Approximately 45 million Americans embark on a diet every year, certain that this will finally be the one that whips them into the enviable shape they’ve long wished to have. The bad news? An analysis of research conducted at UCLA suggests that the vast majority of people who try to diet will ultimately fail, regaining the weight they’ve lost—if not more—when they ditch whatever restrictive plan they’ve been attempting to stalwartly adhere to.
So, what’s the problem? Losing weight and successfully keeping it off takes a holistic approach, not some pre-packaged program that’s as unpleasant to follow as it is easy to give up on. Expensive bottles of juice and pain-inducing fitness programs can only be maintained for so long, after all. If you want to make this the year you finally start feeling good about your body, we’ve rounded up 100 weight loss tips sure to get anyone, regardless of their age, weight, or current eating and exercise habits, into the shape they’ve always wanted in no time. And before you get misled by misinformation, make sure you know these 40 Weight Loss “Secrets” That Don’t Work.
Put Down the Salt Shaker
While salt may not be calorically-dense, it can still have a significant effect on your weight loss—or lack thereof. In fact, researchers at the University of Helsinki have found a strong correlation between salt and rising obesity rates, as well as an increased risk of stroke and coronary heart disease. And for more ways to slim down fast, start with these 20 Surprising Weight-Loss Tips That Anyone Can Do.
Bypass the Beer
Beer isn’t just bad for your belly—it’s a weight-loss nightmare, as well. Drinking just two beers a day could lead to a weight gain of up to 2.5 pounds per month. Additionally, research published in Nutrition Journal reveals a link between beer consumption and abdominal obesity in adult men. Instead, drink wine: it’s fewer calories, and you’ll even reap some antioxidant benefits.
Add Some Yogurt to Your Meal Plan
Ditch those sugary breakfast foods in favor of some plain Greek yogurt—your new, slimmer body will be all the thanks you need. According to research published in the International Journal of Obesity, study subjects who added yogurt to their meal plan lost significantly more weight and inches off their waist than those who abstained. And for more great ways to optimize your diet for health, check out these 25 Foods That’ll Keep You Young Forever.
Eat More Frequently
Think skipping meals is the key to a slimmer body? Think again. Research published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association reveals that eating more frequently—specifically eating three meals and two snacks in a 24-hour period—is positively associated with weight loss and weight maintenance. And when you want to improve your eating habits even further, start with these 50 Foods That Make You Look Younger.
Skip the Prepared Food
If you’re eager to slim down, try getting rid those prepared foods in your diet whenever possible. While many ready-made meals are marketed as nutritious alternatives to home cooking, research published in the British Journal of Nutrition reveals that consumption of ready-made meals is linked to increased rates of obesity, as well as an increased risk for excess belly fat.
Get the Right Amount of Sleep
Shaving off extra pounds might be as simple as sleeping your way slim. In fact, according to the Nurses’ Health Study, women who regularly slept 5 hours or less gained more than 2.5 pounds more than those who slept more than 7 hours a night. However, that doesn’t mean you should spend all day in bed. Oversleeping is also associated with an increased risk of obesity. And if you need some help getting the rest you deserve, start with these 20 Nighttime Habits Guaranteed to Help You Sleep Better.
Turn Off the TV
Ditching some of those pounds could be as easy as turning off the TV. As it turns out, our predilection for binge-watching is having some seriously dangerous effects on our health. According to research published in the journal Nutrition, spending more than two hours a day watching television is significantly linked with increased consumption of fats and sugars, in addition to lower amounts of fruits and vegetables.
Get Your Partner In On the Act
A little support from your partner might just be the very thing you need to finally ditch those unwanted pounds. According to research published in PLoS One, while couples tend to have healthier habits, including drinking and smoking less, than their single counterparts, they still tend to gain weight together. Fortunately, since couples tend to mimic one another’s behavior—for better or for worse—getting your significant other on your team when it comes to weight loss can help you make some serious changes and finally ditch that spare tire. If you’re looking for some tricks to get on the same page, start with the 50 Best Marriage Tips of All Time.
