Try these tricks to reduce the calories you eat in a day!
With post-gym starvation, afternoon slumps and evening noshing in front of the TV, it’s super-easy to think that you need more food—even if you just ate. To help keep your caloric intake within a healthy range, we spoke with experts as well as looked into the latest research to find out how you can stay full longer. Below, eight surprising ways to stave off hunger and, ultimately, unwanted inches.
EAT FATTY FOODS
It sounds strange, but zapping all the fat from your diet will actually make you fatter. Your body needs unsaturated (a.k.a. “good”) fats to function properly and stay energised as well as absorb certain vitamins. Need some incentive? A recent study by researchers, showed that the unsaturated fat found in avocados and olive oil is converted into a compound that curbs your hunger. Just be careful not to overdo it. Make sure that only 30 percent of your daily calories come from fat, says an expert. If you’re operating on a 1,500-calorie diet, your meals should contain a maximum of 10 percent saturated fat.
SNACK ON ALMONDS
These all-natural treats contain fibre and unsaturated fat, which combine to create a superpower that makes you feel full. Not only that, a recent study found that you can shrink your waist by a whopping 14 percent if you eat a handful of almonds daily for just half a year. However, almonds are high in calories, so stick to no more than 3 ounces daily for the best weight-loss results.
RETURN CARBOHYDRATES TO YOUR DIET
We know carbs and starches were practically banned a few years ago, but now they’re back and we’re learning that they’re way better for you than previously thought. Just like there are good and bad fats, not all carbohydrates are created equal. Opt for complex carbs, found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, which take longer to digest and therefore help keep you feeling full. Potatoes also take a long time to break down due to a type of starch that resists digestive enzymes. For even more nutritional value, go for a sweet potato, which is high in fibre and vitamins A and C.
CHOW DOWN ON GRAPEFRUIT
A study found that people who ate half of a grapefruit with breakfast, lunch and dinner lost nearly 4 pounds in just three months. That’s because grapefruit lowers your insulin, which regulates your fat metabolism, suppressing your appetite and burning calories faster. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for citrus juices, which typically contain a lot of sugar. If you want to have the grapefruit in juice form, squeeze it yourself and don’t add any sweetener.
HIT THE GYM
Going to the gym doesn’t just help you burn calories; a study from experts found that doing an hour of cardio will reduce your appetite for up to two hours after you’re done. The cardio reduces your levels of ghrelin (a hormone which increases your appetite) and increases levels of the hormone which suppresses your appetite. However, doing the same cardio day after day can eventually cause any positive effects it has on your metabolism to plateau. Be sure to mix it up at least twice a month with a variety of exercises, like biking, rowing, running and the elliptical machine.
It may sound new-agey, but a study found that people who smelled peppermint every two hours ate 2,700 fewer calories weekly, which caused them to lose a pound every week. The smell works on your brain, tricking you into thinking you’ve eaten and are therefore fuller than you actually are. Sniffing the peppermint more frequently works even better, so light a candle and you’ll be golden.
GRAB SOME BLUEBERRIES
Blueberries affect the genes in charge of fat-burning and storage, so eating them not only makes you feel full, but also helps get rid of extra belly fat, says an expert from research scientist. Ate a cup of blueberries every day for three months, and lost 3 percent of their body fat. If fresh blueberries are out of season, eat frozen ones to get the same benefits.