Top 10 to Tips the Scale in Your Favour
to a healthy level can work wonders for your
waistline. But there’s a lot more
you can do to peel off those extra
pounds and keep them off for good. The
following strategies will help you whip your
eating habits into shape and make
you a weight-loss winner.
Consider calories. This is absolutely critical. Many people think that
they can eat as much low-fat food as they want, but these foods contain a
significant number of calories and if you take in a lot more calories than you
need-even if they’re fat-free calories- you gain weight. For every 3,500
“unused” calories that you consume, you gain 1 pound. On the other hand, if you
cut your calorie intake by 100 calories a day, you can lose 10 pounds over the
course of a year- even if you make no other changes in your eating habits.
Keep those carbs coming. Complex
carbohydrates-foods such as pasta,
bread, beans, rice, and potatoes- always had a reputation for going straight to
your hips. But the truth is that your body would much rather burn carbohydrate
calories than attempt to store them as fat. In deed, research has shown that
people who achieve and maintain a healthy weight
consume and abundance of
Complex carbohydrates have low energy densities-that is, they weigh a lot, but
they contain relatively few calories.
Complex carbohydrates also switch off hunger by triggering certain nerve endings
to alert your brain that you’re full. With high-fat foods, this message never
gets delivered, and you end up eating more than you should.
Of course, not all complex carbohydrates are created equal. Go easy on foods
such as packaged baked goods, which are usually made with refined flour and pack
a lot of fat and
sugar to boot. Stick with whole grains,
fruits and vegetables.
They’re virtually fat-free, they contain a lot of nutrients, and they fill you
Become a fan of fiber. Foods that are high in
fiber create a feeling of
fullness, so you tend to eat less of them. It’s a good idea to select high-fiber
foods as your carbohydrates, you’ll get more nutrients and avoid dips in blood
sugar, which can cause food cravings and hunger pangs. It is recommended to
consume up to 35 grams of fiber a day. Choose whole-grain cereals, beans,
fruits, and vegetables.
Drown your hunger. Experts agree that plain old
H2O is the
best appetite suppressant around. When you give your body water, it thinks it
has been fed and so stops bugging you for food. In fact, often what you perceive
as hunger is really thirst in disguise. To stay well-hydrated and stave off a grumbly stomach, try to drink at least eight eight-ounce glasses of water a day.
Go easy on the alcohol. You get 106 calories in 5 ounces of wine and 150
calories in 12 ounces of beer. If you have more than one of either beverage,
you’ll pack on the pounds. There’s also evidence that alcohol interferes with
your body’s fat-burning process, which makes it harder to lose weight. Try not
to exceed three drinks a week.
Mind your mealtimes.
Skipping meals can be hazardous to your waistline.
Besides leaving you famished and vulnerable to
overeating, it also slows down
your metabolism. In fact, research has shown that people who bypass
burn about 5 percent fewer calories than people who eat at least three meals a
Divide and conquer. Instead of sticking with the standard three squares,
make the switch to mini meals- five or six small meals spread over the course of
a day. This style of eating has a couple of advantages, weight loss-wise. For
one thing, you never get too hungry, since you’re feeding your body every few
hours. For another, you avoid taking in too many calories in one sitting. This
is important, because your body can use only a certain number of calories at a
time to function.
Linger over dinner. When you eat something, your brain doesn’t get the
message for about 20 minutes, this delay means that you can get full before you
actually feel full. Taking the time to savor every morsel of your meal can
prevent you from overeating.
Know the source. Here’s another little trick of the weight-loss trade: Be
careful to distinguish between hunger and appetite. Hunger is driven by a
genuine physical need for food. Appetite, on the other hand, often grows from
your emotions. Weight–loss experts call it head hunger: You eat because you
want to, not because you have to.
To help sharpen your hunger awareness, try this exercise at your next meal.
Before you start eating, rate your hunger on a scale of zero to five (zero being
the least hungry, five being the most). Eat one quarter of the food on your
plate, then rate your hunger. Wait five minutes, then rate your hunger again.
Repeat the sequence. As you concentrate on the process of eating, you just may
discover that you’re satisfied before you even clean your plate.
Choose foods that satisfy. Researchers at the University of Sydney in
Australia put together a list of “bargain foods” that, calorie for calorie, have
the greatest potential to satisfy your hunger. The highest-scoring-food? The
baked potato. It gives you the most bang for your caloric buck, filling you up
faster and on fewer calories than any other food tested. Rounding out the top
five are fish, oatmeal, oranges, and apples. At the bottom of the satiety
barrel: croissants, cake, doughnuts, candy bars, and peanuts.
Rev up your metabolic engine
calories, why not add a little fire to your food? Seasoning your meals with
sizzling spices can actually boost your
metabolic rate and melt away the
pounds. In a study at Oxford-Brooks University in England, researchers had
people eat two meals-on e bland, the other spiked with hot mustard and chili
sauce. While both meals boosted metabolism (your body expends energy to
digest all types of food), the spicy cuisine sent it soaring 25 percent
higher. And it stayed elevated for about three hours after the last fiery
Chili powder, chili peppers, horseradish, and hot-pepper sauce can rev up
your metabolic engine, too. You can tell that they’re working when you start
to perspire. While you’re at it, you might want to dampen those flames with
some ice-cold water. Your body has to expend energy to heat the H2O
to 98.6F, your normal temperature.
Drinking eight eight-ounce glasses a day
burns 123 calories. And all you have to do is swallow.
Dated 31 January 2015