Quit Chewing Gum
If you think that chewing gum is helping you fend off your food cravings, think again. Contrary to popular belief, research published in the journal Eating Behaviors actually reveals that chewing gum doesn’t decrease hunger, but rather makes people less likely to eat healthy foods, like fruit, and may have a deleterious effect on overall diet quality. And for more behaviors to ditch, stat, check out these 40 Worst Habits for People Over 40.
Ditch the Diet Soda
Even though diet soda is typically non-caloric, it can still have a serious effect on your weight and overall health. Research published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society reveals that diet soda consumption is associated with increased waist circumference and abdominal fat.
Boost Your Vitamin D Intake
A little vitamin D goes a long way when it comes to losing weight. Research suggests that overweight individuals with inadequate vitamin D levels in their blood who adequately increased their vitamin D levels lost more weight and more body fat than those who dieted or exercised alone. And for more great advice, learn the 20 Weight-Loss Techniques Successful Dieters Share.
Get Some Early Morning Sunlight
Not a naturally early riser? If you’re looking to lose weight, you might want to set your alarm a few hours earlier. Researchers at Northwestern University have discovered a link between exposure to early morning sunlight and lower BMI, so maybe the early bird really does get the weight loss worm. And if you want to start exercising at these wee hours, read our guide for turning into a morning workout machine.
Increase Your Water Intake
Sipping some water throughout the day is one of the easiest ways to shave off some excess weight. A review of research published in Frontiers in Nutrition confirms that increased water intake is positively associated with weight loss, so before you grab a snack, make sure you’re not mistaking that thirst cue for hunger.
Sip Some Green Tea
Swap that sugary coffee for a cup of unsweetened green tea and you might just find yourself meeting your weight loss goals before you know it. Research published in the International Journal of Obesity reveals that the combination of caffeine and epigallocatechin gallate has a positive influence on both weight loss and weight maintenance.
Reduce Your Eating Window
If you’re forcing yourself to eat breakfast when you’re not hungry or find yourself grabbing dinner when bed sounds like a more appealing option, you may be doing yourself a disservice. According to research published in Cell Metabolism, time-restricted eating is associated with a reduced risk of obesity, even without calorie restriction. Even better, it’s also associated with a reduced risk of metabolic disease, even when you take a break on weekends. And for more sage weight-loss wisdom, master the 20 Science-Backed Techniques to Motivate Yourself to Lose Weight.
Sleep in a Cooler Room
Want to drop a few pounds before summer’s in full swing? It might be as easy as keeping your bedroom cooler. According to researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University and Australia’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research, setting the thermostat to 66 degrees for 10 hours a night increased study participants’ healthy brown fat by 42 percent and increased their metabolic activity by 10 percent—in just one month.
Do Some HIIT
Patience doesn’t always pay off when it comes to weight loss. In fact, doing shorter, more intense workouts, like HIIT, is actually more effective at helping us shed fat, plus will increase insulin sensitivity and improve overall cardiovascular fitness, according to a review of research published in the Journal of Obesity.
Visualize Your Success
While vision-boarding may be a bit much, visualizing your success may actually help you achieve your goals, especially in terms of weight loss. Research published in the Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology reveals that visualization helped weight lifters increase their muscle activity during a workout, indicating it may be key to getting a more effective burn—and, ultimately, slimming down faster.
Add Yoga to Your Routine
Yoga may not be the biggest calorie-torcher out there, but that doesn’t mean there’s any reason to discount it as a means of losing weight. In fact, according to researchers at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, yoga can actually promote healthier eating behaviors in addition to increasing muscle tone and improving cardiovascular health.
Drink Some Coffee
If you’re trying to lose weight, you’d be well-advised to keep this common morning pick-me-up on your schedule. According to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, drinking coffee was associated with increased fat loss and increased metabolic rate. Just make sure you’re skipping the sugar, which can quickly turn this healthy habit into one that causes you to pack on the pounds. And for more ways that a cup of Joe can boost your health, learn the 75 Amazing Benefits of Coffee.
Grab a Friend
Want to make your time at the gym more enjoyable and lose more weight? All it takes is teaming up with a friend. Researchers at the University of Aberdeen have discovered that working out with a new exercise partner increased the amount of exercise people engaged in. However, that doesn’t mean you have to enlist a drill sergeant to bark orders at you to get results—in fact, having an emotionally-supportive workout partner further increased the amount of exercise study subjects got. And for ideas on what routines you can undergo with your friend, try out any of the 30 Workouts That Burn More than 500 Calories An Hour.
