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Eight slimming tips for preventing holiday weight gain
Even if you have superhuman willpower, the holiday season is challenging for everyone from swan-diving into the eggnog to sending your sensible routine into hibernation. But, as we all know, excess pounds don’t disappear along with the decorations. How to have fun without without throwing away your healthy habits? Check out the following eight rules for a no-gain season.
1. Don’t swear off desserts. But practice the three-bite rule to keep your sweet tooth in check. You’ll get that amazing first taste, a satisfying middle one, and then a lingering third bite.
2. Avoid morning-after food. Have the night of your life, then send guests home with food-filled Tupperware. It’s the leftovers that do you in. Repeat this: Out of sight, out of mind…
3. Drum up some willpower. Under the spell of that peppermint bark you co-worker brought to the office? Before you succumb, try this simple trick: Place the thumb and fingers of one hand on your forehand, a half inch apart. Tap each finger one at a time, once per second, telling yourself, “Hold on.” Wait 15-20 minutes (return phone calls, check email), and the craving will disappear. Sounds crazy, but it works.
4. Cut back on diet soda. In fact, any bubbly beverage can lead to belly bloat. The carbon dioxide trapped in the bubbles of fizzy drinks causes a buildup of air, which can lead to gas.
5. Eat your H2O. Instead of trying to down eight glasses of water (near impossible when you’re busy), have a green salad with a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette and a few slices of avocado. These water-rich foods help keep you hydrated, so that everything moves through your system faster.
6. Brew up a pot of peppermint tea. Research shows peppermint can help calm stomach muscles and reduce gas. Not a fan? Try chamomile.
7. Chew slowly. We know: When your to-do list is never-ending, it’s hard to make yourself downshift, even at mealtime. But eating fast is a quick recipe for an expanded waistline. The more air you swallow, the more bloated you’ll get.
8. Get plenty of potassium. The nutrient counterbalances sodium, so you retain less water. Our favorite potassium possibilities: bananas, papayas, kiwis, strawberries, and cantaloupe. Or serve up some asparagus or dandelion greens to get the bonus of a natural diuretic.