- Walk the dog:
Researchers from Southern California Permanente Medical Group found that only 17 percent of dog owners who walked their pets were obese, compared to 28 percent of those who didn’t. And Fido will love you for it!
- Shun carbs two days a week
Women who cut out carbs twice a week, eating normally the rest of the time, dropped about 9 pounds on average, compared to just 5 pounds among women who restricted overall calories to 1,500 a day, according to research from the University Hospital in South Manchester in England.
- Get more sleep
“Sleep-deprived people secrete more of the hormone that makes people hungry (called ghrelin), and less of the hormone that says, ‘I’m full’ (leptin), so they eat more,” says Craig Schwimmer, M.D., a sleep doctor in Dallas. And, they reach for simple carbohydrates like muffins and bagels for a burst of energy—the last thing they should eat if trying to lose weight.
- Keep a food diary
According to the Activity Exchange, a start-up that examines data from personal fitness devices like FitBit, the single most effective strategy for losing weight is recording one’s food intake. “People who logged their meals three times a day lost on average 20 pounds over a year,” says Jialu Chen of the company’s research department.
- Dress for Success
According to Katie Rickel, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist specializing in weight management in Durham, N.C. “Wearing stylish clothing that makes you feel attractive—as opposed to comfy sweats and lounge wear that hide your body—will encourage you to eat in a way that shows you care about your appearance and your body.”
- Avoid sweet drinks
When researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health compared different strategies for losing weight (including cutting calories overall or all liquid calories) among a group of 810 people, only those who cut sugar-sweetened beverages experienced statistically significant weight loss.
- Use smaller plates
A Cornell University study found that people consistently over-serve themselves when using larger dinnerware, thus consuming more calories. “The average plate in the 50s was 9 to 10 inches across,” says Kat Whitfield, a sports trainer in Raleigh, N.C. “Today most dinner plates are 11 inches across and bigger.” So, either buy vintage dinner plates at antique and second-hand shops, or fill half of larger plates with vegetables.
- Eat out less often
University of Toronto researchers recently calculated the average calorie count of meals at 19 sit-down restaurant chains at 1,128 calories—more than half of the recommended 2,000 calories a day for healthy adults. Yikes! And, by going out just a little less often, you save money, too!
You have been officially alerted