We’re betting you’ve already “treated yourself” a little too much this holiday season — hey, who can resist that extra reindeer cookie?
Pretty much no one.
But here’s some good news. You can get a jump on your resolution to drop a few pounds in 2016 — and it won’t be hard at all. New research shows that easy lifestyle moves can reap significant weight-loss benefits.
Five tips to consider:
1. Eat more often. Researchers at Occidental College here in Los Angeles recently found that consuming six healthy, portion-controlled meals per day instead of three slightly larger meals helped slash hunger pangs and produced a leaner physique during weight loss. (Note the two important words: “portion-controlled.”) The study compared participants who ate twice a day, about six to seven hours apart, and subjects who ate smaller meals every two to three hours The conclusion? “Increased [meal frequency] may lead to reduced consumption at subsequent meals and/or overall daily caloric intake,” according to the study.
2. Drink a glass of water (or two). Drinking a little more than two cups of water (or 500 milliliters) before each meal can help spur considerable weight loss. Researchers at the University of Birmingham in Britain, led by Dr. Helen M. Parretti asked overweight study subjects to drink up, then imagine themselves with a full stomach before starting to eat a normal-sized meal. The result of this creative visualization? On average, subjects lost 9 1/2 pounds each over a 12-week period.