Snack on Some Strawberries
Who says that sweet snacks are off-limits when you’re trying to shed some pounds? The right ones, like strawberries, may actually improve your weight loss efforts. Not only are strawberries an excellent source of antioxidant pigment resveratrol, which has been shown to mitigate some of the effects of a high-fat diet, they may even help you get more active. According to research published in Nutrients, strawberries specifically reduced pain and inflammation in obese adults with osteoarthritis in their knees.
Write Down Your Goals
It’s easy to lose motivation when you’re working out and not seeing immediate progress. The good news? Writing down your goals may just be the very thing you need to stay the course. According to research conducted at Dominican University of California, study subjects who wrote down their goals were significantly more likely to achieve them than those who simply kept them in mind.
Reach Out for Help Online
Just because you can’t hit an in-person weight loss meeting doesn’t mean you won’t be effective when it comes to hitting your weight loss goals. Don’t have time? Just go online. According to researchers at the University of Southampton, online behavioral counseling was effective at helping people slim down and maintain their weight loss over a 12-month period.
Add Weight Training to Your Routine
While many people assume that weight training will make them look bulky, adding some weights to your routine is actually a great way to slim down and boost your metabolism in one fell swoop. In fact, a study published in the journal Obesity reveals that obese adults who combined weight lifting and resistance training lost less lean muscle mass than those who combined weight lifting and aerobic training. Over time, this combination may increase a person’s cardiovascular fitness while helping them maintain a more desirable (read: leaner-looking) body composition, while helping them avoid becoming “skinny fat.”
Say Some Affirmations
Instead of beating yourself up over past failures to lose weight, try saying some affirmations to get yourself going. Research published in the Journal of Experimental and Social Psychology reveals that self-affirmation is significantly associated with positive behavioral changes, so don’t be afraid to stand in front of the mirror and remind yourself what an amazing job you’re going to do.
Invest in At-Home Equipment
While making it to the gym on a daily basis may feel next-to-impossible for some of us, that doesn’t mean you can’t get the exercise you need to slim down. Investing in a mini stair-stepper, under-desk elliptical, or a foldable treadmill can help you reach your weight loss goals even on those days when hitting the gym just isn’t in the cards.
Stop Sleeping In
While getting inadequate sleep can certainly derail your weight loss success, getting up at the crack of noon is no better in the long run. Research conducted at Northwestern University reveals that late sleepers added 248 calories to their daily meal plan as compared to early risers. Worse yet, they ate double the amount of fast food, and fewer vegetables, than those who got up early.
Prioritize Quality, Not Quantity
When it comes to losing weight, deprivation simply isn’t a strategy most of us can adhere to in the long run. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, it’s time to start focusing on how nutritious the food you’re eating is rather than trying to whittle your portions down as much as possible. In fact, according to research published in JAMA, individuals who prioritized eating more vegetables while reducing their intake of processed food lost substantial weight, even when they weren’t counting calories.
Snap Some Selfies
Sure, your penchant for snapping nonstop selfies may annoy your friends—and even significant other—but it could also be the key to getting the body you’ve always wanted. According to research conducted at American University, taking and sharing photos of your progress can help you hit your goals and maintain consistency as you try to lose weight.
Eat on Blue Plates
If slimming down is on the top of your to-do list, you may want to invest in some new dishware. Plates with colors that contrast with your food can actually help you eat less. A study published in the Journal of Consumer Research reveals that individuals who ate foods similar in color to the plate they were eating on, like pasta in tomato sauce on a red plate, ate 30 percent more than those whose food contrasted with the dish they were eating it from.
Fill Up on Fiber
If you’re trying to rid yourself of those extra pounds, eating plenty of filling, fiber-rich foods, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, can help you get to your goal a whole lot faster than trying to deprive yourself. According to research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, increasing your fiber intake can help you lose more weight than a low-fiber diet. All it takes is 30 grams of fiber each day, and you can also reduce your insulin resistance and lower your blood pressure, too.
