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

Standard

Image

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

Standard

Image

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

Standard

Image

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

Standard

Image

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

Standard

Image

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

Standard

Image

“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!

6 Food Myths That Are Completely False

Standard

 

 

Image

The truth about white veggies, fat-free salad dressings, and more

Nutrition advice comes so fast and furious, sometimes it’s hard to keep track of what’s good for you and what’s not. Oftentimes, when that advice is boiled down to a hard-and-fast rule, that rule glosses over important nuances. So we asked some nutrition experts to identify the more common food myths we hear—as well as the truth behind them.

MYTH 1: Microwaving Foods Kills Nutrients
Microwaving is actually among the best ways to keep all the good things in your veggies intact. Boiling can leech out valuable vitamins and minerals, but because microwaving heats up food without using a lot of water, it helps foods to stay nutrient-packed.

MYTH 2: The More Grains, the Better
While grains are certainly preferable to refined white flour because they contain more fiber and vitamin B, you shouldn’t fall into the multigrain trap. Just because a product has multiple grains doesn’t mean those grains aren’t processed and stripped of many of the good things you want from them. “In processing grains for convenience, you’re potentially losing the nutrients and changing the degree to which they are absorbed,” says Nicolette Pace, a spokesperson for the New York State Dietetic Association.

Check the label, and look for the word “whole” before any grains listed. And make sure the whole grains are the first things listed, which confirms that they make up the biggest portion of the food.

Another clue is the fiber content. “If you’re seeing that an 11-cracker serving contains one gram of fiber, there’s probably not a lot of whole grains in there,” says Pace.

MYTH 3: Fat-Free Salad Dressings Are Healthier
Fruits and vegetables have fat-soluble nutrients that your body can’t absorb without fat—like the lycopene in tomatoes, which has been linked to a lower cancer and stroke risk. Opting for a fat-free dressing may deprive you of those benefits. Try olive oil-based options, or add avocados and nuts to your salad, both of which contain healthy fats.

MYTH 4: You Should Avoid White Vegetables
Nutrition experts advocate for colorful foods—the brighter and more diverse the rainbow on your plate, the better. And that’s still true: Carrots and strawberries are high in beta-carotene, an important antioxidant that fights damaging inflammation in cells. Dark green produce is a rich source of antioxidants, fiber, calcium, and vitamins like C and K.

But that doesn’t mean that their white cousins are nutritional failures. In fact, cauliflower, garlic, onions, mushrooms, and, yes, even potatoes are good sources of fiber, antioxidants, and potassium. And while the white potato has become off-limits for dieters, adding a moderate amount of potato to your diet won’t derail your weight-loss efforts. In fact, because it’s so full of fiber, a little goes a long way toward making you feel full and helping you eat less overall. “It’s something you can use as a vehicle to build a meal,” says McDaniel. “If you add broccoli and little bit of cheese, it can be a satisfying meal for someone trying to lose weight.”

MYTH 5: Juice Cleanses Help You Eliminate Toxins
“People think juice cleanses are a good way to detox the body,” says McDaniel. “But I remind my clients that you have a built-in detox organ, the liver, and it’s very good at what it does.” It probably won’t harm you if you go on a juice cleanse for a day or so, but as a way to lose weight, it’s not such a good idea since it deprives you of proteins and fats and may lead to muscle loss.

MYTH: Coffee Will Only Make You Thirstier
While the caffeine in coffee is a diuretic, meaning it draws water out of your body, the amount of water in coffee means that overall, it can actually be a thirst quencher. Pure water is still your best option to stay hydrated, but you don’t have to avoid coffee just because you think it will dehydrate you.