Did you hear the news this week? Punxsutawney Phil, the Pennsylvania groundhog renowned for his ability to forecast the onset of spring, did not see his shadow after emerging from his burrow, predicting an early spring. According to legend, if no shadow appears, spring-like weather is supposedly just around the corner. For some people, this news flash instilled a moment of intense panic. It a bit frightening to believe it is time to start thinking about ditching the heavy sweaters and parka and preparing for summertime clothes that reveal lots of skin. If this thought has you horrified, you are not alone. With the cold weather, more time spent indoors, not to mention Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s feasts, it has been easy to add on additional pounds over the past few months. Whether you looking to drop just a couple of extra pounds or desperately searching for ways to easily zip up your jeans or regain your six-pack, we offer the following valuable and practical suggestions to consider.
1. Detox: Start your weight loss kick with a mini detox. Detoxing is a great way of reminding your body how good you feel when you’re eating well and provides a straightforward approach to jump-starting a healthy weight loss program.
2. Spice it Up: It is simple to include capsaicin in your daily meals. Capsaicin is the plant based compound that gives chili peppers their heat. Food scientists have determined that this hot pepper not only adds spice to our foods, but can actually cause your body to heat up and boost metabolism. According to a research conducted at UCLA, capsaicin helps speeds metabolism in the body…up to t 100 to 200 more calories per day. The data provides evidence that this common pepper compounds increases in thermogenesis and fat oxidation. As an added benefit spicy foods may trigger a feeling of fullness sooner than bland foods.
3. Plan Ahead: Taking the time to actually decide and write down what you're going to eat will make you significantly more likely to stick to your diet goals, according to a study published in Psychology and Health. Determining your meal plan in advance helps eliminate temptation and indecision, which can sabotage weight loss.
4. Portion Control: Experts have found that over the past 30 years our dinner plates have exploded from 9″ to 12″. It may sound like common sense, but reports demonstrate that swapping your big plate for a smaller one tricks you into eating less food. It makes sense that large dinnerware causes people to eat more. The American College of Cardiology supports the information that” 90% of weight loss is achieved by reducing food intake, while just 10% is achieved by increasing physical activity.” Smaller plates that equal smaller portions can help.
5. Hydrate: When you are hungry, drink water before you dive into the refrigerator. It is entirely possible your body is just thirsty. It may sound too good to be true, but research confirms that “drinking two 8-ounce glasses of water before meals may help you lose weight and keep it off for at least a year. So before you grab that additional snack, remember that drinking more water can benefit weight loss.
6. Soup it Up: There is likely still a snowstorm, hail or rain squall coming to your city before winter ends. Instead of rushing to eat heavy, high-calorie “comfort foods,” during this inclement weather, focus on soup. Soup is a proven appetite suppressant providing hunger-busting properties. If you choose a vegetable based soup, you’ll enjoy the added benefit of lowering your carborhydrate and calorie intake. Soup is easily available, and even in low-fat and low-sodium versions are delicious and filling. Your summertime body doesn’t have to be a fantasy. Remember, it is possible to rid yourself of the extra calories you accumulated over the cold, rainy winter months before you hit the beach. Implementing these easy-to-follow suggestions can lead you to a summertime physique you’ll want to show off.