A body of research out of Pennsylvania State University finds that eating water-rich foods such as zucchini, tomatoes, and cucumbers during meals reduces your overall calorie consumption. Other water-rich foods include soups and salads. You won’t get the same benefits by just drinking your water, though (but you will get other benefits of staying hydrated). Because the body processes hunger and thirst through different mechanisms, it simply doesn’t register a sense of fullness with water (or soda, tea, coffee, or juice). Here are 15 weight loss tips doctors wish you would stop following.
The researchers hypothesize that participants who abstained from animal products dropped significantly more pounds since plant-based foods include loads of filling fiber and slow-to-digest complex carbs. Though more research is needed to confirm these results, the study authors write, "Vegetarian diets appeared to have significant benefits on weight reduction compared to non-vegetarian diets."
This kind of eating pattern can also affect your general health – just one cycle of weight loss and weight gain can contribute to an increased risk of coronary heart disease, regardless of body fat levels. That's why it's important to maintain the weight loss. It is considered weight loss of about 1/2–1 kilograms per week is reasonable and more likely to be maintained.
When you go on a weight loss diet, usually the first thing sliced in half is the amount of food you eat. Not the case for Alicia, who went from downing three fast food meals a day—plus whatever else she craved, like ice cream—to eating five small healthy meals (key words: healthy, portion-controlled bites over fat-filled, drive-thru varieties). "The new foods keep me energized," she says of her My Fit Foods meal plan. As for exercise, Alicia fell in love with Zumba as soon as she saw her first class. "I walked in and had a blast dancing and moving my body in ways that I had never felt comfortable doing before," says Trimble. The lesson: Don't hate your workout routine—find something you love so you don't dread getting your sweat on.
Weight loss is a total-body project—and your brain has to get involved, too. That's what Ashley quickly realized as she struggled to lose the 50 pounds she was hanging onto. "If your mindset is wishy-washy, then your results will reflect that," the now holistic nutrition consultant says. So when the scale stalled during her First Fitness Nutrition's Suddenly SLiM Transformation Detox Program, her mind had to persevere. And no one was more helpful than her own weight loss coach, who let Ashley know "a plateau is actually a good thing—my body was catching up to what I was doing, and it was resetting," she says. It was this mindfulness that led her to success—and a career change.
Whether or not you’re specifically aiming to cut carbs, most of us consume unhealthy amounts of sugar and refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pizza dough, pasta, pastries, white flour, white rice, and sweetened breakfast cereals. Replacing refined carbs with their whole-grain counterparts and eliminating candy and desserts is only part of the solution, though. Sugar is hidden in foods as diverse as canned soups and vegetables, pasta sauce, margarine, and many reduced fat foods. Since your body gets all it needs from sugar naturally occurring in food, all this added sugar amounts to nothing but a lot of empty calories and unhealthy spikes in your blood glucose.
Get spicy! According to recent research published in the journal Physiology & Behavior, just half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper can boost metabolism and cause the body to burn an extra 10 calories on its own. Not to mention that for those who don't regularly eat spicy meals, adding cayenne pepper cuts an average of 60 calories from their next meal. Do that at two meals a day for a month and you'll lose 4 pounds without even trying!