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You already know that what you eat makes a big difference in your weight…
Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, protein and healthy fats tend to slim you down, while sugar, refined carbs, trans-fats and processed foods tend to bulk you up.
But if you don’t have the time or energy to overhaul your diet this very second, I have good news…
There are a few other ways you can trim fat without tackling a new diet plan.
Related: Copper’s fat-burning secret
In fact, there are several daily choices that factor into your weight that have nothing to do with what’s on your plate. And a recent study from researchers in Japan just identified three big ones…
Healthy habits for weight loss
Researchers from Japan’s Kyushu University Graduate School of Medical Sciences recently analyzed health and weight data from 60,000 people with diabetes who received regular medical checkups. These people were asked questions about eating, habits, sleeping habits, alcohol use and tobacco use.
Through their analysis, researchers discovered that people who followed three daily habits were more likely to slim down:
1. They ate slowly.
The simple act of slowing down at the dinner table can make a difference in your weight. In the study, people who ate slowly were 42 percent less likely to be obese than people who ate quickly. People who ate at a medium speed were 29 percent less likely to be obese. Slow and medium-speed eaters also had greater reductions in waist circumference — which means they had less of that annoying belly fat we know is so bad for us. And they had better health. Researchers think fast eating is bad for weight loss, because fast eaters tend to pack in more calories before their brain has a chance to tell their body they’re full. Overeating like this promotes insulin resistance and reduces glucose tolerance, which means it’s especially bad for people with diabetes.
2. They ate dinner early.
You’ve probably heard it before, but eating too close to bed time is bad for your metabolism… and your health. Research shows eating a big meal late at night makes it harder to lose weight, and leads to digestive problems like acid reflux. In this latest study, people who ate within two hours of bedtime three or more times per week ended up with a higher body mass index (BMI).
3. They cut out nighttime snacking.
Say you eat dinner early, and you get hungry for a snack later in the evening. You still have three or more hours before you usually go to bed. Should you fix yourself a light snack? According to this study, the answer’s no. Snacking after dinner was tied to a higher BMI. That’s probably because it adds unnecessary calories to your diet. But there’s also something to be said for abiding by your body’s circadian rhythms. Your circadian rhythms, which run with the cycle of daylight, manage important bodily processes like digestion. Once the sun goes down — and especially as you get closer to bed time — your body doesn’t have as much energy to put into digesting your food, because it’s working on getting you ready for sleep. This sluggish digestion could contribute to weight gain.
Other weight loss takeaways
The study also determined that alcohol and cigarettes impact your weight for the worse. Smoking and drinking were both tied to a higher BMI, but that’s hardly a surprise.
More surprisingly, whether or not you eat breakfast didn’t seem to impact weight… even though it has in past studies. Personally, I’m a big fan of breakfast. If you get your eating off to an early start, you’re less likely to eat tons of calories later in the day, which this study (and others) show is bad for you.
So hopefully by slowing down at the dinner table, embracing the early bird special and locking the snack pantry past sundown, you’ll find weight loss success. Eventually, however, you’ll want to pay attention to what you’re putting on your plate too, because it affects more than your weight… it affects your health, happiness and longevity.
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- Slow eating speed may be linked to weight loss — MedicalXpress. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
- Hurst, H. Fukuda. “Effects of changes in eating speed on obesity in patients with diabetes: a secondary analysis of longitudinal health check-up data.” — BMJ Open, 2018.
- Here’s Why You Should Never Eat Right Before Bed — Science Alert. Retrieved February 14, 2018.