Diet Tricks That Really Work

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According to
Live Science, these diet tricks will actually help you
keep off the pounds:

Avoid
corn syrup

Science shows
that high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is bad news. One study showed
that rats who drank HFCS-sweetened beverages gained significantly
more weight than rats consuming the same amount of calories in sugar.

Keep
away from junk food – It’s Addictive

Junk food can
affect your brain in ways similar to drug abuse.

Structure
meal times

Long stretches
without food make people crave energy-dense snacks, which can make
healthy choices difficult.

Satisfy
your body – especially at breakfast

A protein-rich
breakfast leaves you less hungry for the rest of the day. Some fat
in the meal can help, too.

Favor
foods closer to nature

Favoring whole
fresh foods over processed ones will naturally optimize the healthiness
of your food choices.

Change
your environment

Altering your
food environment – whether this means using smaller plates
or keeping seconds out of immediate reach – can help you lose
weight.

Enjoy
your food

Food that is
eaten mindlessly is neglected food. When you pay attention, you
are satisfied in a deeper way.

Source: Live
Science May 23, 2010

Dr. Mercola’s
Comments:

Two-thirds
of the U.S. population are overweight, and left unchecked it
seems the rates
may climb to 80%
– or four out of five people – in
just a few decades. So there is not only a great need but also a
great desire among many Americans to shed some excess pounds.

If you're reading
this article, chances are that you fall into this category, and
perhaps have tried more than a handful of diet u201Ctricksu201D before.
But I can tell you right now that if the trick seems too good to
be true – i.e. weight
loss pills
, massive
weight loss in a short period of time
, or promising weight loss
without dietary changes or exercise – it almost certainly is.

Virtually the
only healthy way to lose weight and keep your weight at a healthy
level is to eat right and exercise – not by starving yourself
and putting in 3-hour workouts a day for three weeks, but by adhering
to healthy lifestyle principles for a lifetime.

Want to
Propel Your Body Toward its Ideal Weight?

That said,
there are certainly some u201Ctricksu201D you can use to help slim
down in a more expeditious, but still healthy, manner. LiveScience
compiled seven great ones above, and what you may notice is they
have nothing to do with eating only cabbage soup for three months
or wrapping your body in seaweed to lose inches.

Instead, they
revolve around making simple, healthy choices, options
that will alter the way you think about food and, hopefully, change
your relationship with food for the better.

Likewise, the
tricks that follow are actually not u201Ctricksu201D at all but rather smart
lifestyle strategies that will propel your body toward its ideal
weight, naturally. 

Be Ruthless
in Cutting Out Fructose

LiveScience
was spot on when they mentioned avoiding high-fructose corn syrup
as a primary way to avoid weight gain. As a standard recommendation,
I strongly advise keeping your fructose consumption below 25 grams
per day.

However, for
most people it would actually be wise to limit your fruit fructose
to 15 grams or less, as it is virtually guaranteed that you will
consume u201Chiddenu201D sources of fructose from just about any processed
food you might eat.

Why is cutting
out fructose so important?

Fructose diminishes
your feelings of fullness because it does not stimulate a rise in
leptin, one of the most powerful hunger and fat storage regulators
in your body. Fructose also reduces the amount of leptin crossing
your blood-brain barrier by raising triglycerides.

Leptin resistance,
in turn, is perhaps one of the most significant factors underlying
human disease. For example, it plays a significant if not primary
role in the development of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis,
autoimmune diseases, reproductive disorders, and perhaps the rate
of aging itself.

Additionally,
whereas glucose suppresses ghrelin
(also known as u201Cthe hunger hormone,u201D which makes you want more food),
fructose, again, does not.

Fructose also
increases your insulin levels, interfering with the communication
between leptin and your hypothalamus, so your pleasure signals aren't
extinguished. Your brain keeps sensing that you're starving, and
prompts you to eat more.

As you can
see, consuming fructose suppresses feelings of satiety in several
ways, which eventually will have serious consequences for your weight
and overall health.

How much fructose
is in the foods you eat? Just ONE can of soda contains about 40
grams of high-fructose corn syrup, which is already well over any
kind of healthy limit. You can further gauge the high-fructose corn
syrup content of some popular foods below:

Fruit

Serving
Size
Grams
of Fructose

Limes
1
medium
0

Lemons
1
medium
0.6

Cranberries
1
cup
0.7

Passion
fruit
1
medium
0.9

Prune
1
medium
1.2

Apricot
1
medium
1.3

Guava
2
medium
2.2

Date
(Deglet Noor style)
1
medium
2.6

Cantaloupe
1/8
of med. melon
2.8

Raspberries
1
cup
3.0

Clementine
1
medium
3.4

Kiwifruit
1
medium
3.4

Blackberries
1
cup
3.5

Star
fruit
1
medium
3.6

Cherries,
sweet
10
3.8

Strawberries
1
cup
3.8

Cherries,
sour
1
cup
4.0

Pineapple
1
slice
(3.5″ x .75″)
4.0

Grapefruit,
pink or red
1/2
medium
4.3

Fruit

Serving
Size
Grams
of Fructose

Boysenberries
1
cup
4.6

Tangerine/mandarin
orange
1
medium
4.8

Nectarine
1
medium
5.4

Peach
1
medium
5.9

Orange
(navel)
1
medium
6.1

Papaya
1/2
medium
6.3

Honeydew
1/8
of med. melon
6.7

Banana
1
medium
7.1

Blueberries
1
cup
7.4

Date
(Medjool)
1
medium
7.7

Apple
(composite)
1
medium
9.5

Persimmon
1
medium
10.6

Watermelon
1/16
med. melon
11.3

Pear
1
medium
11.8

Raisins
1/4
cup
12.3

Grapes,
seedless (green or red)
1
cup
12.4

Mango
1/2
medium
16.2

Apricots,
dried
1
cup
16.4

Figs,
dried
1
cup
23.0

Please realize
that as you cut out corn syrup from your diet, you should NOT replace
it with agave
sweeteners
, as they can be anywhere from 55 percent to 90 percent
fructose! (And it's likely you won't be able to tell from the product
label.)

