Clench your fist for 30 seconds! Dr. Iris Hung, from the National University of Singapore, says clenching the muscles in your hand boosts electrical activity in the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain responsible for self-control. And that extra brain activity literally helps strengthen your willpower. Dr. Hung says clenching your fist for just 30 seconds can help you stick to your diet, eat 250 calories fewer calories a day, and lose 3 pounds a month.
Swap your cold cereal for warm oatmeal in the morning. Even though they’re both made with oats, and have the same amount of calories per serving – the warm oatmeal will help you feel fuller for hours afterward. That’s because we perceive warm foods as more satisfying. Plus, oatmeal has a type of soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which slows down digestion to help us feel full much longer.
What’s the #1 thing that inspires people to lose weight? How good they’ll feel afterward? Buying new clothes? Feeling less self-conscious? Nope… According to a survey of 2,000 women trying to lose weight, the #1 thing that inspires people is: Seeing before-and-after photos online! The survey was conducted by Slimming World, which is a weight-loss organization. They found 70% of the women surveyed were inspired by things they saw on social media – from workout videos, to seeing other people who’ve transformed their bodies, to following fitness influencers who share motivational tips every day. But the #1 source of inspiration was before-and-after transformation photos. 91% of the women who used social media said before-and-after photos helped them realize it’s possible to reach their goals. The Slimming World survey also found that people trying to lose weight love the positive community they can find on social media. 87% of the women surveyed said that being part of a group going through the same thing helped them stay accountable.
Dieters, if you’ve hit a weight loss plateau, try going OFF your diet for 2 weeks. That advice comes from the International Congress on Obesity. They found that people who switched on and off from a diet plan lost more weight than those who continuously dieted. That’s because intermittent dieting prevents your metabolism from slowing down too much – which usually happens when you cut back on calories. So try 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off, then keep going back and forth.
Look at paintings or sculptures of slim figures before you eat! Think Degas’ ballerinas… or Giacometti’s bronze stick-figure sculptures. According to a study in the journal Food Quality, when study subjects were told they could eat as many chips as they wanted, they ate significantly less when they had viewed artwork featuring slim-figured people. That’s because the artwork subconsciously reminds you of your weight loss goal… and that heightens your awareness of being full, so you naturally want to eat less.
Keeping a digital food diary is better than jotting down what you eat on paper. According to Arizona State University, people who use an app keep better track of what they eat. They make more detailed notes and do it more often. And that’s a big deal if you’re dieting. Because the more focused you are, the more effective it is at controlling weight. A couple apps to try are “Lose It” and “MyNetDiary.”
Maintain a healthy weight! According to the Cancer Prevention Center at the University of Texas, being overweight is on track to overtake tobacco as the leading preventable cause of cancer. And according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that the heaviest women had death rates from cancer that were 62%higher than women in a healthy weight range. In fact, one-third of all cancer deaths in the U.S. each year are linked to poor diet and too little physical activity. So what is it about being overweight that makes it a cancer risk? It’s the fact that excess fat changes hormonal activity. It causes higher levels of insulin, growth factors, inflammation, and gender hormones – and that increases your odds of developing cancer. So at your next doctor’s appointment, ask if they have any recommendations for your weight. Are you at a healthy weight?What should you aim for? Because getting to a healthy weight will greatly reduce your cancer risk.
You can lose over5 pounds in 12 weekswithout changing what you eat, or how much you exercise. How? Drink a glass of water before breakfast, lunch and dinner. According to a study in the journal Obesity, it works simply by filling you up, so you eat less. And drinking TWO glasses of water before each meal helped people loseTWICE as much weight. It’s as simple as that.
You can lose a little over 5 pounds in 12 weekswithout changing what you eat, or how much you exercise, simply by drinking waterbefore each meal. Here’s why it works… A study scanned people’s brains after they drank water and found their stomachs registered as “full” – even though all they’d had was water. And that’s why people who drink the most water lose the mostweight.
Just wait for a‑twentieth of a second! A study in Psychological Science found that’s about how long it takes after a craving first strikes for your brain to decide whether you’re making a healthy choice or not. And that minuscule amount of time allows you to weigh the pros and cons of taking that first bite of chocolate cake, for example, and helps overcome your natural impulse to eat it immediately. Your first thought is about taste – the second thought is about health. So just give yourself another split secondbefore you reach for your fork, and you may be able to resist temptation.