We’re constantly updating our coverage on the latest research involving dark chocolate. The health benefits are seemingly endless. Cocoa contains flavonoids and polyphenols, nutrients that have strong potential health benefits. For one, frequent dark chocolate consumption (twice a week) is linked to lower BMI, according to a study published in the Journal Internal Medicine. “A small square of chocolate can satisfy a chocolate craving while keeping calories in check,” Zeratsky explains, which is what the study concluded, too. People who ate modest amounts of dark chocolate had better mood and activity levels, ate more fruits and vegetables, and ate less saturated fat.
Noom: To help you figure out how to prioritize or limit food items, Noom offers color coding. Green means go for it — “green” foods include veggies and grains, and these should make up a solid 30% of your diet. “Yellow” foods include lean meats and starches, and these can account for a touch more — 45%. “Red” foods (red meats and sweets) should appear less than both green and yellow, around 25%. When you log meals, the app lets you know how well you’re aligning with these proportions.
Good news, wine drinkers. Thanks to resveratrol, an antioxidant found in grape skin, drinking red wine in moderation can be part of a healthy diet. Some studies suggest that people who drink wine have smaller waists and less abdominal fat than those who drink mainly liquor. And having one glass of red wine can increase your body's calorie burn for up to 90 minutes afterwards. The antioxidants in wine might even help your body prevent cancer and improve heart health. Just be sure to stick to no more than a glass a day—the calories can add up fast.
You probably already know that chamomile tea can help induce sleep (there’s even a brand called Sleepy Time). But science is showing that teas actually work on a hormonal level to lower our agita and bring peace and slumber. Studies have found that herbal teas like valerian and hops contain compounds that can actually reduce levels of stress hormones in our bodies, bringing on sleep — and reducing the body’s ability to store fat! Click here to learn more about The 4 Most Relaxing Teas.
Australian researchers randomized 204 obese adults to either a 12-week rapid weight loss diet (with Nestlé's Optifast) or a 36-week gradual diet. A weight loss of 15% was the goal of both diets. Participants who lost at least 12.5% of their weight then participated in the second phase of the study, in which they were placed on a 144-week maintenance diet.
If you've seen the TV show, you get the idea: Six weeks of healthy food and regular exercise is celebrated as a great start to a weight-loss journey – as well as a way prevent or reverse various diseases. Fair enough. Experts determined that the Biggest Loser Diet is very likely to help you shed pounds, thanks to calorie restriction and exercise. To reap the other benefits of weight loss, however, you have to stick with it – something that's a lot harder for average Joes than for TV stars-in-the-making.
He is, however, quick to point out that nobody is doing this with any harmful intentions. But he does stress that erroneous information has a tendency to be elevated into truths if it’s repeated sufficiently often. And when myths like these are as widespread as they are, they prevent the public and professionals from getting their priorities right in the fight against obesity.
“There are many foods that aid weight loss, but one that I often recommend to my clients and eat myself is grapefruit. Researchers at Scripps Clinic in San Diego found that when obese people ate half a grapefruit before each meal, they dropped an average of 3.5 pounds over 12 weeks. Apparently, the tangy fruit can lower insulin, a fat-storage hormone, and that can lead to weight loss. Plus, since it’s at least 90% water, it can fill you up so you eat less. However, if you are on certain medications you should not have grapefruit or grapefruit juice, so check the label on all your prescriptions, or ask your pharmacist or doctor. — Patricia Bannan, MS, RDN, author of Eat Right When Time is Tight.
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“Bananas contain a small amount of fiber and resistant starch, which have received recent attention for their potential role in boosting weight loss,” says Ellis. Snacking on bananas is easy, convenient, and low cal. They’re also a great source of potassium, which can be lost in sweat during tough workouts or on hot summer days. Plus they make for nice drinks, like the Jamba Juice Triple Revitalizer with carrot and orange juice.
