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Secrets from Weight-Loss Spas

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How to Eat to Lose Weight

Navigate the Dine-Out Danger Zone

It all hinges on the first 10 minutes at a restaurant. The carbs you consume on an empty stomach (hello, bread basket!) cause a spike in serotonin, the feel-good hormone that can make you crave even more carbs, Illingworth says. And inhibition nose-dives after a glass of wine, so you're more likely to order fettuccine Alfredo than grilled salmon. To keep your brain in the right place, refuse the rolls and immediately order soup or salad, then wait until your meal arrives to have a cocktail.

How to Drink and Still Shrink

Women think that to lose weight, they need to ditch booze. Not true. "We use this simple rule: If you're going to eat refined carbs, don't drink them too," says Derek Johnson, the executive nutrition director at the Biggest Loser Resorts. Alcohol is a carbohydrate. If you're in the mood for wine, skip the white pasta. Instead, fill your plate with veggies and lean protein and save your carbs for the vino.

Easy Way to Blast Flab

"Eating healthy fats helps your body burn fat," Johnson says. When you consume carbohydrates, your blood sugar spikes and plummets. But combining them with fats actually stabilizes blood sugar, keeping you full longer. "Fats also produce heat in the body, which stimulates metabolism so you end up burning more stored fat," Johnson adds. Aim to get 25 to 30 percent of your calories each day from healthy fats. For an 1,800-calorie diet, you could eat 450 calories, or the total amount in three ounces of salmon, a quarter cup of pistachios, one teaspoon of olive oil, and half an avocado.

Three Weight-Loss Wonder Foods

Fill up on this trio and watch the pounds come off, says Kelly Grant, RD, a nutritionist at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona.

Kale

Add this hearty green to soups, salads, and stir-fries; its high water content helps you feel full, and its nutrients increase the liver's ability to remove toxins from the body.

Kefir

Drink at least two ounces of this fermented milk daily. It's loaded with live, active cultures that enhance digestion and ease bloat. Can't find or don't like kefir? Try organic yogurt for similar benefits.

Quinoa

To stay full longer, replace refined grains like white rice and pasta with this grainlike seed, which provides a satisfying balance of fiber, protein, and carbs.

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