Weigh Yourself Daily
While staring down the number on the scale may be scary, doing so on a daily basis can help you lose more weight in the long run. According to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University, college-aged female students who weighed themselves daily lost more weight and body fat than those who opted for more sporadic weigh-ins.
Skip the Potatoes
Think only refined carbohydrates have an effect on your weight? Think again. In fact, new research suggests that regular consumption of potatoes is positively correlated with obesity. However, that doesn’t mean that every potato is created equal; the occasional fiber-rich baked sweet potato is unlikely to derail your diet in the way an oversized order of salty, greasy French fries would.
Grab Some Ginger
A little ginger in your meal plan could mean some major weight loss to look forward to. According to researchers at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, ginger has an effect against both insulin resistance and obesity. Of course, not all forms of ginger are created equal (we’re looking at you, ginger snaps), so make sure you’re using it in its whole, unprocessed form, like by adding it to curries or smoothies, whenever possible.
Add Some Avocado to Your Meals
All jokes about avocado toast habits tanking the real estate industry aside, eating some avocado on a regular basis is actually a pretty great decision, especially in terms of your weight loss. According to research published in Internal Medicine Review, avocado intake was associated with better overall dietary quality, lower BMI, and lower waist circumference. Consider this a big flag-wave to add some to your favorite salad, sandwich, or omelet.
Grab Some Smaller Dishes
If you want to win big in terms of weight loss, go small when it comes to your plates. According to a review published in the Journal of Consumer Research, doubling the size of a person’s plate when they were serving themselves food was associated with them serving themselves a shocking 41 percent more food.
Keep a Food Diary
A little journaling about your food can make a major impact in terms of how much weight you lose in the long run. Research from Kaiser Permanente reveals that keeping a food diary nearly doubled weight loss when compared to those who didn’t keep track of their meals, so go ahead and jot down what you’ve been snacking on.
Clench Your Muscles
If you’re trying hard to turn down that tempting piece of chocolate in pursuit of a slimmer body, there’s an easy way to get there: just clench your muscles. According to a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, clenching a muscle has a pronounced effect on a person’s willpower, making it easier to look temptation in the face and say, “Not today.”
Keep Tempting Foods Out of Sight
One of the quickest ways to kick off your weight loss is also one of the easiest: simply put tempting foods away. Research conducted at Cornell University reveals that individuals who kept fruit on their kitchen counters had lower BMIs overall, and individuals of an average weight were less likely to keep snack foods, like pastries, on their counter than their obese counterparts.
Scale Back Your Meat Intake
While increasing your protein intake may help you lose some weight, making your meals too meat-heavy may have the opposite effect. In fact, according to research presented at the 18th International Conference on Nutrition and Food Sciences, meat consumption was significantly linked to the rise in obesity rates. Instead, try getting some of your protein from healthier, fiber-rich sources, like nuts and legumes, or at least opt for leaner cuts of meat when you do indulge.
Set Smaller Goals
While it’s nice to imagine that you’ll quickly and easily shed all the weight you want, sometimes swinging for the fences with those huge goals can do more harm than good. Instead, try setting smaller goals, like hitting the gym every day for a month, or ditching that sweetened latte in the morning in favor of an iced coffee with a splash of milk. Think those small changes won’t make a big difference? Losing just 5 percent of your total body weight can significantly improve your cardiovascular health and reduce inflammation throughout your body.
Break Up With White Foods
One of the simplest ways to lose weight is easy: identify the foods in your home with white flour in them and say so long. Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals that people with increased intakes of refined grains are significantly more likely to have excess belly fat than those who favored more fiber-rich grain-based products. So, if you’re trying to slim down, those cookies, crackers, and white breads should be the first items on your veto list.
Identify Your Motivation
When you’re slogging through another seemingly-endless workout, it can be hard to remember why you started in the first place. Research reveals that addressing the factors that contribute to or hinder motivation can help keep you on track toward reaching your goals in the long run.
Sprinkle on Some Cinnamon
A little cinnamon on your coffee could mean a lot less weight on your body over time. Research suggests that cinnamon is among a class of natural substances that have both an anti-obesogenic and anti-inflammatory effect. Since highly-flavorful foods, like cinnamon, can also help you eat less, this spice is a double-whammy for weight loss.
