One study from the University of Adelaide in Australia suggests you may lose more weight when you work out towards the end of your menstrual cycle, as opposed to right when a new one begins. That’s because the hormones estrogen and progesterone tell your body to use fat as an energy source. "Women burned about 30 percent more fat for the two weeks following ovulation to about two days before menstruation," study author Leanne Redman says.
Even if you manage to meet your goal, it probably won’t be sustainable: “The amount of restriction required will make you so hungry that you’ll eat everything in sight—it’s survival instinct,” Dr. Seltzer says. What’s more, your body will be less prepared to burn the foods you binge on, since calorie restriction gradually slows your metabolism, he adds.
Good news for carb lovers: Scientists discovered an easy way to slim down any bowl of rice by as much as 60 percent! And the best part is that you don’t need a fancy lab or a PhD. to make the slimmed-down dish. Here’s how to whip it up: Add a teaspoon of coconut oil and a half cup of non-fortified white rice to a pot of boiling water. Cook it for about 40 minutes, stick it in the refrigerator for 12 hours and enjoy the rice either cold or reheated. How does such a simple cooking hack—that adds fat, no less—slash calories? When the rice begins to cool, its glucose molecules form tight bonds called “resistant starch.” This type of starch, as the name implies, is resistant to digestion, meaning that the body is not able to absorb as many calories or as much of the glucose (a nutrient that’s stored as fat if it’s not burned off) from each molecule. While you may be hesitant to add the oft-vilified oil to your pot, it actually plays an integral role in the process. As the rice cooks, the fat molecules find their way into the rice and act as an additional digestion barrier. Best of all, the research team found that reheating the rice didn’t change the levels of resistant starch (as it does with pasta and potatoes), deeming this calorie-slashing cooking hack safe for leftovers, too.
It can actually help you cut back on calories. That's because capsaicin, a compound found in jalapeno and cayenne peppers, may (slightly) increase your body's release of stress hormones such as adrenaline, which can speed up your ability to burn calories. What's more, eating hot peppers may help slow you down. You're less likely to wolfed down that plate of spicy spaghetti —— and therefore stay more mindful of when you're full. Some great adds: Ginger, turmeric, black pepper, oregano, and jalapenos.
Napping may be an easy way to catch up on some missed shut-eye, but dozing off in the middle of the day does nothing to aid weight loss. In fact, research has found that people burn fewer calories when they sleep during the day and log their waking hours after the sun’s gone down. To come to this finding, researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder studied 14 healthy adults for six days. For two days, study participants slept at night and stayed awake during the day, then they reversed their routines to mimic the schedules of night owls. When participants slept during the day, researchers found that they burned 52 to 59 fewer calories than they did while catching their Zzzs in the evening—likely because the schedule messed with their circadian rhythm, the body’s internal clock that plays a major role in metabolism function. If your circadian rhythm is out of whack, a separate study by University of Colorado Boulder researchers suggested spending a weekend in the wilderness to get it back on track.
Janes, 28, can’t remember a time when she was ever small. “Not even in a baby picture,” she tells PEOPLE for the 2018 Half Their Size issue. “I was always overweight, and it continued through adulthood.” By then, Janes couldn’t fit on a normal scale. “I went to my friend’s family business where they weigh huge industrial tubs,” she recalls. “That’s how I found out I was 450 lbs.”
It’s every chocoholic’s dream: Research now shows that eating moderate amounts of dark chocolate can reduce overall body fat and shrink your waist. A study among women with normal weight obesity (or skinny fat syndrome) who ate a Mediterranean diet that included two servings of dark chocolate each day showed a significant reduction in waist size than when on a cocoa-free meal plan. Researchers say it has to do with the flavonoids, heart-healthy compounds in chocolate that have important antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Just be sure you’re reaching for a bar with at least 70 percent cacao, and stay away from the “alkalized” stuff, which has a significantly reduced flavonoid content.
All meals are important, but breakfast is what helps you start your day on the right track. The best, heartiest breakfasts are ones that will fill you up, keep you satisfied, and stave off cravings later in the day. Aim to eat anywhere between 400 and 500 calories for your morning meal, and make sure you're including a source of lean protein plus filling fat (e.g., eggs, beans, unsweetened Greek yogurt, nuts, or nut butters) and fiber (veggies, fruit, or 100% whole grains). Starting your day with a blood sugar-stabilizing blend of nutrients will help you slim down without sacrifice.