Brazilian scientists found that participants who consumed three cups of the beverage every day for a week had fewer markers of the cell damage caused by resistance to exercise. That means that green tea can also help you recover faster after an intense workout. In another study—this one on people—participants who combined a daily habit of four to five cups of green tea each day with a 25-minute workout for 12 weeks lost an average of two more pounds than the non-tea-drinking exercisers.
Make sure that everything you're eating is whole — as in nothing processed or packaged. Since salt is a preservative, these are the foods that are highest in sodium — something to keep in mind when planning your meals. Plan on making sure that all items you choose are fresh. That means filling up on fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean protein.
Once again, a popular weight loss myth has been exploded. It has been widely believed that weight loss, which is nearly always difficult to maintain, is even less likely to stay lost if it is the product of a rapid weight loss. The belief is even enshrined in current guidelines. Now a study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology provides no support for this belief. Instead, the study suggests that although long-term weight loss remains elusive regardless of the diet, short-term weight loss is actually more likely with rapid weight loss.
This creamy treat may help turn up the fat burn. Research suggests that people who get more calcium and vitamin D as part of a weight loss plan shed more fat than those who don’t. So, look for a vitamin D-fortified yogurt, which serves up about 35% of all the calcium you need in a day. Top it with half a cup of raspberries for sweetness and 4 grams of fiber.
It turns out this unique leaf is good for more than boosting your caffeine levels each morning. There are many benefits of green tea, and enjoying a green tea diet or adding its extract to your health and beauty products can make a difference in your overall weight at the end of the day. If you are ready to learn more about the benefits of this prized drink, keep reading to learn how green tea helps weight loss.
Trying to lose weight is a lot like cleaning out the basement: It’s overwhelming and near impossible to know where to start—even when you don’t have a ton of weight to lose. But getting the body you’ve always wanted doesn’t have to be a source of stress. If the scale won’t budge and you’re looking to shed the last 10 pounds, there are plenty of ways to reach your goal. To help you get there, we spoke with a handful of celebs that have successfully slimmed down (and kept it off) and dozens of the fitness and diet industries top experts.
I was as low as 190 and at the four year mark was back to 260. There are several factors that gave me the impetus to not become a statistic. I had promised myself to never again let my body suffocate the life out of my living. I enforced a number in my mind 200 lbs. as a 5 foot 7 woman, I am healthy looking and comfortable. I set it in my mind as an alarm clock. I didn’t allow a snooze button. If I pass it up it is a buzzing noise altering my behaviors, keeping me alert. I don’t obsess, I refuse to give one more minute of my life over to the agony of obesity.
Catechins are also credited for green tea’s cancer-fighting potential. These antioxidants have the ability to block the action of molecules called free radicals, which can cause changes in healthy cells that sometimes lead to cancer. But there’s no solid proof yet that the catechins in green tea help to prevent cancer in humans, despite some promising studies in test tubes and animals.
Although it’s tempting to look for a quick fix with a speedy weight loss scheme, many popular diets are unhealthy or produce only temporary results. You’ll have better luck with an eating plan that includes a variety of healthful foods and gives you enough calories and nutrients to meet your body’s needs. Taking it slow by making ongoing eating and exercise changes is the best way to reach and maintain your optimal weight.
Even if you manage to meet your goal, it probably won’t be sustainable: “The amount of restriction required will make you so hungry that you’ll eat everything in sight—it’s survival instinct,” Dr. Seltzer says. What’s more, your body will be less prepared to burn the foods you binge on, since calorie restriction gradually slows your metabolism, he adds.
Wouldn’t it be great if life came with a magic remote control that made the bad parts speed up and the good parts slow down? You could hit FF at the beginning of every workday, and RWD at the end of awesome date. All the vacations, holidays and parties could move at the pace of a Kenny G song, and all the endless conference calls could spin by faster than Nicki Minaj’s hairstyles.
