Fasting is part of several religious holidays, Peake notes, and so the word can often have that connection. "It can also feel draconian, with visions of gnashing and grinding of teeth as you force yourself not to eat," she says. "Forget all of that." Instead, this is about giving your body ample time to regenerate and restore (without all that tiresome digestion getting in the way).
Fill a big teacup with soothing peppermint tea, and sniff yourself skinny! While certain scents can trigger hunger (a trick Cinnabon figured out long ago), others can actually suppress your appetite. One study published in the Journal of Neurological and Orthopaedic Medicine found that people who sniffed peppermint every two hours lost an average of 5 pounds a month. (Although tea is relatively low in caffeine—about 25% of what a cup of coffee delivers—decaffeinated varieties are great to have on hand for a soothing bedtime treat.) Consider also adding a few drops of peppermint oil to your pillow or burning a minty candle to fill the room with slimming smells.
"What I don't like about any commercial diet is that the focus is not on your actual food choices," Hogan said. "It's about calories or points or numbers, and that really takes away from your ability to be in tune with your hunger cues and your fullness cues and what you're really craving. If we become more in tune with those things, we naturally consume how much the body needs. Paying too much attention to numbers takes away from that."
Although we tend to favor plant-based proteins, Stonyfield produces a quality option for the milk-loving crowd. Low-fat milk and milk protein concentrate drive both the sugar and protein content, and we can’t scoff at the 1:1 protein to sugar ratio when most companies struggle to get close to 1:2. You won’t find any fancy flavors here, but the chocolate, vanilla and strawberry they do offer should be enough to satisfy most cravings.
The best low-cal diet plan isn't a diet so much as it is a method. CICO stands for "calories in, calories out" and is based on the mathematically sensible principle that as long as you're burning more calories than you're eating, you'll lose weight. All you need to get started is a way to track your calories—there are plenty of apps on the market although a pen and paper works great too—and a food scale to keep you honest about your portion sizes. (Also read this guide on how to safely cut calories to lose weight.) People love the simplicity and straightforwardness of the plan. And while it may not be the fastest way to lose weight, you're guaranteed to have success long term. (Just know that some weight-loss experts actually don't recommend calorie counting.)