Cheese isn’t traditionally thought of as something you consume to encourage weight management, but calcium-rich Parmesan, when eaten in moderation, can help stave off sugar cravings that can easily lead to weight gain. How does that work, you ask? The native Italian cheese contains the amino acid tyrosine (remember that?) which has been shown to encourage the brain to release dopamine without any unhealthy insulin spikes. What’s more? The combination of calcium and protein present in dairy products such as Parmesan has been found to increase thermogenesis—the body’s core temperature—and thus boost your metabolism.
French superstar chef Michel Guérard is famous not just for his fantastically refined food but for something that seems wholly at odds with fine dining: weight loss. At his deeply chic manor-house hotel in Gascony, Guérard combines a delicious, low-calorie diet with sculpting treatments using sulphur- and magnesium-enriched water from the nearby hot spring. In between trips to the spa there is time to exercise with a personal trainer. It all feels very doable and therefore easier to maintain later, as does the calorie-controlled diet. The food is limited, but mouthwatering. A three-course lunch of tangy white-bean and tomato salad with soft pear followed by sea bass in a vegetable-and-herb tea is just over 500 calories. And that includes the chocolate-cream pudding.
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.
If you ever needed an excuse to eat more avocados, this is it. People tend to steer clear of healthy fats when they're trying to lose weight, but they might just be the solution. Studies show that by simply adding some avocado to your lunch every day, it'll fill you up enough that you won't be mindlessly munching on junk food later. "Slice one in half, sprinkle a little sea salt, and eat the inside with a spoon," says Alexandra Samit, a Be Well Health Coach at Dr. Frank Lipman's Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in NYC.
You’ll see some trendy low-calorie diets, including the M-Plan Diet and the 3-Day Military Diet, advertised online and in fashion magazines or tabloids. Their attention-grabbing strategies often appeal to dieters who are looking for something new and something easy. The plans are generally not backed by legitimate weight loss companies, physicians or registered dietitians and they are usually not effective for long-term weight loss.
Despite the common perception that you need to drop pounds slowly in order to maintain your weight loss, the exact opposite is true. In fact, you’re more than five times as likely to succeed in your long-term weight-loss goals if you start out of the gate by dropping pounds rapidly, according to a 2010 study in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine. To set yourself up for weight loss success, make sure you focus on diet and exercise.
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Experts agree that being overweight or obese increases your risk for osteoarthritis, or wear and tear on your joints. “The more weight that’s on a joint, the more likely it is to wear down and be damaged,” Dr. Webster says. “For example, for every pound of excess weight, four additional pounds of pressure is exerted on our knees—so if someone is carrying around 20 pounds of excess weight, that’s an additional 80 pounds of stress on the knees.” Losing extra weight reduces the amount of pressure on your joints and lowers the risk of arthritis development. You can do it—check out the most inspirational weight-loss transformations of last year.
Aim to get at least seven hours of sleep each night. Try going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. Get these seven tips for the best sleep ever! Why? Ever notice how you start to crave donuts and drive-thru breakfasts when you’re exhausted? When you don’t get enough sleep, your hormones are thrown out of balance. Running on no sleep can actually drive up the hormones that make you want to eat, while pushing down the hormones that signal for fullness—and that’s a recipe for weight gain. When you’re well-rested, it’s much easier to make healthy decisions and stay on track.