Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Science Backed Ways to Lose Weight. Part III

21. Steer Clear of Simple Carbs

Simple carbs are the white stuff—white bread, most pastries, refined sugars (like in soda). What makes it so simple? These foods provide energy, but lack the same  nutrients (vitamins, minerals, and fiber) as complex carbohydrates . The body also breaks simple carbs down quickly, spikes blood sugar (insulin), and leaves your tummy might rumbling sooner than you imagined . Choose whole grains instead, which may reduce potentially dangerous excess abdominal fat buildup (which can lead to diabetes) . Switch to whole-wheat pasta or whole grain bread, or try grains like brown rice, quinoa, or millet.

22. Ditch Added Sugar

A spoonful of sugar allegedly helps the medicine go down, but adding it to food may increase the risk for cardiovascular disease and obesity  . Stick to sugar that comes in its natural form (in fruits, veggies, and whole grains) and scrap that morning-coffee-spoonful.

23. Make Subs

No, we don’t mean the sandwich. We mean easy recipe substitutions. Simple swaps—like Greek yogurt for sour cream, prunes for butter, or an Americano for a latte—can cut calories and sugar. Even a grilled cheese can get a healthy revamp by making a few smart subs.

24. Cook Smart

Even healthy food can become not so great when it’s been dropped into a fryer. Instead, pan fry or pop a dish in the oven. Use non-stick spray to sauté foods, or rub oil onto a pan with a paper towel for a light coating. You can even whip up a batch of healthier chips.

25. Heat It Up With Cayenne

Cayenne pepper, the bright red spice, can not only boost metabolism, but can also cut cravings for fatty, sweet, or salty foods  . Some studies even suggest that the hot stuff can increase fat oxidation, meaning the body can better use fat as fuel  . Sprinkle some on scrambled eggs, or spice up a stir-fry with a little hot sauce.

26. Chew Gum

Popping a piece of sugar free gum won’t necessarily curb your appetite. But, chewing a 5-calorie stick can keep the mouth busy when cooking up a meal, or socializing amongst a sea of hor d’ouevres at a party. While the long term effects of gum chewing on weight loss are minimal, studies show it can lower cravings for sweet and salty snacks, and decrease hunger between meals.

27. Go Straw-less

... with fruit, that is. Juices (which are often far from 100 percent fruit) provide some vitamins, but without the same fiber and phytonutrients as a real piece of fruit. Let’s take an apple for instance. An 8-oz. glass of apple juice has double the sugar and less than one-tenth the fiber of a medium apple.

28. Cave in to Cravings

We love this tip. Cravings are OK! Acknowledge those cravings instead of pushing them away completely (which may lead to blowing it later). Caving into a craving, as long as it’s in moderation (try on of these healthier ways to satisfy a sweet tooth) can actually help curb desire. Forbidding a food may only make it more attractive. Still want more of that chocolate cake after a couple of bites? Try thinking of your favorite activity—dancing in the rain, getting a massage, playing with a puppy. Research shows that engaging in imagery can reduce the intensity of food cravings.

29. Bag It Up

Sometimes we’d rather not admit it, but let’s face it—restaurant meal portions are generally heftier than what we cook at home . Make a conscious decision to bag up half of the meal before taking the first bite. The added benefit? You’ve got a doggie-bag lunch for tomorrow!

30. Sip Green Tea

Drinking green tea is one of the most common tips for shedding a few pounds, and for good reason—green tea is known for its ability to metabolize fat  . And in combination with resistance training, green tea increases the potential for fat loss . Add a squeeze of lemon for a little flavor and to amp up antioxidant affects .

More tips will be in Part IV.

More about Chris Tina Bruce

Chris Tina Bruce is a male-to-female transgender bodybuilder, spokesperson and fitness talent.

She is the founder of Be Bold Be Proud, a grassroots non-profit transgender equality organization. She is also the founder of Hillcrest Fitness, a freelance writer and the proud parent of two amazing children. She obtained her bachelor of science degree from Georgia State University, and is also a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer.

Chris Tina lives by some very simple rules and affirmations: All of life is a transition; where you are does not have to define who you will be and together we can cultivate change. Be Bold, Be Proud, Be Yourself.

For more information about Chris, her Fitness Fun Camps, private sessions, nutrition programs or next bodybuilding show follow her Facebook page.