If your New Year’s resolution to drop pounds is nothing more than a distant memory and the weight-loss ads with slimmed-down stars like Jennifer Hudson are just making you depressed, read on! Below are the seven smart dieting strategies from the latest scientific research. According to 3,201 adults who participated in a recent Consumer Reports National Research Center survey, 58 percent daydreamed about the clothes they’d like to fit into, and that helped motivate them to lose weight. The happiest dieters were the ones who found a plan they could stick with long-term, and their perseverance paid off on the scale: More than half still on the diet after three months had lost at least 20 pounds. Below are seven other tips that might work.
Eat at your favorite restaurants. Just practice “mindful eating”. In a January 2012 study of 35 women who ate out an average of six times a week, those who were educated with info on portion sizes, hunger cues, and staying aware while eating were able to eat out and still lose weight. After six weeks they lost almost 4 pounds more than the control group.
Buy some colored plates if you have only white ones. In a new study based on 60 people at a college reunion, lunchgoers put more pasta with red tomato sauce on a red plate than they did on a white plate. And they piled on more pasta with white Alfredo sauce on white plates than they did on red plates. Conclusion: Contrast is key. Eat light food on darker-colored plates and dark food on white plates. Another tip: Smaller plates can also help you cut down on portion sizes.
Spice it up. A new study suggest that capsaicin, the main ingredient in hot peppers, might help with weight loss. Researchers found that the spicy stuff might help thinner people slowly lose a pound or two over a long stretch of time – but the jury is still out for overweight and obese people.
Fight cravings with a walk. Chocolate lovers who took a brisk 15-minute walk on a treadmill before working at a computer ate less candy than people who sat quietly first, according to a February 2012 study in the journal Appetite. The inactive group ate almost twice as much as the walkers.
Write off your love handles. Women who wrote for 15 minutes about something very important to them, such as a close relationship, lose weight over 2 ½ months compared with women who wrote about something less important, according to a study of 45 normal-weight and overweight young women. The first group lost more than 3 pounds, while the other gained almost 3 pounds.
Catch up on the news. A recent Italian study suggests that, in the right circumstances, watching TV (and other media) might not be so bad. Viewers who reported following the news closely were more likely to eat a healthy Mediterranean style diet than non-news junkies. One possible explanation is that Italian news is increasingly more focused on nutrition and well-being.
Weight your choice of doctors. Don’t be shy about bringing up weight issues with your doc. In a new Harvard survey of 500 physicians, a majority said they didn’t bring up weight unless their patients were obese. But docs who aren’t overweight themselves were more likely to talk about weight loss with patients than overweight or obese ones. That doesn’t mean you should drop your doc if she’s overweight, but it’s something to consider if your weight is going up and she’s staying mum about it. Thinner docs also felt more comfortable giving diet and exercise advice. On the other hand, more overweight and obese docs felt confident prescribing weight-loss drugs.