”But science actually tells us the opposite,” says the professor. “Regardless of whether you pick a sensible diet, exercise, behavioural therapy or a drug, our analysis of the literature shows that it’s those who experience the greatest weight loss in the first 2-4 weeks who have the greatest weight loss the following year. So if you’ve lost a lot of weight after one month, you’re more likely to have lost a lot of weight after a year or two.”
Already nearly calorie free, matcha is a great addition to a weight loss program by tackling the problem from both sides. It boosts metabolism and burns fat. One recent study even suggested that matcha may help burn calories by four times. At the same time, matcha does not put any stress on the body. It doesn’t raise blood pressure or heart rate, making it a safe alternative to questionable quick fixes or pharmaceuticals ridden with side effects.
“A study published in Nutrition Journal found that participants who ate foods high in monounsaturated fats for lunch (in this case, half an avocado) reported a 40 percent decreased desire to eat for hours afterward. Monounsaturated fats from sources like olive oil, nuts and avocados can reduce cholesterol, promote weight loss, even boost memory.” — David Zinczenko, author of the Zero Belly Cookbook
But fear not, you are not destined to a steady diet of carrot sticks and bird food. In fact, a wide assortment of the right “thin” foods can help you lose weight. The key things to look for: Foods with high water content, high-fiber foods, and calcium. All of these will help you feel full longer and thus eat fewer calories in the long run. Sorry, until Godiva starts filling their truffles with water instead of chocolate cream, they don’t make the list. But lots of other luscious foods do.
“A cup of blackberries has only 62 calories and is packed with fiber and phytochemicals, including powerful flavonoids and anthocyanins, which help to speed stool and toxins through your digestive system,” says Maleeff. Their high water and fiber content, plus sweet taste, make them the perfect refreshing summer weight-loss food. (These blackberry yogurt cheesecake parfaits are perfect for dessert!)
Face it, if you want to lose weight over the long haul, your best bet is to make sustainable, long-term lifestyle changes like the nine simple ones this woman made to shed 45 pounds and keep them off. But sometimes life comes at you fast and you need a fast solution. One smart lifestyle change is to eat plenty of veggies—especially for someone looking to lose weight. Vegetables are nutrient-packed and provide plenty of filling fiber with hardly any calories. Plus, non-starchy veggies have a high water content, so they hydrate you while filling you up—the perfect combination for weight loss.
Like green tea, lemon and ginger can also promote fat loss, and adding them to your daily cup can enhance the natural benefits that green tea has. Simply heat water to a boil and seep green tea for a few minutes before pulling out the leaves. Squeeze in the juice from half a lemon and infuse the blend with a teaspoon of grated ginger. Let seep for fifteen minutes, and enjoy!
Stopping eating after dinner is an easy way to easily cut back on mindless munching and extra calories, and can help boost weight loss, White says. One way to prevent that post-dinner grazing is to brush your teeth almost immediately after your last meal of the day. The minty flavor in your mouth will make all your favorite foods taste gross anyway, and you won’t want to go back and brush your teeth all over again.
Blueberries are lousy with antioxidants, satiating fiber, potassium, and more, and according to researchers at the University of Michigan, the colorful fruits may also encourage weight loss. In a study of laboratory rats, scientists found that after 90 days the rats who received blueberry-enriched powder as 2 percent of their diet had less abdominal fat, lower triglycerides, lower cholesterol, and improved fasting glucose and insulin sensitivity, than the rats who weren’t given any blueberry-enriched powder.
Anaerobic exercise, on the other hand, primarily uses sugar as its fuel. This doesn’t mean that it’s not good for weight loss, though. Anaerobic exercise helps build muscle, and as we explained above, this will help you burn calories even when you’re resting. Anaerobic exercises are generally high intensity, for example sprinting and weight lifting.
