[By Fiona Li]
Who says losing weight is as tedious as algebra? With a little innovation, these 5 quirky habits will set you on the path to a new skinnier you without sweat, pain or extreme deprivation.
There is a reason why smoothies fill you up more than plain old juices. When you blend a healthy selection of low fat, low glyacemic fruits and vegies, air bubbles are incorporated into your smoothie giving it a frothy consistency. Consuming a frothy drink is one way to fill you up without the disadvantage of added calories as the froth instantly gives you a feeling of satiety!
Ice water will raise your metabolism and help you burn some dreaded calories. Before you succumb to your ravenous cravings, drink a tall glass of ice-cold water as a pre-meal aperitif. Not only will water hydrate you, it will also dampen hunger pangs.
Take plenty of sips in between meals to slow down your eating pace and to fill you up between bites. Safest bets? Opt for low calorie mineral water with a squeeze of lemon or green tea rich in antioxidants. This is also a nifty trick to alleviate mid day hunger pangs at work. Ensure you are sipping a healthy beverage all day long to prevent sudden sugar cravings when your blood sugar dips in the late afternoon. You’ll save yourself plenty of heartache from losing control in the pantry.
Ever heard of isometric contractions? These great toning exercises involve tensing your muscles without actually moving them. Great examples of isometric exercises include Phantom Chair, a simple move that targets the buttocks, thighs and hips. Start by bending the knees and lowering the body up to the point in which your thigh is aligned to the floor while your back is against the wall. Then raise the arms while one’s calves are aligned against the wall.
A study by Jerrold Petrofsky and associates published in “The Journal of Applied Research” in 2007, notes that a program of isometric exercise and diet worked well for both training and weight loss. Body weight was significantly reduced and levels of strength increased in people from the experimental group. Subjects performed isometric exercises for a sum total of only seven minutes each day and were successful in losing weight on a healthy diet.
Pacing yourself during meals means that there is more time for your brain to receive the vital signals from your stomach telling you that you are full. Engage your dinner partners in conversation, take smaller bites and chew each mouthful thoroughly. If you are at a fancy restaurant, tell the maître d that you would like your courses to come slowly, preferably with a 10-minute break in between. One innovative socialite adds, “I love singing and would karaoke in between dishes at the local Chinese restaurant I frequent. Usually, I am so busy singing, I have forgotten all about the food”. We are not sure if her guests’ appetites were similarly adversely affected by her performances. Nonetheless, this shows that if you put a little effort to thwart your usual dining habits, you could be in for a skinny surprise in the long run.