In a study conducted by Swiss and German researchers, lucky participants ate about 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate daily for two weeks. Ultimately, these chocolate nibblers had lower stress-hormone levels and a more regulated metabolism than a control group. Scientists speculate that chemicals in cocoa, such as flavonoids, play a role in regulating metabolism by alleviating stress that can cause your fat-burning engines to go on the fritz. Should you think this is a license to go wild, take heed: We’re talking small amounts of high-quality dark chocolate. Researchers say 1.5 ounces is enough.
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Difficulty on a Scale of 1 (I Feel Great!) to 10 (It Ruined My Life!): 3. The drink didn’t make me feel instantly Paltrow’ed, but it also didn’t make me feel actively bad. If I were someone who didn’t love/cherish breakfast, I could see myself making hot lemon water a routine. Since I do love/cherish breakfast, I’ll sip a cup on those afternoons I’m compelled to eat Cheez-Its recreationally.
Increased insulin resistance might leave you feeling hungrier. Dividing up your food into three moderately sized meals and one to two small snacks will keep your blood sugar levels steady while combatting the urge to nibble on junk, Largeman-Roth says. Piling your plate with more low-calorie, high-volume foods—like fruits and vegetables—can help fill you up, too. (These 20 low-calorie salads that won't leave you hungry fit the nutritional bill.)
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“To see real results, you need to eat real food,” People’s Sexiest Trainer Alive Angelo Grinceri told Eat This, Not That! “When your eating habits consist of eating a variety of real foods that provide the body with nourishment, a healthier body is created. And the healthier you are, the faster you’ll recover post-workout and the better chance you’ll have at losing fat and building muscle.” Plus, eating for health instead of weight loss means you’ll develop a habit that makes smarter food choices easier and easier. Get more of this sexy trainer’s advice at The 15 Best Weight Loss Tips from The Sexiest Trainer Alive!
It’s no surprise that Victoria Secret models follow some strict diets, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is no exception. She follows a plan by Dr. Nigma Talib, who practices naturopathy, which is a system of treatment that focuses on diets, herbs, vitamins, and natural agents to heal, rather than surgery and prescription drugs. Dr. Talib doesn’t let you have sugar, dairy, gluten, or alcohol.
This diet, created by trainer-to-the-stars Tracy Anderson, has reportedly been tried by the likes of Jennifer Aniston and Lady Gaga. The gist of the 7-day eating plan? Eat jarred baby food for breakfast and lunch, followed by a low-calorie dinner. Anderson cites this as a way to “eliminate toxins”—a red flag because the body naturally expels toxins. This is nothing more than a short-term crash diet that is very low in calories and nutrients.
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As you age, your risk for heart diseases increases. And while spreading a teaspoon of salted butter on whole-grain toast every once in a blue isn’t detrimental to your health, loading your chicken recipes with butter and buttering your pans on the daily can. Butter contains seven grams of saturated fat per tablespoon, and using just two spoonfuls can put you over your daily limit of the fat.
That doesn't mean you have to live on the high-protein Atkins diet. But you should make sure that 10 to 35 percent of your total daily calories comes from protein. So if you're on an 1,800-calorie diet, 360 to 630 of those calories should come from lean sources of protein, such as fish, chicken, low-fat cheese, yogurt and legumes. "Aim to have a serving of protein, such as nuts, a small can of tuna, or a piece of low-fat string cheese, at every meal and snack," says Hampl.
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Everyone knows that Tom and Gisele don’t eat strawberries, but they also don’t eat white sugar, white flour, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, or eggplants. So what do they eat? According to their chef, Alan Campbell, “80 percent … vegetables … and whole grains: brown rice, quinoa, millet, beans. The other 20 percent is lean meats: grass-fed organic steak, duck every now and then, and chicken.”
Despite her culinary chops, the Barefoot Contessa star keeps it simple in the mornings. “I’ve had the same thing for breakfast every single day for ten years: coffee and McCann’s quick-cooking Irish oatmeal,” she said. Other staples in her kitchen include “a bowl of lemons on the counter (and other citrus), butter, eggs, Parmesan cheese, and chocolate.”
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The 36-year-old model's body is so incredible, she's logged camera time for Victoria's Secret and Sport's Illustrated Swim. And her tip for keeping her diet in check is kind of genius: She keeps her bod on display at all times. "Eating smart is all about having an awareness of your body," she explained to Women's Health in 2012. "The most obvious way to do that is by seeing it. So when you're trying to lose weight, spend more time wearing less. I don't think I could eat a plate of nachos naked—could you?"
Evolution is a slow and gradual process. Since the typical modern diet does not resemble the diet humans have followed for the majority of history, our metabolisms are designed to work best on a “feast or famine” schedule. Our bodies store fat when food is plentiful, and burn it off in times of scarcity. Since most Americans do not experience periods of fasting, we retain that body fat and gain weight. Because of this, intermittent fasting is a very effective way to lose weight. Not only will our bodies burn off fat stores while we fast, but fasting has also been shown to reduce inflammation in the body, speed up metabolism, reduce blood pressure, and lower risks for type 2 diabetes.
The Deal: Alves revealed to Delish that the secret to her hot bod is … swapping some meals with baby food. “I did a cleanse, and there were a lot of puréed meals, and my body just agreed with it,” she said. “I was getting really swollen in my stomach area, so I felt my digestive system needed a break. It wasn’t realistic to do all puréed meals, so I do a combination.” For my experiment, I would swap two meals a day with puréed baby food.
“One thing that can age you is the intake of industrial seed oil,” says LeVeque. “A lot of times they oxidize and are very high in omega-6, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but you're supposed to have a 1-to-1 ratio between omegas 3 and 6. Unfortunately, most Americans have a ratio of 15-to-1 or 25-to-1, which puts our bodies into more of an inflammatory state.” If you’re unsure of what industrial seed oils are, here’s what’s generally included under that food category: sunflower oil, canola oil, corn oil and cotton seed oil—most of which are found in dressings, marinades, crackers and chips. “Not only are these industrial oils high in omega 6, but they also oxidize and are oftentimes unstable, meaning they become a free radical in the body, which can obviously damage the skin.”
"The main culprit that slows metabolism and often leads to yo-yo dieting is what I call shrinking muscle syndrome," says Caroline Apovian, MD, director of the Nutrition and Weight Management Center at Boston Medical Center and the author of The Overnight Diet: The Proven Plan for Fast and Permanent Weight Loss. Starting at age 30, most people begin to lose about half a pound of the metabolism-revving tissue each year. Poof! Gone, just like that. And at age 50, the rate doubles. "The average sedentary woman may have lost nearly 15 pounds of muscle by the time she reaches her late 50s, a change that could cause her to gain nearly the same amount in body fat," says Wayne Westcott, PhD, a Prevention advisory board member and the director of fitness research at Quincy College in Massachusetts.
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