Dieters already know to steer clear of sugary cocktails and stick to vodka sodas at happy hour. But nixing booze altogether for a few weeks at a time could really help you jumpstart your weight loss efforts. A Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics study found that alcohol causes people to eat an additional 384 calories per day on average, likely because booze makes us more sensitive to food aromas and less likely to resist indulgent fare.
Not in an extreme, Atkins sort of way, but having a little protein at every meal fires up your metabolism. "Your digestive system uses more energy to break it down, so you burn more calories," explains Lisa Dorfman, R.D. However, keep protein levels to between 20 and 35 percent of your diet; eating too much of it can cause kidney strain and may cause your body to store too much fat.
Don't get me wrong — exercising at any time is good for you. But evening activity may be particularly beneficial because many people's metabolism slows down toward the end of the day. Thirty minutes of aerobic activity before dinner increases your metabolic rate and may keep it elevated for another two or three hours, even after you've stopped moving. What that means for you: You're less likely to go back for seconds or thirds. Plus, it'll help you relax post meal so you won't be tempted by stress-induced grazing that can rack up calories, quickly.
When it’s doing its job properly, inflammation in the body helps fight off infection. But in people who are overweight or obese, inflammation can get out of control, which increases insulin resistance as well as your risk for heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and even Alzheimer’s disease. “Excess body fat, especially when it’s located around the abdomen, is strongly linked to inflammation,” Dr. Webster says. Adipose fat tissue releases inflammation-causing molecules, but the markers of inflammation go down with even a 5 or 10 percent reduction in body weight, she says. Eat more of these 15 superfoods that can help you lose weight.
You want to feel good about the body that you’re in, not because of how it looks but because of how it feels. You want to have the energy to do the things you love to do even after doing the things you need to do. You want to have a healthy body that finally represents the healthy mind and spirit you’ve worked so hard to achieve. And you just want to wear that damn pair of pants that you have been dying to fit into, amiright?
Fuel your body with wholesome, nutritious foods, and limit your intake of refined carbs (anything sugary or white-flour based). To maximize the calories burned through digestion and stave off hunger, get plenty of complex carbs (fruits, vegetables and beans) and eat a little protein with every meal. It doesn't need to be meat; nuts, lowfat dairy, tofu, and beans are all good vegetarian protein sources.
In a vicious cycle, lack of sleep could be making you fatter. On the other hand, you’ll get better shut-eye with weight loss. “In a study conducted at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, participants who had lost an average of 15 pounds show improvement in sleep quality,” Dr. Shane says. “In fact, a reduction in belly fat was the best predictor of improved sleep.” In addition, you’ll stop snoring as much—and snoring isn’t just an annoyance to your partner, but a mark of unhealthy sleep. “Snoring is in part caused by the amount of tissue around the neck,” Dr. Shane says. “When you lose weight, that reduces the amount of tissue in your neck, which can diminish snoring.”
Inspired by the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and built in the style of a relaxed Mediterranean seaside village, Sianji Wellbeing Resort is the perfect setting to embrace a new and healthy lifestyle. The programs focus on a total wellness experience, combining physical, spiritual and mental aspects, including nutrition, medical exams, fitness and sports activities, soothing spa treatments, and lifestyle seminars and classes.
It seems counterintuitive to drink lots of water when you’re looking to lose weight fast—especially water weight—but staying hydrated is one of the most important steps you can take to lose weight. People often mistake thirst for hunger, so staying hydrated allows you to be more in touch with the times when you are actually hungry, rather than just thirsty. Plus, a lot of good things happen to your body when you drink enough fluids.
Studies show that eating breakfast plays a part in successful weight loss — almost 80 percent of people who successfully keep weight off chow down on this meal, according to a study published in Obesity Research. "Your metabolism slows as you sleep, and the process of digesting food revs it up again," explains Heller. Aim for a 300- to 400-calorie breakfast, such as a high-fiber cereal (another metabolism booster) with skim milk and fruit.
Yes, freedom! Freedom from the routine you have back home and freedom from the judgemental glances you may receive from your colleagues. You are free to be who you are and how you are. You are free to be curious and even obsessed. You are free to be nervous and even scared. You are free to experience your weight loss journey in a totally raw and authentic way. Because you know why? That’s exactly what the retreat is for!
It may be tempting to blame your metabolism for weight gain. But because metabolism is a natural process, your body has many mechanisms that regulate it to meet your individual needs. Only in rare cases do you get excessive weight gain from a medical problem that slows metabolism, such as Cushing's syndrome or having an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism).
