7 Things That Make You Think You’re Hungry (Even When You Don’t Need to Eat)

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Read this before you raid the fridge!

Your stomach’s the ultimate prankster: It can trick you into believing you’re jonesing for food when really, you don’t need the sustenance at all. Well, we’re not falling for it anymore—and you won’t be either after you get this need-to-know intel.

1.Your Dehydrated

Guzzling water doesn’t speed up weight loss, but skimping on H2O can make you confuse thirst for hunger, according to experts. Luckily, we’ve got 10 ways you can drink more water.

2. You’re Constantly Looking At #FoodPorn

Unfortunately, your favorite Instagram pastime isn’t so great for your waistline. A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience found that seeing images of crazy-delicious food activates the brain’s reward center and can cause you to overeat.

3. You’re Not Catching Enough Z’s

Sleep deprivation makes food look extra appetizing, causing you to feel hungrier and reach for larger portions than normal, according to a 2013 study. Check out these 15 tricks to sleep better tonight.

4. You Eat To Much Sugar

A 2011 study found that consuming a ton of the sweet stuff can throw off the hormonal balance in your gut: Eating it in excess amounts slows the production of leptin (a hormone that suppresses appetite) and allows ghrelin (a hormone that tells your brain you’re hungry) to fool you into thinking you need to eat more.

5. You Love Going To Happy Hour

Booze affects leptin levels, too, giving you a major case of the munchies, says past research. On a related note, your drinking habit can make you consume hundreds of extra calories. No thanks.

6. You’re Stressed (Or Anticipating Being Stress)

Here’s another reason to hate anxiety: Worrying about an event in the future can cause ghrelin to spike, which raises hunger levels, says new research. Unfortunately, this effect is even stronger when you’re actually in the middle of experiencing something stressful.

7. You’re Watching T.V.

While you’re focused on the latest episode of The Walking Dead, you’ll want to stay away from anything edible. Why? You can’t pay attention to your hunger cues, how much you’re eating, and all of those zombies at the same time, according to a recent study. So if you don’t press pause until after you’re done with your snack or meal, you’re basically bound to overeat.

Raspberries with Chocolate Yogurt Mousse

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek-style low-fat yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup raspberries

Preparation

  1. 1. Combine yogurt, cocoa, and honey in a small bowl. Top with raspberries.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving

  • Calories: 170
  • Fat: 3g
  • Saturated fat: 2g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 0g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0g
  • Protein: 11g
  • Carbohydrate: 29g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Cholesterol: 10mg
  • Sodium: 40mg
  • Rs: 0g

The Post-Workout Drink That Helps You Build More Muscle

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You know your muscles crave protein after a workout, but a new study in theJournal of Applied Physiology shows that they crave protein from bothdairy and soy.

For the University of Texas study, 16 healthy adults ages 19 to 30 downed either a soy-dairy protein or a whey (dairy) protein beverage one hour after completing a resistance workout. Researchers then took blood samples and muscle biopsies from the exercisers and found that the soy-dairy protein drink prolonged the delivery of certain amino acids to the muscle for an hour longer than whey protein alone did.

MORE: The Best Workout Recovery Drinks

Dairy contains casein and whey protein, and soy contains just soy protein. The body absorbs each at a different rate, and when you combine them, it turns out that they stick around longer than when you consume them solo.

Why does that matter? Well, amino acids are your muscles’ building blocks, so the more amino acids that reach your muscles, the more muscle-building and post-workout recovery can happen.

MORE: Is Coffee The New Sports Drink?

It sounds complicated, but taking advantage of the soy-dairy power combo after your workout is actually pretty easy. Try this: When making a post-workout smoothie, just use both dairy (like milk, cottage cheese, or yogurt) and soy (like soy milk or tofu). Or, if you’re into protein powders, mix one part soy protein and one part whey protein with two parts casein protein (that’s the ratio researchers used in the study).

MORE: Easy Whey Protein Drinks

6 Salad Ingredients That Help You Drop Pounds Faster

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Ever wonder why loading up on salad doesn’t always help you slim down? Despite their rep as a diet standby, salads aren’t synonymous with weight loss. In fact, many of the usual add-ins don’t actually offer much in the way of the lean protein, complex carbs, and monounsaturated fats you need to slim down while maintaining energy and keeping cravings at bay (croutons, we’ve got your number).

