut squash, kale, spinach, peppers and onions where ever you can! Vegetables are lower in calories, higher in fiber, and full of vitamins and minerals.

Trading one cup of cooked pasta with one cup of broccoli can save you as much as 180 calories. But remember that carbs are not the enemy; your body needs carbs for fuel and nutrition. Just make sure your carbs are coming mainly from healthy sources like vegetables, whole grains, and fresh fruit.

Pro tip: Take it a step further by swapping spiralizing vegetables instead of noodles, or cauliflower “rice” instead of white rice. Try this pesto zucchini noodles with chicken or chicken and cauliflower fried rice.

 

5. Portion Out Your Snacks

Visual cues like the size of a box or bag can subconsciously drive us to eat more — or less. For example, women and men who were offered a 170-gram bag of chips ate 18 percent and 37 percent more than when offered an 85-gram bag. If you eat 400 calories in snacks daily, portioning out your nibbles can save you between 70-150 calories.

6. Cook at Home

Making your meals at home means you’re in control: You know exactly what ingredients and how much are being added to the pot. A study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that people who cook at home frequently eat fewer calories than people who don’t cook at home. These home cookers consumed about 140 calories fewer calories daily, or 51,000 calories annually.

But check yourself in the kitchen, Gordon Ramsey: Just because you’re eating food you cooked at home doesn’t automatically make it healthy; you can just as easily overdo the butter, salt, sugar, etc. if you’re not careful. The solution: Stick with nutritious, balanced recipes that are filling and delicious.

 

7. Use Smaller Plates

Over the past few decades, portion sizes have slowly gotten larger. It makes sense that plate size has also kept pace — between the 1900s and today, plate size has increased 23 percent, from 9.6 inches to 11 inches. It sounds small, but it can impact how much you eat.

In his book Slim by Design, food psychology researcher Dr. Brian Wansink claims that people eat 22 percent more from 12-inch plates, compared to 10-inch plates. Given that the average American’s dinner is 750 calories, this can potentially lead to a 165-calorie savings daily.

8. Swap in Avocado for Mayo and Butter

This fruit is a darling of the nutrition world because it contains over 20 vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients plus good-for-you monounsaturated fats. Two tablespoons of avocado is about 50 calories, compared to 180 calories for mayo, and 200 calories for butter.

Use creamy avocado on egg toast, stuffed into sandwiches or mixed into brownies. You can save up to 150 calories for (roughly) each ounce that you eat.

If you’re thinking, “Wait, what? How do I bake with avocado?!” then take a gander at this fudgy avocado brownie recipe (less than 150 calories per serving!) to see how.

 

9. Order Salad Dressing on the Side

Ordering veggie-loaded salads when you eat out are a great choice if you want to lose weight, but not if it’s drenched in dressing. Eating just two tablespoons less of ranch dressing or Italian vinaigrette will save you 128 and 100 calories less, respectively. Ask for your dressing on the side so you control how much dressing to use.

Pro tip: Slow your roll on those salad toppings — dressing is the obvious calorie culprit, but they add up once you start adding cheese, nuts, croutons, raisins, etc.

When you eat that healthy salad at home, you can make it even healthier by whipping up your own homemade dressing: Try a healthier ranch dressing or lemon tarragon vinaigrette.

10. Eat Fresh Fruit

There’s no question you should eat fruit to satisfy your sweet cravings instead of a candy bar. Keep in mind that fresh, whole fruits are best — while dried fruit is certainly healthier than a candy bar, it can contain almost as much sugar as one.

A piece of dried fruit contains about the same amount of natural sugars as a piece of fresh fruit, but store-bought dried fruit often contains added sugar, so make sure to check the label.

It’s also easy to overeat dried fruit since the volume is reduced when you remove the water from fruit. According to the American Heart Association, a serving of fruit is a 1/2 cup of fresh fruit or 1/4 cup of dried fruit.

Case in point: You can cut 260 calories (and 50 grams of sugar!) by eating 100 grams of fresh mango instead of dried, sweetened mango.

 

11. Stick With Low-Fat Cooking Techniques

Given the choice, always go for low-fat cooking preparations like baked, broiled, steamed, and sautéed over pan-fried, fried, or deep-fried. For example, half of a fried chicken breast is 364 calories, while the same amount of chicken that has been roasted is 193 calories, saving you 171 calories.

 

12. Box Up (or Share) Half Your Meal

I get a sinking feeling each time I study The Cheesecake Factory menu and discover that even the herb-crusted salmon is 920 calories! And it’s not just big chains that serve up big calorie bombs, either.

A 2013 study found that local/non-chain restaurants average 1,200 calories per meal, and concluded 92 percent of meals exceeded what you should eat in one sitting. Instead of walking out decidedly stuffed, share your meal or exit gracefully with a to-go box in hand. It’ll save you up to 600 calories — and you have another meal ready to go!

 

13. Hack Your Comfort Foods

Virtually everyone gets a food craving at some point, and it’s usually for something salty, carby, creamy, or sweet. Figure out what you regularly crave, and find a lighter swap to satisfy it.

For example, I replace my weekly (don’t judge!) ice cream cravings with these frozen banana pops. I get something icy and sweet and I save 113 calories compared to my usual cup of strawberry ice cream. You get the idea, but here are other examples:

 

The Takeaway

If you’re just starting out on your weight-loss journey, these 13 tips can help you cut calories and transition to healthier eating habits.

Cleaning up your diet is half the weight-loss battle, so don’t stop there — combine your new healthy eating plan with consistent, challenging workouts. You won’t get six-pack abs by eating kale salads and kicking it on the couch all week. Work on your nutrition and fitness and you’ll get the results you want.