Absolute Sanctuary is an absolute bargain. You can get a week's stay here, including flights and the most delicious, healthy breakfasts - chilli-and-coriander omelette, coconut-and-mango yogurt, courgette pancakes - for less than what many spas in the UK charge for a long weekend. Specialising in Pilates Reformer, yoga and detox, as well as pure weight loss, this 38-room retreat lies on a terraced hillside on Samui's coast. Besides the thorough health consultation you get with Alena Kwong, who heads the spa, other highlights include the tranquil atmosphere - no alcohol or children allowed. At night, the great treat here is an open-air Thai massage, with velvety darkness and that tropical blare of cicadas all around. And for a total overhaul rather than a restful week's tweak, the new 30- and 60-day lifestyle change programme promises transformation.
(CONFRONT YOUR FEARS) A friend reminded me of this recently and as he did I remembered a fear. It was fresh and still made my skin prickle with anticipation even though it started many years ago. It feels like yesterday and I’m sure you have those moments too, the ones that never left you even though you shoved them away for a long time. It starts with the 6th grade physical fitness tests. They were the worst things ever except for the talented few that got the bright blue patches. These tests traumatized me. Mostly, the timed mile. Even though we were children it was expected that we run it and everyone did- except me. There wasn't much kindness or compassion in the process and once I realized that, it was something that I dreaded, avoided and ultimately feared. It’s so easy to take ourselves out of even trying when there’s no encouragement to try. When your gym clothes don’t fit right and you’re afraid of the attention that coming in last place will bring you. Year after year this test happened and year after year I walked it & then cried, faked being sick and then ultimately stopped showing up. I’ve never run a mile without stopping and it’s always been on my list of things I want to do but didn’t know if I would. But I want to now. No matter how long it takes me and for no one else other than myself. And now, after being here I would rather try and fail than not try at all. Now’s the time to tackle the fears, all of them no matter how small or how big. So one day I started by asking my trainer if we could work on learning how to run in between strength training. My voice raised and I stumbled over my words and I felt self-conscious again like that chubby little 6th grader in too tight of gym shorts. I was nervous putting this out into the world. He said absolutely and then the next day we did. Just like that. He took me through some movements to work on my stride and made me feel like this was something that I could do. And step by step it was. Only 45 seconds this time, but 45 seconds closer to my goal and each step we take towards our goals away from our fears count. Not always the end result matters most, but the time it takes to jog there.
My days here are very different than what they were before I came to the retreat. Most days I’m up at 8 a.m., but the last few weeks I’ve been inspired to wake up earlier to take a sunrise beach walk. I am not a morning person normally, but it’s turned out to be a surprisingly beautiful way to start the day. After that, I have breakfast. I can choose from a lot of different options as long as I stay withing my calorie goal for each meal. My favorite is either oatmeal and berries with coffee or scrambled eggs with vegetables. Sometimes I'll have a smoothie.
You may think hand sanitizer will zap germs and prevent you from getting sick, but it could also be making you fat. The germ-killing substance contains triclosan, which researchers have found to be an “obesogen,” meaning it could cause weight gain by disrupting your body’s hormones. A study published in the journal PLOS One found that people who had detectable levels of triclosan in their bodies were associated with a 0.9-point increase in their BMIs. Word to the wise for germaphobes looking to lose weight: Rely on good ol’ soap and water instead.
Who was interviewed? Here's a very partial list: tech icons (founders of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Craigslist, Pinterest, Spotify, Salesforce, Dropbox, and more), Jimmy Fallon, Arianna Huffington, Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York), Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ben Stiller, Maurice Ashley (first African-American Grandmaster of chess), Brené Brown (researcher and bestselling author), Rick Rubin (legendary music producer), Temple Grandin (animal behavior expert and autism activist), Franklin Leonard (The Black List), Dara Torres (12-time Olympic medalist in swimming), David Lynch (director), Kelly Slater (surfing legend), Bozoma Saint John (Beats/Apple/Uber), Lewis Cantley (famed cancer researcher), Maria Sharapova, Chris Anderson (curator of TED), Terry Crews, Greg Norman (golf icon), Vitalik Buterin (creator of Ethereum), and nearly 100 more. Check it all out by clicking here.
1 Reference for 5%: Blackburn G. (1995). Effect of degree of weight loss on health benefits. Obesity Research 3: 211S-216S. Reference for 10%: NIH, NHLBI Obesity Education Initiative. Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults. Available online: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/obesity/ob_gdlns.pdf [PDF-1.25MB]