While you may think you’re doing yourself and your waistline a favor by stocking up on sugar-free goodies, the well-meaning habit is likely doing more harm than good. In a 2012 study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that those who drank diet beverages had higher fasting glucose, thicker waists, lower HDL (good) cholesterol, higher triglycerides, and higher blood pressure. In other words, sugar-free cookies, soda, and the like may seem like the healthier option, but they contribute to a bulging belly and negatively impact your health in multiple ways.
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A therapist convinced Marion Corns, 35, she had had surgery to fit the band by talking her through the procedure while in a trance. Hospital smells were even pumped into the room to boost the effect. Housewife Marion, who has slimmed from 15st 6lb to 11st 7lb, said: “Bizarrely I can even ‘remember' being wheeled into theatre, the clink of the surgeon's knife and smell of the anaesthetic.”
As far as sugar goes, high-fructose corn syrup is the worst of the lot. The man-made substance is a combination of corn syrup (which itself is 100 percent glucose) and pure fructose, making it a unique nightmare for your waistline. In one study, researchers fed subjects beverages sweetened with either glucose or fructose. Though both groups gained the same amount of weight over a two-month period, the fructose group gained its weight primarily as belly fat because of the way this type of sugar is processed in the liver. To avoid the belly-bloating HFCS trap, make sure you look at nutrition labels carefully and ditch the processed snacks and fruit drinks.
Interval training can also be a very effective weight-loss tool. It's pretty easy to incorporate into any fitness plan because it can be applied to a variety of settings, and different types of equipment can be used. Choose an activity that you can do at a high intensity (greater than 80 percent of your maximum heart rate) for 30-60 seconds, then follow it with 30-60 seconds of rest.