21 Ways to Make Your Diet 100% Easier
Diet Plans, Supermarket Know-How
4. Dust Off the Grapefruit Diet
Eating three servings of grapefruit a day (either half of a whole one or a cup of juice) for 12 weeks could help you lose just over three pounds, according to a recent study. "It helped lower insulin levels, which can contribute to weight loss by reducing appetite and encouraging fat burning," explains study author Ken Fujioka, MD, director of nutrition and metabolic research at Scripps Clinic in Del Mar, California.
5. Pack in the Protein
A University of Washington study found that doubling up on protein could help you eat less without feeling hungry. "Protein may make your brain more sensitive to leptin, a hormone that helps you feel full," says study author Scott Weigle, MD, a professor of endocrinology at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Make sure at least a third of each meal and snack is a source of lean protein.
6. Shop Around, Literally
The center aisles of your local supermarket are loaded with highly processed, sugary, and fatty foods. "The first couple of outer aisles is where you'll find all the fresh produce, dairy, and seafood," explains Oz Garcia, PhD, a nutritionist in New York City.
7. Buy To-Go Veggies
"Most of the vegetables in your fridge should be as easy to pop into your mouth as a potato chip, which means they should be precut and prewashed," says Bethany Thayer, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. Same goes for fruit. "And keep them at eye level in your fridge, so they'll be staring you right in the face when you open the door."
8. Get Some Sleep
People who sleep seven to eight hours per night are leaner than those who get only five or six hours, according to research from Laval University in Quebec. "When you're sleep-deprived, your body produces more stress hormones, which may increase your appetite," explains Michael Breus, PhD, cofounder of Sound Sleep Solutions in Atlanta. Having trouble nodding off? Consider hitting the treadmill before, not after, work: One study done at Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found that women who exercised in the a.m. fell asleep faster at night than those who did a p.m. workout.
9. Shop from a List
"Never go to the grocery store without a master list, which provides insurance against impulse buys," suggests Donald Hensrud, MD, an obesity specialist at the Mayo Clinic. And never, ever shop when you're hungry.
10. Stock Up on Frozen Shrimp
"I always have a bag or two in my freezer," says Ellie Krieger, RD, a New York City nutritionist and author of Small Changes, Big Results (Clarkson Potter, 2005). "I add them to stir-fries and pasta or sometimes just serve them with cocktail sauce as a snack." Bonus: At 84 calories per three-ounce serving, shrimp has about a third the calories of chicken and about half that of sirloin. Food snobs, take note: Frozen shrimp is often fresher than "fresh" because it's frozen just after it's caught.
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