Many women believe that drinking too much water will give them puffy abs, but just the opposite is true. "Even though we associate water with being bloated, drinking more water can help to flush sodium out of the body, and that reduces the bloat," said Jeff Hampl, Ph.D., R.D., nutrition researcher and assistant professor at Arizona State University.
Before you begin the habit of refilling your water bottle several times a day, make sure yours isn’t laced with BPA. A Harvard study found that adults with the highest concentration of BPA in their urine had significantly larger waists and a 75 percent greater chance of being obese than those in the lowest quartile. No wonder why drinking out of plastic bottles is one of our 40 Bad Habits That Make You Fat! To avoid weight gain, make sure your bottle is BPA-free and be particularly wary of plastics that sport a #7 recycling symbol on them, which is an indicator that BPA may be present.
Women who ate low-fat dairy products, such as non-fat yogurt and low-fat cheese three to four times a day lost 70 percent more fat than low-dairy dieters, according to a study published in the journal Obesity Research. "Calcium serves as a switch that tells your body to burn excess fat faster," explains study author Michael Zemel, M.D., director of the Nutrition Institute at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Sorry, but you won't reap the same benefits from calcium-fortified O.J. Research shows that you get the best results from dairy products themselves, not fortified foods. Aim for 1,200 mg, which includes about three servings of dairy a day.
Protein is also important for preserving muscle mass as you lose weight. If you cut back dramatically on calories and drop weight too fast, your muscles can suffer. Your body starts pulling from lean tissue like muscles and organs to fuel itself, and your metabolism slows to conserve energy. That’s why super restrictive diets that have you dropping weight fast aren’t healthy over the long run.
According to a study published in Bioscience, Biotechnology, & Biochemistry, consuming apple cider vinegar each day can lead to weight loss, reduced belly fat, waist circumference, and lower blood triglycerides. More specifically, the study of obese Japanese participants found that those who consumed just one tablespoon of ACV over a three-month period lost 2.6 pounds, and those who consumed 2 tablespoons lost 3.7 pounds in the same time frame. Go ahead and toss a tablespoon or two of this calorie, fat, and sugar-free stuff in your next salad dressing, sauce, or smoothie.
Even if you fill up on produce, lean proteins, and whole grains, according to British Journal of Nutrition findings, when you think about the quality of your diet, you’re likely forgetting about all the unhealthy food that also finds its way to your mouth. People tend to exaggerate the good foods they eat and underestimate the bad stuff, says study author, Kentaro Murakami, PhD of Japan’s University of Shiga Prefecture. While it’s not necessarily intentional, it’s likely one of the reasons why it’s so hard for people to lose weight. For example, you might grab a handful of candy at a co-worker’s desk or a sample at the mall and then forget about it altogether. Our advice: To get a more accurate overview of your diet, keep a detailed food journal on your phone—yes, that means you should include that food court sample, too. Whether you snap photos or keep a written log is totally up to you—both tactics will work. The more food records dieters kept over the course of 30 months, the more weight they lost, a study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found.
If you find yourself craving something sweet during the day, ignore the impulse to eat a cookie and snack on a stone fruit instead. In addition to being more nutritious than a cookie, some stone fruits—plums, peaches, and nectarines—have been shown to help ward off weight gain. Studies by Texas AgriLife Research suggest the aforementioned fruits may help prevent metabolic syndrome, a fancy name for the combination of belly fat, high cholesterol, and insulin resistance.
In addition, transitioning off of a low-calorie diet can be problematic. After quick weight loss, dieters must either switch to a more traditional diet or go back to their old eating habits. People who go back to their old eating habits are likely to gain the weight back. And dieters who move to a traditional diet can be disappointed when their weight loss slows down or stalls. But, Fabricatore says that this disappointment can be prevented if a dieter has clear expectations about the transition from the beginning of the diet.
It’s always great to catch up with old pals or join your co-workers for a celebratory happy hour, but if you’re watching your weight it’s important to take note of who you choose to break bread with. According to an Eastern Illinois University study, you’re in danger of consuming 65 percent more calories if you’re eating with someone who gets seconds. In other words, while the old friend visiting from health-conscious LA may make a great dining partner, you should steer clear of the co-workers who keep ordering rounds of drinks and nachos.
