"When you do resistance training, it causes a degree of microtrauma, or tiny tears, to the muscle tissue," says Dr. Westcott. "Over the next 48 to 72 hours, your body remodels and heals that tissue with amino acids, making it stronger—or, if you're just starting out and need to gain muscle mass, the muscle slowly grows." This throws coals onto your metabolism's calorie-burning fire in two ways: First, the more muscle you build, the more calories you'll burn each day. Second, the rebuilding process itself requires extra energy, boosting your daily calorie burn by 5 to 9%.
Iron deficiency affects more than 1 in 5 women in the U.S. Being deficient in essential minerals can show up in all kinds of ways, such as fatigue and anemia, but an iron deficiency can also be a blow for getting into your skinny jeans with relative ease. See, your body can’t work as efficiently to burn calories when it doesn’t have what it needs to work properly. A cup of lentils, it turns out, provides over a third of your daily iron needs. Legumes like lentils also have been shown to drive down bad cholesterol and blood pressure. That’s why they’re one of the 7 Best Foods to Eat for Rapid Weight Loss!
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Your body may burn a few calories heating the cold water to your core temperature, says Madelyn Fernstrom, Ph.D., founder and director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Weight Management Center. Though the extra calories you burn drinking a single glass doesn't amount to much, making it a habit can add up to pounds lost with essentially zero additional effort.
Why go for the fake stuff when real cheese is so accessible? American cheese is a cheese product (often known as pasteurized processed cheese spread) that’s stuffed with additives—such as phosphates and colorings—to the point where it contains less than 51 percent of actual cheese. And if you take a look at Tostito’s Smooth and Cheesy dip, you’ll find that it reads “cheese flavored” on the jar. Odd, right? Next time you reach for the sandwich staple, consider swapping it out with a slice of goat cheese, which has been shown to increase iron absorption, improves bone formation, and increase the bioavailability of certain minerals more effectively than cow’s milk, a Journal of Dairy Science study found.
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When you were young, you probably didn't spend too much time thinking about preparing your body for the future. In your teens and twenties, you're in peak condition and it's the perfect time to start exercising. Cut to 20 years later and, if you didn't start exercising, you probably wish you had since there's something we all start to experience in our 40's—weight gain.
Experts agree that including a weekly cheat meal into your healthy-eating plan can actually help you reach your weight loss goals. Having a strategy is key: “By planning your cheat meal, you know what you’ll be eating and can cut a few extra calories earlier in the day,” says Jim White, RD, ACSM Health Fitness Specialist and owner of Jim White Fitness & Nutrition Studios. “This also allows you to really pick a favorite food instead of wasting calories on something you didn’t enjoy.” Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN, Real Nutrition NYC, gives similar advice. “Pick your poison. If you’re going out, pick your splurge. Are you going to dig into carbs like a bread basket or pasta or dessert? Or are you planning on tossing back a few cocktails?” She urges cheaters to avoid consuming all three of those common categories in one sitting. “Focus only on one,” she says, adding that by saving the others for another time you can “enjoy without going overboard.”
If you want to weigh less, you’ve got to eat less, right? Well, if you take in too few calories, it can cause your body to lose muscle mass, which will decrease the rate of your metabolism. Plus, when you skimp on calories, your body slows the rate at which is burns calories to conserve the fuel it’s got. “Under-fueling is just as risky as over-fueling,” explains Carolyn Brown, MS RD at Foodtrainers in Manhattan. Lisa Moskovitz, RD, CDN agrees: “In an attempt for quick, noticeable weight loss, many people wrongfully believe that eating as few calories as possible is the best solution. Not only can this lead to numerous nutritional deficiencies as the body is getting less food overall, it can actually have the opposite effect on weight loss.” Instead of cutting calories like crazy, use the simple diet and exercise hacks below that can help you slim down quickly and safely without screwing up your metabolism.
Although you shouldn’t go to bed starving (that presents its own sleepytime problems), you also shouldn’t hit the sack completely stuffed. When you eat a large meal before bed, your body works to digest it long into the night — and if your body is still worked up, so are you. The later you fall asleep, the less rest you’ll get, and you’ll wake up feeling groggy and more likely to reach for calorie-dense items. We know that you’re still cool, and you’d like to eat dinner at a more fashionable hour, but supping on the earlier side could be a huge boost to your weight-loss goals. (And avoid these 30 Bad Habits That Lead to a Fat Belly!)
Make a quarter of your plate whole grains or starchy vegetables such as squash, corn or sweet potatoes, and a quarter lean protein. Serve with two teaspoons of healthy fats, and stick to fruit for dessert. This ensures that you get an appropriate balance of protein, carbs, and fat from nutrient-rich, filling foods. And make sure you keep an eye out for the six subtle signs you’re eating too many carbs.
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
“Hormones dictate how our body utilizes the energy we give it,” says nutritionist Lisa Jubilee. “Between our reproductive, thyroid and growth hormones, appetite, insulin, and hunger hormone leptin and ghrelin, our bodies have to perform a tricky balancing act to keep us lean, energized and viable reproductive beings.” Those tasks have become much more difficult because of the hormone residues we consume via cage-raised foods. If you want to give your metabolism a leg up, Jubilee says, switch to organic, grass-fed, pasture-raised beef, eggs, and dairy products, thereby avoiding those nasty hormones at mealtime.
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