Start Your Meal With Water
Before you reach for your fork, reach for your water glass. According to research conducted at the University of Birmingham, drinking two glasses of water prior to meals helped study participants lose 2.87 pounds more than those who dug right in.
Reduce Your Total Carb Count
While you don’t have to jump on the keto bandwagon, lowering your total carb count could go a long way in terms of your weight loss. Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals that, over a 12-month period, low-carb diets were effective at reducing both total body mass and insulin resistance among obese study subjects.
Eat Lunch Earlier
Tucking into your midday meal an hour or two earlier could yield serious results for your waistline. According to research published in the International Journal of Obesity, study subjects who ate lunch on the early side lost more weight and shed the pounds faster than those who ate their midday meal after 3:00 p.m.
Keep Your Drinking in Check
We all know that bar crawls aren’t doing any favors for our waistlines, but what many people don’t realize is just how damaging a single drinking binge can be. In addition to repercussions for your liver, brain, and overall well-being, research suggests that drinking more than one or two drinks in a sitting may significantly increase a person’s risk of obesity. In fact, according to research published in the Journal of Nutrition, daily drinkers who had just one drink at each sitting had slimmer waistlines than those who consumed four or more drinks at one time, once a week.
Get Some Natural Light
Want to slim down almost effortlessly? Step into the sun. Research published in Scientific Reports reveals that fat cells exposed to light stored less fat than those kept in the dark. Of course, just because a little light may be good for you doesn’t mean you can’t overdo it—don’t get more than 15 minutes a day without sunblock on or you’ll increase your risk for skin cancer. And if you feel like you may have overdone it, check out the 20 Skin Cancer Symptoms Everyone Should Be Aware Of.
Eat an Apple Before Meals
If you’re eager to ditch that ballooning belly, start your meals with an apple. Research published in Nutrition reveals that consuming an apple three times a day is associated with greater weight loss. For maximum impact, eat a red apple and you’ll get a boost of belly-fat-blasting resveratrol, too.
Opt for Some Personal Training Sessions
Want to improve your outcome at the gym? Try treating yourself to some personal training sessions. Research published in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine reveals that personal training both motivated study subjects and improved their exercise performance. Fortunately, even if they seem cost-prohibitive, many gyms will offer discounted group sessions or even free training with a new membership.
Learn to Accept Your Negative Feelings
As unpleasant as it may be to admit, sometimes you’re just not going to have a good time when you’re losing weight. However, instead of trying to suppress those feelings, try to accept them and move on—research published in Eating Behaviors reveals that accepting those feelings can lead to greater success when trying to avoid certain trigger foods.
Wear Something You Feel Good In
Need some motivation to hit the gym? Treat yourself to a new outfit that you feel good in. According to a study published in the Journal of Experimental and Social Psychology, the clothing we wear is significantly psychologically tied to what we do in those clothes, meaning that a great workout outfit may actually help motivate you to hit the gym.
Opt for Walking Over the Car Whenever Possible
Want to boost your weight loss? Start by leaving the car at home. Research published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine reveals a significant link between commuting by car and increased weight gain, even among those who are otherwise physically active. If a distance is short enough to walk and you’re physically able to do so, go by foot whenever possible and watch the pounds melt away.
Opt For Whole Grains When You Eat Carbs
If you want to get your whole body into better shape, start with some whole grains. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a person’s intake of whole grains has an inverse relationship with their percentage of both subcutaneous and dangerous visceral fat. In layman’s terms: if you’re insistent about eating that sandwich for lunch, get it on multi-grain bread with no HFCS and you can enjoy a healthier body than you would have if you opted for white.
Swap Popsicles for Frozen Red Grapes
While popsicles may be a summer staple, there’s a better way to beat the heat. Instead of those refined sugar-laden treats, enjoy some frozen red grapes instead. Not only will they help satisfy your sweet tooth, their resveratrol (that’s the beneficial antioxidant found in red wine) content has been shown to reduce weight gain associated with a high-fat diet.
Eat Eggs for Breakfast
Start your day off right by ditching that high-carb meal in favor of a few eggs. Research published in the International Journal of Obesity reveals that individuals who ate eggs for breakfast lost more weight than those who ate a similarly-caloric bagel. Better yet, despite their reputation for being bad for your cholesterol, research now suggests that most healthy people can safely eat up to three eggs a day without risking their health.
