Forty-five percent of American’s make New Years Resolutions, twenty-one percent of these resolutions are with the desire to lose weight! Unfortunately, one in three have given up on their resolution by the end of January. (1)
Forty-five percent of American’s make New Years Resolutions, 21 percent of these resolutions involve weight loss!
If you desire to lose weight and keep your goal, try focusing on smaller behaviors, rather than the overall goal. Research tells us that we are more productive if we are focusing on behaviors, rather than the overall goal. Consider some of the following manageable goals that have proven to increase metabolism and improve weight loss. (2)
Fourteen behaviors proven to increase weight loss!
- Drink Water Before Eating: A study presented at the American Chemical Society’s annual conference reported that drinking two glasses of water before every meal can help a person lose approximately 15.5 pounds over three months. (3)
- Fidget: There is good news if you are a fidgeter, research has shown that non-exercise activity thermogenesis can help burn an additional 350 calories per day. This activity includes fidgeting or other small bursts of activity, such as running up the stairs, pacing while on the phone or shifting around in your seat. (3)
- Whey Protein Smoothie’s: Adding whey protein powder has beens town to increase calorie burn and fat utilizations. If you are vegan, no worries, science as shown that even plant based protein can rev up your metabolism. Protein provides a thermogenic effect, causing your body to produce more heat and burn more calories. (3)
- Coffee: Caffeine has the ability to speed up the central nervous system and increase metabolism. Drinking coffee that has not been laden with cream and sugar can help improve energy levels and fitness. One study reported that caffeine after exercise increased muscle glycogen by 66 percent, allowing endurance athletes to quickly replenish energy stores used in exercise.(3)
- Green Tea: Green tea not only boosts metabolism but is a rich source of antioxidants. One study found that green tea combined with three hours of moderate exercise per week reduced abdominal fat in three months. (3)
- Probiotics: Probiotics found in yogurt, pickles and other fermented foods have been shown to help with weight loss. One study found that 12 weeks of probiotic intake increased weight loss in women when compared to placebo group and the women continue to lose weight during the 12 week maintenance period. (3)
- Laugh: Watching funny videos or reading funny stories will help you feel better and burn more calories. One study showed a 10-20 percent increase in energy expended and heart rate during genuine laughter. This energy expenditure translates into 10-40 calories burned within 10-15 minutes of laughter. (3)
- Spice Up Your Food: Invest in a Sriracha key chain and add some spice to your meals. Capsaicin from chili peppers has a thermogenic effect. One study found that capsicum activates brown fat and increases calorie burn. (3)
- Eat Small Meals: If you are hungry in the afternoon, instead of waiting to dinnertime, eat a small afternoon meal. This will help keep your metabolism high and prevent you from eating junk food. Consider foods like Greek Yogurt and fruit, peanut butter and apples, or cottage cheese. (3)
- Organic Produce: Pesticides on conventional produce have been found to slow metabolism and increase weight gain. Buying organic can reduce pesticide exposure and help keep off unwanted weight. (3)
- One Bite At A Time: Wolfing down food means that we often eat too much. One study found that reducing stress and practicing mindfulness can prevent weight gain. It takes about 20 minutes before hormone CCK tells the brain to stop eating. If you are eating quickly, you don’t give your CCK the necessary time it needs to pass the message. Eating quickly will also raise fat-storing insulin levels, so slow down and enjoy every bite! (3)
- Turn Off Your Phone: A Northwestern University study found that blue light emitted from phones, computers and tablets before or after dinner has been found to increase hunger and affect glucose metabolism. (3)
- Seafood Salad: Having a salad for lunch or dinner helps increase fiber and nutrients. Adding salmon to that salad can help fire up your metabolism. Salmon contains protein and omega-3 fatty acids. One study found that supplementing diets with fish oil for six weeks increased lean muscle and decreased fat. (3)
- Stand Up When Answering the Phone: A 150 pound person burns 72 calories an hour sitting and 129 calories standing. If you walk around while talking on the phone, this increases calorie burned to 143 calories in one hour. Next time your phone rings, stand up while you talk or even walk around. (3)
If you desire to lose weight this year, try focusing on incorporating as many of these metabolism boosting behaviors into your routine and see if you can find success in your overall weight loss goals!