Eat Slowly
and Savor Your Food

Chewing
your food twice as long
as you normally would will instantly
help you control your portion sizes, which naturally decreases calorie
consumption.

Another benefit
of chewing longer is that your food is digested better. The majority
of your digestive enzymes are actually in your mouth, not in your
stomach. Therefore, chewing your food longer allows it to be broken
down better.

You're also
likely to find that you actually enjoy the taste of the food more
and feel more satisfied.

A study published
in the Journal
of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism
last year found
that people given identical servings of ice cream on different occasions
released more hunger-regulating hormones when they ate it in 30
minutes instead of five. So although the serving size remained the
same, they felt fuller after savoring the ice cream compared
to when they wolfed it down.

In another
study from 2008, subjects also reported feeling fuller when they
ate slowly. Interestingly, they also ended up consuming
about 10 percent fewer calories
when they ate at a slow pace
as opposed to when they were rushing.

A third study,
published in the British Medical Journal, found that eating
quickly, and eating until feeling full, tripled subjects' risk of
being overweight.

So just by
making a conscious effort to slow down when you eat, you may find
you need to eat less to feel satisfied. This means you'll also want
to avoid eating on the run, in the car, while standing up or while
you're distracted with another task.

Cook Your
Food from Scratch

If your diet
consists of fast food, restaurant meals and processed food, it will
be difficult to lose weight and also to be healthy. Even though
this is frequently the most convenient, least expensive and best-tasting
option, if you regularly engage in this choice you are simply begging
for trouble.

Even the healthiest
restaurant meals are typically loaded with calories as well. According
to a registered dietician and representative for the American Dietetic
Association, restaurant meals average between 1,000 to 1,500 calories,
and because they're served in gigantic portions, you're likely to
eat more than you would at home.

The end result
is that eating out often means you're typically eating low-quality
food at a premium price
, a lose-lose situation for both your
health and your waistline.

Unfortunately,
many Americans have made eating out a way of life. In 2008, the
average U.S. household spent close to HALF of its food budget on
meals eaten away from home, according to The Survey of Consumer
Expenditures for 2008, released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

I have long
stated that if you want to be optimally healthy, you, a family member
or someone you hire needs to put some serious time into preparing
your meals. This way, you can prepare your meals with unprocessed,
high-quality food, you control the portion sizes, and you can enjoy
your food in an atmosphere that is calming and not rushed.

Eat a Healthy
Breakfast

Skipping breakfast
can lead to weight gain, plain and simple. On the other hand, studies
have shown that eating breakfast can have beneficial effects
on:

  • Appetite
  • Insulin
    resistance
  • Energy metabolism

One study found
that obesity and insulin resistance syndrome rates were 35 percent
to 50 percent lower among people who ate breakfast every day compared
to those who frequently skipped it. This is true of teenagers too,
who tend to be about five
pounds heavier than their peers
if they skip breakfast.

So you want
to be sure to eat breakfast, but while you're at it make certain
that you're not simply eating sugary cereal or refined carbs (bagels,
pancakes, toast, etc.). Instead, your breakfast should absolutely
include a healthy source of protein, such as eggs, to keep you energized
throughout your day. For tips on creating a healthy breakfast you
can read
what I eat for breakfast here
.

5 More Metabolism-Boosting
Weight Loss Essentials

Everyone's
metabolism is different, but you can speed it up or slow it down
within a reasonably short amount of time by making the following
commonsense changes to your diet and lifestyle:

  1. Eat
    according to your nutritional type
    to ensure your body is
    getting the right fuel it needs
  2. Avoid sugar
    and grains as they are the leading cause of insulin- and leptin-resistance,
    which affects your hunger levels, your weight, and your risk of
    any number of diseases
  3. Listen to
    your hunger, and eat a healthy meal or snack when hunger calls
  4. Implement
    a well-rounded
    exercise regimen
    that includes strength training to build
    muscle (for every pound of muscle that you gain, your body burns
    50–70 calories more per day), as well as interval
    training
    , which has been demonstrated to significantly increase
    fat loss
  5. Use healthy
    outlets for stress and negative emotions. Tools like the Emotional
    Freedom Technique/Meridian Tapping Technique (EFT/MTT)
    are
    your friend and ally when it comes to losing weight. For some,
    emotional eating or emotional traumas are more complex, and an
    experienced
    MTT practitioner
    may be able to help unravel some of these
    deeper emotional issues that are leading to overeating or junk
    food binges.

Meditation,
prayer, journaling and even exercise can also provide positive outlets
for stress.

Remember, the
idea is not to deprive your body or starve yourself into a size 2.
The goal is to establish a healthy relationship with food, one that
will keep you satisfied, nourished and slim, all at the same time.

June
25, 2010

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