Skip the Smokes
While many people assume that the nicotine in cigarettes has a metabolism-boosting effect, or at least helps curb appetite, it turns out, the opposite is true. In fact, research presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society reveals that quitting smoking actually improves metabolic performance.
Get Your House in Order
The easiest way to clean up your eating habits? Start by cleaning up your house. Researchers at the University of Minnesota have discovered that organized spaces promote healthier food choices, so there’s no time like the present to get your spring cleaning started.
Put On Some Mood Lighting
Make every meal a bit more romantic with some low lighting and you might just find yourself looking and feeling fitter in a hurry. According to research conducted at Cornell University, lower lighting reduced the total number of calories study participants consumed but increased the total time spent eating by 4.7 percent.
Slow Down at Mealtime
While many working adults have so little time for lunch that they wolf down their meals, eating more slowly could make a major difference in how much weight you lose. In fact, research published in BMJ Open reveals that slower eating is significantly associated with reduced BMI and waist circumference.
Surround Yourself With Likeminded People
If you’re eager to get healthy and slim down, it pays to be around people who already consider their health a priority. Research published in The New England Journal of Medicine reveals that obesity tends to spread among social groups, so if you’re trying to slim down, spend time with your friends who are also eager to do the same.
Bring On the Black Pepper
Instead of throwing high-calorie condiments onto your food, try seasoning it with black pepper first. Research suggests that black pepper has inflammation- and obesity-fighting properties, so go and give your waiter an enthusiastic “yes” when he or she offers.
Swear While You Work Out
If you can’t stand to do one more rep or minute on the treadmill, tell the gym what you think of it with some well-chosen profanity. That’s right: cursing might just help you get healthier. According to research published in Psychology of Sport and Exercise, swearing increases an athlete’s power and strength during a workout, meaning you can slim down faster, despite all the $!#%? annoyance you’re feeling.
Add Some MCT Oil to Your Meals
A little fat in your meal plan can go a long way when it comes to shedding the fat off your body, particularly if you choose a medium-chain triglyceride oil. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals that MCT oil supplementation yielded greater weight loss than olive oil, so go ahead and add some to your coffee or smoothie to maximize your fat burn.
Skip the High-Fructose Corn Syrup
While processed sweets are never good for us, high-fructose corn syrup is particularly bad when you’re trying to lose weight. Researchers at Princeton University and The Rockefeller University found that even when rats consumed fewer total calories in high-fructose corn syrup than their counterparts consuming a sucrose solution, they still became overweight.
Add Some Spinach Extract to Your Meals
Make like Popeye and add some spinach to your routine if you want to lose weight fast. One study reveals that supplementation with spinach leaf extract over a period of 90 days caused weight loss, lowered study subjects’ cholesterol, and reduced their desire for sugary and fatty foods.
Pregame with Pears
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but a pear will do just fine, if that’s your preference. Researchers at the State University of Rio de Janeiro have found that consumption of three pears a day was associated with weight loss. If you’re feeling tempted by unhealthy foods, pregame with a fiber-rich pear and you’ll likely be satisfied enough to wait until the craving passes.
Eat Carbs Later in the Day
While many people assume that eating carbs close to bedtime is a bad thing, research suggests the opposite may be true. According to a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, eating carbohydrates at night can actually help reduce your appetite.
Surround Yourself With People Who Support Your Goals
If you want to lose weight and keep it off, get the members of your inner circle on board with your goals. According to researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the study participants whose friends and family members were eager to support their weight loss success ended up maintaining their weight more effectively than those whose inner circle hindered their progress.
Sip Some Apple Cider Vinegar
A shot of apple cider vinegar in the morning might be the key to getting the body you’ve always wanted. The results of one recent study revealed that consuming acetic acid, a major component in vinegar, reduces weight, waist circumference, and visceral fat.
Snack on Some Grapefruit
Instead of grabbing a bagel for breakfast, try subbing in a grapefruit a few mornings a week. According to research published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, study subjects who added grapefruit, grapefruit juice, or a grapefruit supplement in pill form to their diet lost significantly more weight and reduced their insulin resistance when compared to a group given a placebo.