BodyHoliday’s “Stronger Me” Retreat is a comprehensive weight loss program based on a combination of fitness activities, calorie-controlled cuisine, education, relaxation and fun. BodyHoliday starts your program before you even arrive, with a consultation with its resident nutritionist/dietician, who devises your meal plan based on your health and weight goals, and once you arrive, you’ll be immersed in a activities from fitness to cooking classes. The retreat includes a good measure of education to equip you with the knowledge and tools you’ll need to continue your new healthy lifestyle when you return home.
Funding: This research was supported by NIH grants from the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (ES022981, ES021372, and ES021477), the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (HL073286), and the General Clinical Research Center, National Institutes of Health (RR-02635). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
The protocol was approved by the institutional review boards at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center of the Louisiana State University System, as well as by a data and safety monitoring board appointed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. All participants provided written informed consent. The trial was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT00072995).
20. Vanden Heuvel JP, Thompson JT, Frame SR, Gillies PJ. Differential activation of nuclear receptors by perfluorinated fatty acid analogs and natural fatty acids: a comparison of human, mouse, and rat peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-alpha, -beta, and -gamma, liver X receptor-beta, and retinoid X receptor-alpha. Toxicol Sci. 2006;92:476–89. pmid:16731579
“I reached my target weight just over a year after joining, and just before Christmas [my boyfriend] Luke asked me to marry him at Harry Potter Studios in London (I love Harry Potter)!” she told PEOPLE. “It was such an incredible feeling to be able to say ‘Yes!’ without even a second thought about my weight, and I can’t wait to go dress shopping.”
Several limitations should be considered as well. First, although we included men and women with a wide range of ages (30–70 years), participants in the current study were otherwise relatively homogeneous in terms of health status and body fatness because they were selected following narrow inclusion criteria. Therefore, it is unclear whether our findings can be extrapolated to more general populations. Second, we measured only the baseline plasma PFAS concentrations. However, given the long elimination half-lives (3–8 years) of these chemicals  and a strong stability over time observed in our pilot study, concentrations in the blood likely reflect relatively long-term PFAS exposures. Moreover, unlike many other persistent organic pollutants, PFASs are not lipophilic, and blood concentrations are therefore not affected by changes in the size of the lipid compartment . Third, we did not measure ghrelin, an orexigenic hormone regulating appetite, RMR, and other key physiological processes related to weight changes , and the interrelationship between PFASs and ghrelin during weight changes needs to be elucidated. Fourth, we did not apply Bonferroni correction in the analyses given the inter-correlation between the PFASs (rs ranged from 0.4 to 0.9), and the role of multiple testing could not be entirely excluded. Fifth, physical activity was assessed using the Baecke questionnaire, which might be subject to measurement errors, although a validation study conducted in US adults has shown reasonable validity of this questionnaire . In addition, although some covariates including education, smoking status, and physical activity were adjusted for in our study, we could not entirely exclude the possibility that unmeasured or residual confounding by socioeconomic and psychosocial factors, as well as participants’ usual diet, might partially account for the associations we observed. One particular concern is that PFASs are extensively used in food packaging due to their oil- and water-repellant characteristics . If some participants relapsed to their usual pre-randomization diet and this diet was rich in foods that are contaminated by PFASs through food packaging and are also dense in energy, they might thus have gained weight faster. However, when we further controlled for the frequency of craving hamburgers, French fries, or donuts at baseline assessed using a questionnaire, the results were largely unchanged. In addition, humans are exposed to PFASs through multiple pathways, including drinking water and contaminated seafood , although these factors are not established risk factors for weight gain. Moreover, we adjusted for the number of study sessions that participants attended, which is a measurement of compliance to the prescribed diet. Finally, lipophilic persistent pollutants with obesogenic effects (such as hexachlorobenzene [HCB] and dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene [DDE]) might have confounded the associations of PFASs with changes in body weight and RMR. However, in 793 women participating in the Nurses’ Health Study II, weak associations were observed between PFASs and lipophilic persistent pollutants (e.g., the rs of PFOA and PFOS with HCB was 0.07 and 0.06, respectively, and the rs of PFOA and PFOS with DDE was 0.05 and 0.06, respectively), suggesting that confounding by these pollutants would not be substantial.
