New research has uncovered simple ways to trim 100 calories or more from your diet without skimping on flavor. While it doesn’t sound like much, shaving off 100 calories a day could help you trim 10 lbs or more in a year even if you never set foot in the gym.
Wet your whistle
You’re more likely to crave veggies than greasy French fries, chips, or other high-fat foods if you pair a meal with water instead of caloric beverages. Researchers at the University of Oregon say that food-drink pairings can influence the type of food choices we make and the amount of calories we eat. In the study, adults who paired a meal with water were more likely to eat their vegetables and make other healthy food choices than if they sipped on soda.
Stop staring at sugar
To help you keep sugar cravings in check, a recent study says you should look the other way when you see pictures of high-fat, high-calorie, or sugary foods. That’s because brain scans have shown that ogling pictures of high-calorie treats stimulates parts of the brain that control hunger and the reward center, says Kathleen Page, MD, assistant professor of medicine at USC and the study’s lead author. Bottom line: maybe your Pinterest board of cupcakes isn’t the best idea.
Several studies say you could wind up hungrier than if you were bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. One study from the Mayo Clinic shows getting less than 6 ½ hours of sleep a night can lead to consuming as many as 500 excess calories in a day.
Being sleep deprived can increase how hungry you feel and lead to downing more calories than you’d eat if you weren’t exhausted, says Manfred Hallschmid, PhD, department of medical psychology and behavioral neurobiology, University of Tübingen and lead researcher of a separate study on sleep and calorie consumption.
“Sleep deprivation can raise levels of appetite hormones like ghrelin,” he says.
Surging levels of ghrelin, the hormone that revs up your appetite, can lead to eating hundreds of extra calories than when you’re well-rested, according to Dr. Manfred Hallschmid.
Dim the lights
A recent study from Cornell University says the secret to eating less – and feeling more satisfied with what you do eat – could be as simple as some mood lighting. People who ate a meal under soft, warm lighting consumed 175 fewer calories, and finished 18% less of the food on their plates, than those who dined in brightly lit places.
Those in the darker rooms also rated food as more enjoyable than the other group. Scientists think that’s because the harsh fluorescent lights commonly found in fast-food restaurants may create a psychological need to rush through meals and eat more. Consider this your chance to actually use those candlesticks you got for your wedding ages ago.
Don’t say: I can’t
Whether you’re trying to sidestep a fast-food drive-thru or the office doughnuts, don’t tell yourself what you can’t eat. Instead, tell yourself you “don’t” eat it. In a recent study, when researchers divided a group of people into “can’t eats” and “don’t eats,” 64% of those in the “don’t” group passed up a candy bar in favor of a healthier granola bar – but only 30% of the “can’t” group chose the healthier snack. “Can’t” sounds more like punishment than being healthy, creating a sense of self-deprivation that can tank your motivation. On the other hand, reminding yourself you “don’t” eat certain foods feels more empowering.Think thin The way you think about food and your body can determine your success at sticking to a healthy diet. Over a 10-year span, 59% of women who started out with an average body mass index (BMI) of 20 but thought they were overweight, wound up packing on weight and watching their BMI swell to more than 25. That weight gain likely happened because of a self-fulfilling prophecy, says Susan Albers, psychologist at The Cleveland Clinic and the author of Eating Mindfully and 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food.
“Your mindset is incredibly important in giving up or getting on track with your weight,” she says.
“So if you think you are not overweight, regardless of your actual weight, you will act in ways that lead you to what you already believe.”
Be a straight shooter
They might look stylish, but swanky, curved drinking glasses on your table could lead to extra weight. A British study found that people consumed 60% more alcohol, sugary sodas, and juices if the glass they drank from was curvy, rather than a straight tumbler. The researchers speculate that people drink faster from the curvy glasses because it’s harder to tell when you’re at the halfway point, meaning you’re more likely to reach for another drink sooner and end up consuming more.
