Trying to drop a few pounds? Emerging research reveals simple, holistic, and healthful ways to lose weight and keep it off.
Preload Your H20
Drinking two glasses of water before meals while cutting back on portions may help with weight loss, according to a new study in the journal Obesity. Half the subjects drank 16 ounces of water before meals. After three months, the water drinkers had lost 16 pounds, on average, compared with 11 pounds in the control group.
And the loss appears to last: A different study showed that after a year of the same regimen, drinkers had shed another pound, while those who didn't load up on H20 had gained about two pounds. Water may help fill you up, making you less likely to overeat; it may also serve as a reminder that you're trying to slim down.
Check Your Meds
A recent study found that prescription-antihistamine users were more likely to be overweight than nonusers. The drugs, such as olanzapine and risperidone, carry the side effect of weight gain.
Blocking histamine is good for relieving hay-fever symptoms, but cells throughout the brain have receptors for histamine, which appears to help appetite control and calorie burning. The researchers say that antihistamines, including over-the-counter ones, could contribute to overeating and slow fat breakdown.
Think your meds are problematic? Ask your doctor about alternatives, including environmental fixes such as dust-proofing.
Avoid Weekend Binges
New data indicates that overeating, even for short periods, appears to have a long-term effect on your waistline. Researchers tracked subjects who doubled their daily calorie intake for four weeks. The results: The binge group gained an average of 14 pounds, while the others maintained their weight. Two years later, the bingers were still carrying the extra pounds.
Besides illustrating how binging triggers biological changes, such as increased cravings and stomach expansion, the data illuminates the truism that it's harder to lose weight than to gain it, says Cynthia Sass, RD, author of "Cinch!: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds, and Lose Inches." So if you want to curb the urge to splurge, try yoga to encourage mindful eating.