With the right fixings, though, salads can be a super filling and flavor-packed way to get all the nutrients you need while dropping pounds. Check out these six tasty, healthy, and diet-friendly topping ideas from nutritionist Brittany Kohn, R.D., of Middleberg Nutrition in New York City:

Hemp Seeds
“These trendy seeds are a great source of satiating protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber,” says Kohn. Also, because they’re slightly sweet, they satisfy your sweet tooth without added sugar. You can add a tablespoon to your salad for a reasonable 40 calories.

Avocado
Half an avocado (160 calories) is loaded with heart-healthy vitamins, minerals, and fats, says Kohn. Plus, the fruit is so creamy and smooth, it can also function as dressing—so you can subtract the 100 or so calories you’d normally take in from ranch, Italian, or even oil and vinegar.

MORE: 5 New Ways to Use Avocado

Apple Cider Vinegar
Using just two tablespoons as part of your salad dressing could contribute to weight loss. “The vinegar may suppress appetite, stimulate the metabolism, and reduce water retention and bloating,” says Kohn. And at five calories a tablespoon, it definitely can’t do any damage.

Hot Peppers
You’ve heard that the capsaicin in cayenne, jalapeno, and other varieties of spicy peppers can boost metabolism and make you feel more satisfied. They’re not typically thought of as a salad staple, but if you like the hot stuff, Kohn suggests adding a small amount to kick up your bowl of greens.

MORE: Burn More Fat in Two Simple Steps

Fennel
This bulbous veggie has a strong licorice-like taste, which helps satisfy your palate, says Kohn. Plus, fennel has antimicrobial properties that may even reduce bloating.

Almonds
They don’t call almonds a superfood for nothing. These nuts offer both protein and healthy fat, so you stay energized and satisfied and will be less tempted by snack attacks. If you’re prepping your salad at home, toast them in the oven for a few minutes to boost their flavor. A handful (about 20 nuts) packs about 130 calories.

Ranch Dressing

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This whole jar of ranch is only 1.75 grams of fat and 255 calories!

1 cup dannon oikos plain greek yogurt

1 packet hidden valley ranch mix

1/2 cup 1% milk

Whisk together, chill 1 hour before use. Perfect consistency and tastes better than bottled!

The Simple Thing You Can Do In The Morning To Lose Weight

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“Rise and shine” isn’t just something you should say in the morning to drag yourself out of bed. According to a new study from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, published in the journal PLOS ONE, actuallydoing it—i.e., getting up and catching a couple quick rays—may help you lose weight.

Researchers asked 54 participants, average age 30, to wear a wrist monitor that tracked their exposure to morning light for seven days straight. They also had them keep food diaries to record their caloric intake. As it turns out, the people who got more morning light had lower BMIs than those who got less—and that was regardless of their age, how active they were, and what they ate.

So, why exactly do people who soak in more morning rays weigh less? There are two possible reasons: First, exposing yourself to light early in the morning as opposed to later in the day synchronizes your internal body clock, which means that you’re more likely to have a natural and steady sleep schedule. In turn, that steady sleep schedule helps your metabolism run more efficiently, which, as you know, can lead to weight loss.

The second reason that morning light may help you slim down plays off of the first. By nature, morning light is much stronger than afternoon or evening light. That’s because there’s a higher amount of blue light in the morning—and blue light is the kind that has the strongest effect on your circadian rhythm, say researchers.

You only need to get as little as 20-30 minutes of morning sunlight between 8 a.m. and noon for the sun to work its magic. Check out these tips on how to become a morning workout person to be sure you get the light your body needs. Or, if you’re not a morning worker outer, try simply waking up a little earlier and enjoying your coffee outside with the sun shining down on your face. Not exactly hard advice to follow!

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

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This Mediterranean Chickpea Salad is the perfect side dish for a weeknight meal or summer gathering.

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces manchego cheese, chopped
  • 1 (10.5 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup loosely packed mint leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Zest of 1 lemon (1 1/2 tsp.)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup cherry or grape
  • tomatoes, each cut into quarters (8 oz.)
  • 2 bunches arugula or 1 (5 oz.) box baby arugula, cleaned and patted dry

Preparation

  1. Toss cheese, chickpeas, mint, olive oil, garlic and lemon zest together in a medium bowl; season with salt to taste. Set mixture aside to marinate at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes, or cover with plastic wrap and let it marinate in refrigerator overnight.
  2. Add lemon juice and tomatoes to cheese-chickpea mixture and toss to coat thoroughly.
  3. Divide arugula among 4 individual serving plates and spoon marinated cheese mixture on top. Grind freshly cracked black pepper directly over each salad. Garnish with lemon wedges, if desired.