How To Fat-Proof Your Life

    A man eating salmon and salad with a fork at his dinner tableYou gain weight, you lose weight, then you gain that weight back. Sound familiar?

    Those days are over! Weight loss experts have some surprisingly simple solutions for lasting weight loss.

    Here’s the skinny on what you need to know for lasting weight loss:

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    Fat-Proof Your Desk

    Sitting at your desk can make you fat. You’ve probably heard this before, but surprisingly, it’s not just about the lack of exercise. In fact, the physical act of sitting or lying down may actually speed up your body’s production of fat. When we lounge on a sofa or in a chair, we exert forces on our cells that cause them to become stretched out and to generate flab, researchers say.

    If you have a desk job, there’s an easy fix. Get up and walk around for five minutes at least once an hour. Take a stroll around the office. Go talk to a coworker rather than sending them an e-mail. Pace back and forth while talking on the phone. Just standing, even if you’re not moving, uses more muscles than sitting down. These short bursts of exercise can help you burn fat.

    Take Vitamin D

    Taking vitamin D daily may help you drop pounds. A study at the University of Minnesota found that people who started a weight-loss program with higher levels of D lost more than those who weren’t getting enough of the nutrient. Other research suggested that vitamin D appears to boost the effectiveness of leptin, a hormone that signals the brain that you’re full. Because it’s difficult to get D from food, Shalamar Sibley, MD, an assistant professor of medicine at the university, says you may need to take a vitamin D3 supplement. Many experts now recommend 1,000 international units every day.

    Chew More

    Most of us eat too quickly, and only chew a few times. This leads to eating more food than you realize. So slow down to slim down: In a recent study, people who chewed each bite 40 times ate almost 12 percent less than those who chewed just 15 times. When we chew longer, our bodies produce less ghrelin, a hormone that boosts appetite, and more of the peptide hormones that are believed to curb hunger.

    Plus, the more you chew, the more thoroughly you break down food, which may release nutrients into your blood faster and give your brain time to register that you’re full. Focus on eating slowly at every meal. Put down your fork between bites and work your way up to 40 chews per mouthful of food.

    Make Your Fat Burn More Fat

    Surprisingly, the fat you already have can help you burn more fat. Just as there’s more than one kind of fat in food, there’s more than one type in your body. White fat is the bad stuff you don’t want. But there’s a second kind of fat, called brown fat, that actually help you burn calories. This good fat is powerful because it’s packed with mitochondria, the parts of cells that generate heat. When activated, as little as two ounces of brown fat can gobble up as much as 20 percent of your body’s calories.

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