Spice up your favorite foods with a few dashes of hot cayenne pepper sauce. Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, an appetite suppressant; a study in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who ate capsaicin consumed 200 fewer calories at the next meal. Not only will this help you cut back on calories and boost weight loss, but researchers have also found that capsaicin can help you lose belly fat and lose weight fast.
You've worked on the calorie intake part of the equation. Now what about the "calories out?" Studies show that people who exercise while dieting lose more weight, and are better able to keep it off, than people who diet and do not exercise, said Wayne Miller, programs director at West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine's Center for Rural and Community Health.
You can eat twice as much pasta salad loaded with veggies like broccoli, carrots, and tomatoes for the same calories as a pasta salad sporting just mayonnaise. Same goes for stir-fries, omelets, and other veggie-friendly dishes. If you eat a 1:1 ratio of grains to veggies, the high-fiber veggies will help satisfy your hunger before you overeat the grains. Bonus: Fiber is highly beneficial for preventing constipation, which can make you look bloated. Find out if your diet doesn’t have enough fiber.
Sugar is a sneaky source of calories. Assess your current sweets habit, and be aware of these sneaky sources of added sugar. Don't eliminate sugar entirely or your palate will balk. You'll be pouring on sweet stuff even more. Instead, cut back in increments. If you put two packs of sugar in your coffee most mornings, try one—or cut down one pump of flavoring from your morning latte. Think you need "a little something sweet" after every meal? Skip the piece of chocolate, and chew gum instead. Slowly eliminating sugar from your diet is good for your health and your daily calorie total. Readjust your palate, and you'll never miss the sweet—but you'll be thankful for the new waistline look.
Do you mindlessly sprinkle salt on your food without even tasting it first? Stop it! Seriously. Extra sodium can lead to water weight gain and bloating, which will make your pants fit tighter (and the number on the scale tick up). Be sure to read your labels, too; sodium is typically lurking in in processed foods, even “healthy” ones like frozen dinners and canned soups.
Cherries have several health benefits. They are a good source of antioxidant pigment resveratrol, a substance that helps you lose weight, lowers rates of macular degeneration among older people as well as the risk of dementia. According to the data collected from a study at the University of Michigan, rats that were provided with high-fat food along with tart cherries lost nine per cent more body fat than those in a control group did over just 12 weeks.
2. Log your food intake in a journal, or app for 3 days – When you track your eating habits with a food journal, or calorie tracking app even for a few days, it will be an eye-opening experience that can increase your body awareness and help you change your habits.8 You will learn how many calories you are eating each day, and also the calories in the foods you normally eat. Understanding your current habits will make changing them much more manageable, and can help you keep weight off long-term.9
Ladies, don't despair: Women have weight-related advantages, too. They tend to carry more body fat on their thighs and backsides (the so-called “pear” shape), which are much healthier places to hold weight than around the middle. Plus, while women are better at storing fat, they also tend to burn more body fat during exercise than men do. "The fat women find it hardest to lose is generally the least harmful to health," Katz says.
The scale is not necessarily your friend. You may want to lose fat – but the scale measures muscles, bone and internal organs as well. Gaining muscle is a good thing. Thus weight or BMI are imperfect ways to measure your progress. This is especially true if you’re just coming off a long period of semi-starvation (calorie counting), as your body may want to restore lost muscles etc. Starting weight training and gaining muscle can also hide your fat loss.