If you eat a carbohydrate-rich meal (lots of pasta, rice, bread, or French fries, for example), your body releases insulin to help with the influx of all this glucose into your blood. As well as regulating blood sugar levels, insulin does two things: It prevents your fat cells from releasing fat for the body to burn as fuel (because its priority is to burn off the glucose) and it creates more fat cells for storing everything that your body can’t burn off. The result is that you gain weight and your body now requires more fuel to burn, so you eat more. Since insulin only burns carbohydrates, you crave carbs and so begins a vicious cycle of consuming carbs and gaining weight. To lose weight, the reasoning goes, you need to break this cycle by reducing carbs.
As funny as it sounds, sleep deprivation may make you fat — and not just because you're susceptible to cases of the late-night munchies (although there's that too). There's tons of research that demonstrates getting less than the desired amount — about 7 hours — of sleep per night can slow down your metabolism. Plus, when you're awake for longer, you're naturally more likely to nosh. So don't skimp on your ZZZs, and you'll be rewarded with an extra edge when it comes to shedding pounds quickly.
“This seemingly-innocent food is almost always loaded with added sugar. In fact, most companies use synonyms or alternative words for plain old ‘sugar’ to disguise it. ” Lisa Hayim, registered dietitian and founder of The Well Necessities tells us in 37 Worst Breakfast Habits for Your Waistline. And she’s right: Choosing a cup of Kashi Indigo Morning Organic Corn Cereal over ¾ cup of Kashi Organic Promise Cranberry, Spelt and Flax Granola, will slash 160 calories off your breakfast!
Have you ever noticed children take forever to eat? That’s a good thing. A 2015 study found when people took 30 seconds in between bites, they stopped eating when they were no longer hungry, so they saved calories and pounds. This example of more chewing and less weight gain has been proven in several studies. We tend to consume more food than necessary as we age because emotion and stress can take over. To combat this, I suggest going back to childhood habits by using smaller plates and chewing longer. A smaller plate will make a smaller portion of food seem bigger. Focusing on slowing down your eating will help fill you up without filling you out.
In a study conducted by Barbara Rolls, Ph.D., a professor at Penn State University and co-author of The Volumetrics Weight-Control Plan (HarperTorch, 2003), subjects who ate vegetables as part of their meals consumed about 100 fewer calories and didn't make up for the caloric deficit later. While saving 100 calories a day may not sound like much, it translates into losing 10 pounds in one year. Use just this one trick — and there goes your tummy!
Tennessee Fitness Spa recently had the honor of hosting VickyFlipFlop, a travel blogger who writes "for people who want to make the most of their annual leave, weekends, money and friends, by exploring the world, and a festival or two." Creating a video about her stay, we're excited to share that Vicky had a fun – and productive! – stay at our fitness camp for adults. If you'd like to hear Vicky's thoughts about her time at Tennessee Fitness Spa, click on the video above!
A Credit Suisse Research Institute report found that more and more of us are choosing full-fat foods over skim, light, fat-free, or other modern monikers of leanness. And while many health organizations like the American Heart Association still recommend cutting down on fat—particularly saturated fat—this full-fat trend may be a healthy rebellion against those decades-old credos, according to recent studies. In fact, people who eat a lot of high-fat dairy products actually have the lowest incidence of diabetes, according to a 2015 study of 26,930 people in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Those who ate a lot of low-fat dairy products, on the other hand, had the highest incidence. So what’s the best way to join the full-fat revolution? Eat This, Not That! polled some of the country’s top nutrition experts and asked for their favorite full-fat fat burners. Check out what they said in our exclusive report The 20 Best Full-Fat Foods for Weight Loss.