3. Stay satisfied with protein
Gram for gram, protein has the same number of calories as carbs (and half that of fat), but takes longer to digest, so you feel full longer. It also seems to help lower levels of the hormone ghrelin, which is known to stimulate appetite. In a Danish study of 60 men and women, those following a diet that included 25% of calories from protein lost nearly twice as much fat after 6 months than those eating a diet with 12% protein. Include a serving of lean protein with each meal and snack—eggs for breakfast, a turkey sandwich for lunch, low-fat or fat-free yogurt or milk for a snack, and grilled fish and vegetables for dinner.
4. Skip the sweetener
In a 5-week study by Purdue University researchers, rats given unlimited access to artificially sweetened yogurt consumed more calories, gained more weight, and packed on more fat than those that ate sugar-sweetened yogurt. Researchers believe artificial sweeteners may hinder your body’s ability to regulate calories based on taste, so you end up overeating. Go with a little bit of natural sweetener, such as raw sugar or honey, instead.
5. Dump one high-cal item from your diet
Exercise works best when you don’t offset your hard work with empty calories. By eliminating just one high-calorie item from your daily diet, such as a large latte, or substituting cereal and low-fat milk for a bagel and cream cheese, you can easily reduce your intake by 250 calories.