Put On Some Soft Music
Trying to ditch those last 10 pounds? Try putting on some soft music while you eat. Researchers at Cornell University have discovered a correlation between calmer music and a reduce total caloric intake, so opt for some classical tunes instead of bouncy pop at dinner time.
Work Out in a Fasted State
While some gym devotees claim that getting in a pre-workout snack is key to their success, research suggests the opposite is true. According to research conducted at the University of Bath, eating before a workout may actually make it more difficult to lose body fat. Whenever possible, get in your time at the gym on an empty stomach and you’ll watch those pounds disappear faster than you thought possible.
Slash Your Stress
If you’re eating well and exercising regularly but still can’t lose weight, try reducing your stress level whenever possible. According to a long-term study conducted by researchers at University College London and the Technical University of Dresden, cortisol, a stress hormone, was significantly correlated with increased waist circumference and obesity. If you need help busting your anxiety, learn the 30 Easiest Ways To Slash Your Stress—For Good.
Snack on Nuts
Nuts may be high in fat, but that doesn’t mean you should kick them off your menu when you want to lose weight. Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals that, despite being a relatively high-calorie food, long-term nut consumption is actually associated with a reduced risk of both obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Give Up the Guilt
If you have strong associations between certain foods and guilt, there’s no time like the present to try to break that bond. While many may believe that associating guilt with certain foods may make you more likely to abstain from them, a study published in Appetite actually reveals that people who associated foods with guilt had less success losing weight over a three-month period than those who considered them celebratory foods.
Add Some Cloves to Your Meal
Add some spicy flavor to your food with a few cloves and you’ll be enjoying a healthier, leaner body in no time. In addition to making food more flavorful, research suggests that cloves are effective at reducing bodily inflammation and an individual’s risk of obesity, too.
Ditch the Trans Fats
Sometimes, a calorie isn’t just a calorie. Case in point: calories from trans fats may be slowing your weight loss down, even if you’re not overeating. In fact, researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine have discovered that monkeys fed a diet high in trans fats gained significantly more weight than those fed monounsaturated fats, while also increasing their proportion of belly fat.
Up Your Probiotic Intake
If you want to get your body in shape, start by improving the health of your gut bacteria. Research conducted at the Université Laval reveals that the gut bacteria in obese individuals and thin individuals differ significantly, but adding probiotics to a person’s regular routine may help them increase their weight loss.
Eat in Front of a Mirror
Looking for a dining companion who supports your weight loss? Try looking into a mirror. In fact, research published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research reveals that individuals who ate a piece of cake in front of the mirror found its flavor less appealing than those who ate it in a more typical dining environment.
Skip the Commercials
A surprising ally in the battle of the bulge? Your DVR. Research suggests a strong connection between food advertising and increased appetite, so when you’re trying to harness your willpower, skip the ads.
Add Some Whey Protein to Your Meal Plan
Losing weight doesn’t have to mean spending hours in the kitchen prepping food. In fact, a whey protein shake might just be what you need to slim down. Research published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition reveals that subbing in whey protein for a more carbohydrate-rich meal helped study subjects lose more weight than those who stuck to carb-heavy snacks.
Eat Dessert Early
Losing weight doesn’t have to mean skipping dessert—but you might want to eat it earlier in the day. Researchers at the American Friends of Tel Aviv University found that obese, non-diabetic study subjects who ate dessert as part of a 600-calorie breakfast lost more weight and kept it off in the long term when compared to a group eating a 300-calorie, low-carbohydrate breakfast.
Spice Up Your Food With Chili Peppers
Want a slimmer body? Start bringing the heat in the kitchen. Research published in PLoS One reveals that capsaicin—the component in chili peppers that gives them that trademark heat—increases a person’s ability to burn fat. Better yet, people tend to eat smaller portions of spicy food than they would a milder dish, which may help you effortlessly reduce your caloric intake, too.
Make Wine Your Drink of Choice
While slamming cocktails is certainly no recipe for weight loss, the occasional glass of wine might be. In fact, a study published in JAMA and Archives Journal reveals that normal-weight women who drink wine in moderate amounts were at lower risk of becoming overweight than those who abstained from booze altogether.
