Three brand new, super healthy ways to shed pounds
According to the results of the largest ever study to track the effects of sleep habits on weight loss, women who sleep 5 hours a night are 32% more likely to experience major weight gain (an increase of 33 pounds or more) and 15% more likely to become obese, compared with those that sleep 7 hours a night. The study looked at snoozing habits or nearly 70,000 women over a period of 16 years and found that even when those that slept for an average of 5 hours a night ate less, they still gained more weight that those who slept for a couple of hours more. Why? No one really knows. One theory is that sleep deprivation can raise cortisol levels. This is the stress hormone which can stimulate hunger and decrease the level of leptin in the body – the hormone which causes the body to crave carbohydrates. Others suggest that a lack of sleep can reduce the metabolic rate and reduce activity patterns during the day.
2- Take up juggling
No, not the ball throwing variety – I’m talking food juggling instead. Juggling the ingredients of your favourite meals by reducing the carbohydrate content and increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables can be highly effective way of cutting calories whilst doubling your nutrient intake into the bargain. For example, a spaghetti bolognaise made in the usual way of frying mince and onions, adding a tomato based sauce and serving on top of a plate of spaghetti amounts to approximately 600 calories. If however, you juggle the ingredients by using 50% less meat and spaghetti and adding in more vegetables in the form of peas, sweet corn, tinned tomatoes, mushrooms and grated carrot (which dissolves within the cooking process to give the tomato sauce a fabulous, smooth, rich, velvety texture) you’ll not only create a far tastier, more filling, fibre, vitamin and mineral packed meal but you’ll halve the calories to approximately 300 per serving too. Apply this process to your other favourite meals and watch the pounds disappear without ever feeling hungry again.
3- Eat a starter
Try eating a small bowl of soup or salad before your main meal. Not only is this a great way to increase your fruit and vegetable intake but, according to a recent study published in the Journal of American Dietetic Association, starting each main meal in this way will result in you automatically eating 12% fewer calories resulting in weight loss. Go easy on the salad dressings though as the researchers also found that those who had salads with high fat dressing ended up eating 17% more calories overall. For a really tasty, low fat, low calorie dressing drizzle with a little good quality balsamic vinegar or a teaspoon of sweet chilli sauce instead.
Have you got any other helpful slimming tips?