Drinking a combination of carbohydrates and protein after a hard workout can help restore your energy and aid in building lean, metabolism-boosting muscle, but it turns out that you don’t need a fancy recovery beverage to reap these benefits. After participating in a vigorous cycling session, cyclists who drank chocolate milk were able to ride 51 percent longer in a subsequent workout than those who drank a standard recovery beverage, a 2009 article in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism found. Plus, chocolate milk is cheaper (and tastier) than anything you’ll find in a sports nutrition store.
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Eat Breakfast Every Day. One habit that's common to many people who have lost weight and kept it off is eating breakfast every day. "Many people think skipping breakfast is a great way to cut calories, but they usually end up eating more throughout the day, says Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD, author of The Pocket Idiot's Guide to the New Food Pyramids. "Studies show people who eat breakfast have lower BMIs than breakfast-skippers and perform better, whether at school or in the boardroom." Try a bowl of whole-grain cereal topped with fruit and low-fat dairy for a quick and nutritious start to your day.
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Close the Kitchen at Night. Establish a time when you will stop eating so you won't give in to the late-night munchies or mindless snacking while watching television. "Have a cup of tea, suck on a piece of hard candy or enjoy a small bowl of light ice cream or frozen yogurt if you want something sweet after dinner, but then brush your teeth so you will be less likely to eat or drink anything else," suggests Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, WebMD's "Recipe Doctor" and the author of Comfort Food Makeovers.
In today’s modern era of 24-hour meal delivery and extra-large food portions, many people are confused about how much and how often to eat. Gueron says one of the most common questions she gets is, “How late can I eat dinner and still lose weight?” Recently, several studies have shown that avoiding food past certain hours of the day or intermittent fasting can promote weight loss. She says a moderate approach that boosts weight loss and comes without apparent side effects for the healthy individual is the 12-hour intermittent fasting approach. An example is having your first morning meal no earlier than 7 a.m. and your last evening meal no later than 7 p.m. Thus, 12 hours without food or caloric beverages consumed gives your body time to rest from eating and promotes fat burning without unnecessary hunger that daytime fasting can cause.
The high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet isn't just touted as a way to help you lose weight; research has also shown that it may be an effective tool for keeping your mental health in check. Laboratory rats fed ketogenic diets — which consist of lots of fish, natural fats, plenty of vegetables, and very few starchy, high-carbohydrate foods — showed improvements in their depression, anxiety, and ADHD.
Listen up: Skipping meals will not make you lose weight faster. If a hectic day makes a sit-down meal impossible, stash an energy bar or a piece of fruit in your car or tote, keep snacks in your office desk drawer, and make a point of getting up to grab a nosh — anything that will keep you from going hungry! Going long periods of time without food does double-duty harm on our healthy eating efforts by both slowing down your metabolism, and priming you for another binge later in the day. (Think: You've skipped breakfast and lunch, so you're ready to takedown a whole turkey by dinner!) Make it your mission to eat three meals and two snacks every day, and don't wait longer than three to four hours without eating. Set a "snack alarm" on your phone if needed.
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