Bloating is directly attributed to water retention, which is something that cucumbers are known to prevent. Water rushes out of the system when cucumbers are consumed consistently. They are especially good for handling weight gain due to a menstrual cycle. Cholesterol is combated by oranges, which also assist the immune systems functions. The other citrus fruits in this blend emphasize a deep intestinal cleansing. Meanwhile, the mint fosters fast nutrient absorption and energy conversion. In general, it also quickens and eases digestion, especially for those who have ulcers or hernias. This recipe focuses on functionality over flavor, but it still has a decent taste.
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.
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.
Build muscle. Muscle burns more calories than fat. So adding strength training to your exercise routine can help you reach your weight loss goals as well as give you a toned bod. And weights are not the only way to go: Try resistance bands, pilates, or push-ups to get strong. A good, well-balanced fitness routine includes aerobic workouts, strength training, and flexibility exercises.
You hear the term glycemic index thrown around, but what does it really mean? Whether a food ranks high or low on the scale depends on how it affects your blood sugar. High GI foods (muffins, crackers, cookies) spike your blood sugar and can bring on cravings and hunger. Low GI foods (non-starchy veggies, meats) keep blood sugar stable. In a new study, scientists discovered that eating higher GI foods was associated with weight gain over a 16-year span. That doesn't mean carbs are out, though—just choose lower-GI ones like beans, lentils, and brown rice more often than not.
Take two high-powered diets—Mediterranean and DASH—and combine them for brain-boosting power. That's the idea behind MIND, a plan designed to help prevent Alzheimer's disease by focusing on foods like green leafy vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, and (hooray!) wine. That's why U.S. News & World Report just ranked MIND as the second best diet overall (tied with the TLC diet). They note that early research found MIND reduced Alzheimer's risk by as much as 53 percent.
Fake sugar may contain zero calories, but it reinforces your taste for sugary food, says Wright. (And yes, this goes for Stevia, too.) “If you eat sweetener of any kind, you’ll never have ‘orgasms’ in your mouth over apples,” she says. Joking aside, the less you rely on these, the more you’ll appreciate the natural sweetness found in foods—even vegetables.