Willpower: It’s the key to successful weight loss, right? In fact, no. When it comes to battling the forces of food cravings, relying on your willpower is like facing down the Navy SEALs with nothing but a pointy stick.
In a new study, researchers at Rutgers found that overindulging—especially in high-fat foods—could be caused not by a lack of fortitude, but by an uncontrollable hormonal response triggered by an imbalance in the brain. Experimenting with mice, researchers showed that when they reduced the levels of a hormone called GLP-1 in the brain, the mice overate and craved high-fat foods. “These are the same areas of the brain that control other addictive behaviors like drug and alcohol abuse and nicotine addiction,” said the senior author.
So if you’ve been feeling bad about your lack of willpower, it’s time to grant yourself forgiveness. The only way to battle overeating is to have a series of strategic fight-back foods at the ready—foods that will keep your cravings at bay and your brain satisfied. The editors of Eat This, Not That! magazine have identified 7 foods that stop overeating in its tracks—before you can eat your way through an entire pint of moose tracks.
The Food That Shrinks Your Fat Cells: Green Tea
The more belly fat we have, the harder it is to control our appetite, according to a new study from the University of Florida. To fight back, attack belly fat with green tea. In one study, participants who drank 4-5 cups of green tea each day for 12 weeks lost an average of two more pounds than those who did not. Researchers say the unique catechins found in green tea trigger the release of fat from fat cells (particularly in the belly), and then speed up the liver’s capacity for turning that fat into energy.