Everyone is looking for quick, easy, and painless ways to increase fat-burning. Here are a few I’ve recently worked into my habits without much effort:
1. Skip the soda! Instead of drinking regular or diet soda, try some unsweetened iced tea. Better yet, drink more water! The vast majority of Americans are dehydrated most of the time, and water can help you feel less hungry, become more alert, encourage weight loss, and lead to a number of other positive outcomes.
2. Use a low-fat dressings. In many cases, the toppings on foods can contain more fat and calories than the food themselves. For example, PF Chang’s Chicken Chopped Salad with Ginger Dressing assaults your mid-section with nearly 1,000 calories, 70 grams of fat, and over 2200 mg of sodium, with the majority compliments of the dressing. Make your own vinaigrette with apple cider or balsamic vinegar, olive oil, black pepper, and a touch of honey.
3. Make your own popcorn. Instead of clogging your arteries with “boatloads-of-butter” movie-theater microwave popcorn, make your own using a little olive oil or by air-popping. Use a little parmesan cheese as a topping if you’d like. Though unconventional, I’m a fan of topping my popcorn with a little tabasco for an extra punch.
4. Try your coffee and tea black. Especially with fresh, high-quality coffees and teas, I’ve found that the taste without added cream and sugar is just swell. You can actually taste the drink! You’ll especially want to avoid the whole-milk latte or cappuccino: a peppermint white chocolate mocha latte from Starbucks packs 500 calories, 15 grams of fat, and 36 grams of carbs. By way of comparison, black coffee has 5 calories or less.
5. Avoid milkshakes at all costs. Okay, maybe this one hurts a little, but it’s a point that must be made. A large chocolate shake thrusts an astonishing 1,160 calories straight at your love handles (that’s more that FOUR cheeseburgers)! If you really must, have a small ice cream to curb the craving.
6. Eat fresh fruits instead of drinking juice. Largely because they give you a natural source of fiber and water without added sugars, fresh fruits are much more beneficial for your body than fruit juice. The size of fruit juice bottles have been swelling as of late, and most fruit juices pack more calories and sugar than regular coke (250+ calories)! By contrast, an orange typically has less than 50 calories.
7. Don’t eat potato chips or fries. Have you noticed that it’s almost impossible to get back to work after having a sandwich with chips or fries as a side? That’s because chips and fries are horrible for you, and I’m not even going to tell you why because, let’s face it, you already know. Get a side salad (with light dressing on the side). If you really need a chip or fry or two, steal a couple from a friend. If he gets mad at you, tell him he looks chubby and it’s for his own good.
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