Whether you want to beat bloat or find out how to lose a few kilos, these expert-approved rules are so simple, you’ll forget you’re even trying.
Eat meals, not snacks
We’ve long been told to eat frequently, in small amounts, to level blood sugar. But a new study found that those who ate fewer, larger meals weighed less. How so? You burn more calories processing a larger meal than lots of little ones. Stick to noshing breakfast, lunch and a small dinner, says study co-author Dr Gary Fraser, professor of medicine at Loma Linda University in the US.
Sweat a little less
Really! In a study comparing groups who ran or cycled for 30 versus 60 minutes a day, the half-hour group dropped 33 percent more weight and spent 20 percent more time being active later in the day. Since we are programmed to conserve calories, when we burn lots of them through exercise, our bodies may hoard them for later – by moving less and eating more. So, two options: cap your cardio at 30 minutes, four times a week. Or if you love a longer workout, keep moving later in the day to ensure your metabolism hums.
Go for whole grains
People who eat them tend to be slimmer than those who don’t. Why? These sturdy carbs require extra energy to break down. Their fibre also traps some of their calories, whisking them out of your body before they can be stored away as fat. Shoot for several servings a day and include them in snacks and desserts, says dietician Amy Gorin. Add oats to your morning smoothies, swap white rice for brown and snack on air-popped popcorn.
READ MORE: 10 Weight-Loss Strategies That Actually Work
Sleep in a cool room
Humans carry two kinds of body fat: white (stores energy) and brown (burns it). Ambient temperature can influence which wins. Researchers had volunteers spend one month sleeping in a 24-degree room and another in one set to 19 degrees. After 30 days of dozing in the chillier quarters, the volunteers’ brown fat was 42 percent more active and their metabolism was 10 percent faster. Turn that air con down or open a window!
Don’t clean your plate
“That means you’re eating with your eyes rather than listening to your body’s satiety cues,” says dietician Erin Palinski-Wade. “You almost always end up eating more than your body needs.” Forgo the last 10 percent of each meal by dishing up a few bites less than normal. Nutritionists estimate this trims almost 190 calories a day, helping you axe four and a half kilos in six months.