The latter part of 2012 was especially discouraging. You can see that from May through the beginning of July of that year, I had something of my usual summer weight loss, but the “line” going down, if it can even be called that, is very thick: it was a slow, unusually meandering weight loss pattern. And then it ended very unusually early. At about the 20th of July, my weight bottomed out at about 225 (using only the red dots, from now on), and started back up, and it climbed all the way through the end of 2012, ending at about 235 lbs (with some morning weigh-ins higher than that, some lower, but that’s about the middle of red line at the height of that period of weight gain). Happily, for some reason I cannot begin to understand, my weight started heading down at the beginning of calendar year 2013, which is a very weird time of year (for me) for weight loss to begin. From the beginning of the year 2013 through the beginning of April, I had a fairly good downward line going, but, as you can understand, I was still a bit confused and discouraged. Though my weight was heading down nicely at the time, looking at the chart, I had every reason to think that, despite following a fairly rigorous regimen, I was back on an up-and-down pattern that ominously looked to be tending toward bigger ups than downs.
But a troubling flaw has popped up in this system. (You knew there was a "but" coming, right?) In a recent study, people on an alternate-day fasting plan for six months lost about 6 percent of their body weight—the same as those on a conventional low-cal diet—but 38 percent of fasters dropped out, nearly 10 percent more than in the other diet group. A similar problem has surfaced in other trials.
Oolong, a Chinese name for “black dragon,” is a light, floral tea that, like green tea, is also packed with catechins, which help to promote weight loss by boosting your body’s ability to metabolize lipids (fat). A study in the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine found that participants who regularly sipped oolong tea lost six pounds over the course of the six-week time period. That’s a pound a week! It also has a calming effect. Drink a cup if you’re a nervous flyer, or to calm yourself after a hard day’s work—and if you’re a particularly anxious person, sip these 4 Teas Better Than Therapy!
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If you don’t feel like brewing tea or adding fruit slices to water, then just drink plain H2O. It doesn’t get any simpler than this if you want to detox and lose weight. Many people are surprised that the best detox for weight loss involves nothing more than what makes up 70% of our bodies. Go beyond the recommended eight glasses a day and drink at least 12 cups. Aim for a gallon or more if you’re physically active.
If you’re still feeling gassy and sorry for yourself, the worst thing you can do is probably exactly what you want to do most: spread out on the couch and take a nap. A study in the appropriately-titled journal Gut found that being upright was much more effective in reducing intestinal gas retention than lying down on the back. Posture, the researchers say, has a big influence on the movement of gas through the system. Another study found walking at a leisurely pace on a treadmill after eating a large meal helped food move through the stomach much more quickly than an espresso or alcoholic digestif, so take another leisurely walk around the neighborhood.
If you are aiming for weight loss, you don’t have to fast for days at a stretch to get metabolic or weight loss benefits. Skipping a meal every other day is enough to cause moderate weight loss. Fasting for as little as 20 hours at a time can improve insulin sensitivity and other metabolic functions. It is not advisable to fast for more than 36 hours.
This small company, founded by soda-loving parents who wanted something healthier for their children, distributes a variety of classic flavors, from cola to ginger ale to grape, without using artificial sweeteners or artificial colors. Instead, they’re sweetened with the sugar alcohol Erythritol. “The upside is that sugar alcohols are not as artificial as some of their counterparts in the low/zero calorie sugar industry,” says Smith, “but they can cause gastrointestinal upset like gas a diarrhea when consumed in excess—although some say that erythritol may be better tolerated than other sugar alcohols. The other plus,” she continues, “is that unlike other sweeteners—specifically artificial sweeteners—they are not thousands of times sweeter than sugar, so they may cause less metabolic confusion in terms of sweetness as compared to caloric delivery, although more research still needed.” Brilliantly, this root beer tastes like the real thing—and is clear, because there’s no caramel color. And what about Diet Coke, or your favorite? See where it ranks on this list of 38 Diet Sodas—Ranked!