Losing weight just got twice as hard because of a new way of calculating the effects of dieting.
Conventional guidelines fail to take into account changes in metabolism, says U.S. expert Dr. Kevin Hall.
As a result, dieting is always going to be a struggle, Dr. Kevin Hall argues. Cutting calories leads to a slowing of metabolism which means it takes longer to lose weight.
At a rate of 100 calories lost per day, it would take the average person a year to shed 5 lbs of body weight.
Under the “old” guidelines, based on the idea that each pound is equivalent to 3,500 calories, the same degree of weight loss should be possible in roughly half that time.
Speaking at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Vancouver, Canada, Dr. Kevin Hall said: “People have used this rule of thumb to predict how much weight people should lose for decades now, but it turns out to be incredibly wrong.
“The reason it’s wrong is because it doesn’t account for the metabolic changes that take place when people change their diet.
“We know that if you cut the calories in somebody’s diet their metabolism starts to slow down, and it slows down more and more the more weight that is lost. So eventually you’ll reach a plateau.
“Some of my work has been to develop realistic mathematical models about what happens to metabolism when people start changing their diets and can we come up with some better rules and better predictions.”
Cutting calories leads to a slowing of metabolism which means it takes longer to lose weight
Because of the way metabolism slows weight loss, dieting away 100 calories daily would lead to the loss of just 10 lbs in three years, said Dr. Kevin Hall, from the Laboratory of Biological Modelling in Maryland.
Five pounds of that weight loss would go in the first year.
Dr. Kevin Hall has developed an online slimming aid that explains what level of dieting is needed to achieve a weight loss target. It takes numerous factors into account including metabolism.
The website (bwsimulator.niddk.nih.gov) is designed to assist researchers rather than members of the public, though anyone can access it.
Dr. Kevin Hall said: “Instead of using that old rule of thumb that we now know is incorrect, people can plug in what their goal weight might be in a specific time period.
“What the model will do is simulate what changes in diet and exercise that person will have to do to achieve that goal weight and even more importantly what they have to do permanently to maintain that weight loss.”
Nuratrim, a new weight loss pill that could burn 380 calories-a-day – 15 times more than normal – according to its maker, goes on sale in UK.
Advanced orders have topped 50,000 as Nuratrim reaches the UK today and it sold out within hours when it launched across the U.S. in October.
Mariah Carey, Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Aniston are reported have used Nuratrim, which contains extracts of liquorice and green coffee to speed up digestion.
Nuratrim’s German creator Dr. Alfred Hasslebacher said: “It has been devised to assist all men and women looking to lose excess weight and control their appetite.
“This optimum formula has been clinically proven to increase energy levels, suppress appetite, and burn fat.”
Mariah Carey, Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Aniston are reported have used Nuratrim, which contains extracts of liquorice and green coffee to speed up digestion
Nuratrim costs £34.95 ($55) for 30 pills and is designed to be taken daily with breakfast.
Over the Christmas period the average people will have had two or three dinner servings, containing 2,300 calories.
With many consuming more than the recommended daily intake it can take three months to shift extra weight gained, according to a study by MSN.
According to product’s makers report, Nuratrim can burn as many calories as a 40 minute run, and the natural ingredient Glucomannan, absorbs water which swells the stomach to keep hunger at bay.
Dr. Alfred Hasslebacher added: “Our extensive research showed how hard it is to achieve your ideal weight and size when the daily demands and pressures of your lifestyle impede on your good intentions.
“Nuratrim is an unique blend of pure ingredients that have thermogenic properties which naturally stimulate the body’s metabolism by mimicking the effects of physical activity.”
Research involving 65 patients of average weight, found Nuratrim increased metabolic rate by 35%, reduced appetite by 78% and burned an additional 20% of fat.
Over an 8 week period 90% of those involved lost a minimum of 14 lbs (7 kg) without changing their diet or lifestyle.