Similarly, lemons are a rich source of vitamin C and other nutrients good for weight loss. The health benefits of lemons also include lowering the risk of stroke, preventing asthma, combating cancer. Studies have also suggested that daily consumption of plant foods like lemons reduces your chances of developing diabetes, obesity, heart disease, etc. So, replace your aerated drinks with this delicious detox drink to stay healthy and slim down your waistline.
When I was in the sixth grade, I first realized that I was heavier than the other girls. I thought, "Oh, I'm going into junior high school—I should try to lose weight so boys will like me, like me." From then on, my mom and I tried pretty much any popular diet from the early 2000s you could think of. She was always encouraging me to lose weight whenever she did. I would usually lose between 30 and 40 pounds on those diets, but I always put it back on—and then some.
The upgrade is a touch steeper than it is for other tracking app upgrades — most run $4–5 per month. But we found that those inexpensive alternatives were chaotically organized and slow to respond, elements that had us avoiding opening them at all. SparkPeople and Lose It! both came with lots of lag time and finicky search bars that made us hesitant to launch the apps, let alone log in three or more times a day.
So often, we have the best of intentions but life gets in the way. That is, unless you plan for it! If you like working out right after work, join a gym or hit up a class that’s near your office. Do you prefer doing yoga stretches in the privacy of your home? Designate an area as a yoga-only zone with your mat and candles to strike a pose whenever the urge hits.
Ghrelin is often referred to as the ‘hunger hormone’. If ghrelin is high, then you are hungrier. Anecdotal studies and personal experience have hinted at the appetite suppressing effect of green tea but this provides some rational basis for explaining how high dose catechin suppresses hunger. Adiponectin was also increased significantly, which is good although the exact significance is unknown. It has known anti-atherogenic and anti-diabetic properties, but this effect is not consistently seen in the literature.
Ranging from just-juice to just-tea cleanses, these typically short-term plans can be dangerous. “Detoxes and cleanses are usually low in calories, protein, and fiber, all nutrients that our bodies need to function,” says Alissa Rumsey, RD, who is in private practice in New York City. “These plans leave you feeling hungry and cranky, causing a rebound food binge once you stop the detox.”
Ultimately, weight loss for the long-term requires some short-term behavior change and healthier habit formation. That's why we created our Good Housekeeping Nutritionist Approved Emblem, which exists to help turn smart food choices into healthier eating habits. All GHNA foods and drinks make it easier to find — and eat — good-for-you foods without additional time, effort, and cost. We target the lifestyle-related factors that make healthier eating hard, and find simple but creative solutions that actually work! Look for the emblem on labels wherever you shop for food!
Don't get me wrong — exercising at any time is good for you. But evening activity may be particularly beneficial because many people's metabolism slows down toward the end of the day. Thirty minutes of aerobic activity before dinner increases your metabolic rate and may keep it elevated for another two or three hours, even after you've stopped moving. What that means for you: You're less likely to go back for seconds or thirds. Plus, it'll help you relax post meal so you won't be tempted by stress-induced grazing that can rack up calories, quickly.
“Stepping on the scale frequently makes you aware of small changes and helps you quickly react to those changes. The National Weight Control Registry, a large group of people who have successfully lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for 5 years, found that successful ‘losers’ weigh themselves often and make adjustments accordingly. When you begin to understand that sodium, carb intake, hormones and alcohol intake can impact weight and that it isn’t possible to gain 2 pounds of fat overnight, you will begin to better understand your body. The key is to pay attention to overall trends; don’t obsess over day-to-day numbers! — Jennifer McDaniel, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD, food and nutrition expert
HIIT stands for high intensity interval training, and it’s a great way to build muscle without spending hours in the gym. The idea is to go all out for a short period of time, followed by a slower pace that allows you to recover. Think of jogging or sprinting all out for 30 seconds, followed by a minute or two of rest, then repeat. Short bursts of high-intensity exercises keep your heart rate up while adding lean muscle. More muscle mass equals calories burned on a daily basis. Also, the more lean muscle you have, the higher your metabolism is.