Brush Your Teeth More Frequently
A cleaner mouth and slimmer waistline somewhat surprisingly go hand-in-hand. Research published in Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine reveals that normal-weight people brushed their teeth after meals more frequently than their obese counterparts. If you want to signify to your brain that the time for eating has come to an end and make your favorite foods less palatable, busting out your toothbrush and some minty toothpaste might just be your best bet.
Sniff Some Peppermint
However, if you don’t have time to give your pearly whites a polish, sniffing a little mint may have a similar effect. According to research conducted at Wheeling Jesuit University, individuals who sniffed peppermint every two hours over a five-day study period reduced their caloric intake by a staggering 1,800 calories.
Increase Your Vitamin C Intake
Orange you glad we didn’t tell you you had to give up your favorite fruit to lose weight? In fact, opting for some vitamin C-rich citrus might just be the key to a slimmer body. Research published in the Journal of Nutrition reveals that increased vitamin C intake is related to decreased BMI and waist circumference, so go ahead and add some fresh fruit to your mealtime routine.
Prepare Your Food at Home
Want a mealtime solution that’s as good for your waistline as it is for your wallet? Try prepping your food at home. Research published in Public Health Nutrition reveals that regularly eating meals prepared at home is associated with a lower total caloric intake, as well as lower sugar consumption.
Look at Food Photos
Those mouthwatering photos of indulgent meals you see on Instagram may actually put you off similar food in the future. Research published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology reveals that people enjoy food less after looking at pictures of a similar meal, so if you’re trying to reduce your cravings, facing them in photo form might just be your best bet for maintaining your willpower.
Sniff Something Vanilla-Scented
Smelling something sweet might give you the willpower you need to avoid actually eating something sweet. According to one study, sniffing something vanilla-scented resulted in significantly more weight loss than those who smelled something lemon-scented or nothing at all.
Enjoy Full-Fat Dairy Products
While it may seem counterintuitive, ditching low-fat dairy in favor of the full-fat stuff may help you lose weight in the long run. In fact, research published in the Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care reveals that individuals who regularly ate full-fat dairy products actually had a lower risk of developing harmful belly fat than those who opted for low-fat dairy instead.
Snack on Some Chocolate
Good news, chocoholics: your occasional indulgence might just be the key to staying slim. According to research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, individuals who regularly consume chocolate are thinner than those who abstain. For your best bet, stick to dark chocolate and you’ll enjoy a boost of inflammation-fighting antioxidants, too.
Add Turmeric to Your Food
Turmeric has long had a reputation as a health food, and it seems it’s not entirely undeserved. In fact, research suggests that turmeric has both anti-inflammatory and obesity-fighting properties, so don’t be shy about sprinkling some in your smoothie or using it to add some flavor to your favorite dish.
Go to Bed Earlier
Sorry, night owls: going to bed earlier might just be a better bet when you’re trying to lose weight. Research published by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine reveals that later bedtimes, and the associated sleep loss, may increase a person’s risk of weight gain in the long run. Luckily, it only takes a few days to reset your body’s internal clock, and when you start seeing those pounds melt off, you’ll realize it was well worth it.
Leave the Peel On
This may be a terrible tip when it comes to bananas or oranges, but for apples, hear us out: leaving the peel on may actually boost your weight loss. According to research published in PLOS One, the ursolic acid found in apple peels may increase your stores of fat-torching brown fat and muscle while helping you lose weight and combating some of the deleterious effects of a high-fat diet.
Make Time for Meditation
A little “om” in your daily routine could mean a lot less weight on your body over time. Researchers at McGill University have found that mindfulness meditation helped people lose weight and keep it off over time. This is likely due to two factors: mindfulness can contribute to healthier, more mindful eating, and it can also help lower stress, which can, in turn, reduce cortisol levels and impulsive eating.
Close Up Shop
If you’re serious about slimming down, start by closing your kitchen after dinner and saying “so long” until the next morning. Research published in Obesity reveals that eating at certain times can alter a body’s circadian rhythms, thus influencing weight gain. If you want to nip this issue in the bud, set a specific time after which you stop eating for the day—preferably at least a few hours before you go to bed—and stick to it. And when you’re ready to change your body for good, start with these 40 Great Exercises for Adding Muscle Over 40.
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