Weight loss tips # 1: Eat five times a day. Your body needs food every three to four hours, so instead of eating three large meals, try to schedule five smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day (breakfast-snack-lunch-snack-dinner). By staying full and energized, you'll avoid hunger pangs, maintain an even energy flow, make better, healthier food choices (no bingeing or craving) and enjoy the most efficient burning of calories.
A new German study found that when you drink 17 ounces of water (about two glasses) within a certain time frame, your metabolic rate shoots up by about 30 percent. Using these results, they estimate that by increasing your current water intake by 1.5 liters a day, a person would burn an extra 17,400 calories a year, resulting in about a five-pound weight loss.
However, if a HIIT workout or piling on muscle mass seems too daunting, simply move for two-ish minutes to whittle your waistline. Why, you ask? Research printed in the journal Physiological Reports showed that people who did five 30-second bursts of max-effort cycling, followed by four minutes of rest, burned 200 extra calories that day. If you incorporate this technique into your workout routine just a few times per month, you can burn thousands of additional calories per year.
High-intensity circuit training is similar, only it incorporates resistance training, too. The principle: Do a strength exercise like a squat repeating the motion for a certain amount of time, rest, and then do another strength move. It’s different than traditional resistance training because the rest periods are shorter—usually less than 30 seconds—and the exercises chosen work large muscle groups in order to raise your heart rate. “Our approach combines aerobic and resistance training into a single exercise bout,” write the paper’s authors, Brett Klika, CSCS, and Chris Jordan, CSCS, CPT, in Health and Fitness Journal.
Friends are helpful not only because they can double as workout buddies or help hold you accountable for appropriate diet and exercise, but also because they’re a surefire way to combat gut-growing feelings of loneliness. A study in the journal Hormones and Behavior found that those who feel lonely experience greater circulating levels of the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin after they eat, causing them to feel hungrier sooner. Over time, folks who are perennially lonely simply take in more calories than those with stronger social support networks, so be sure to fit time with pals into your busy schedule.
“Anytime you’re stressed, you probably go for food,” Dr. Seltzer says. (Have we met?!) That’s because cortisol, the stress hormone, stokes your appetite for sugary, fatty foods. No wonder it’s associated with higher body weight, according to a 2007 Obesity study that quantified chronic stress exposure by looking at cortisol concentrations in more than 2,000 adults’ hair.