6 Things You Can Do At Night to De-Bloat And Promote Weight Loss

Of course nights are great for going on dates, binge-watching Netflix, doing work, chatting on the phone—you name it. But you know what else they’re great for? Setting yourself up for bigger and better weight-loss results. Just follow these tips to get yourself that much closer to your goal weight.

Have a Low-Sodium Dinner
“If you want to wake up feeling less bloated, definitely skip the Chinese dinner,” says Keri Gans, R.D., author of The Small Change Diet. What happens is the salt stays in your system overnight, so you wake up puffier than you normally would. The best option is to cook a healthy meal of steamed veggies and a lean protein—neither of which should be loaded with salt.

Do a Nighttime Workout
You know that sweating can help you drop pounds, but you may think that exercising too close to bedtime can keep you up at night. Luckily, that’s not true; a 2013 survey from the National Sleep Foundation found that active people are 56 to 67 percent more likely to say they usually get a good night’s sleep—no matter what time of day they exercise. Check out thesefour reasons why it’s OK to work out at night.

Pack Your Lunch
The average restaurant meal contains more than twice the number of calories you should be consuming in one sitting, according to a 2013 study—and that’s not even taking into account the lower calorie count you’ll want your lunch to clock in at if you’re trying to drop pounds. But in the a.m. rush, who has time to make lunch? Save yourself from a midday diet-wrecker by prepping your meal the night before. (We love make-ahead mason jar salads in particular.)

Drink Lots of Water
H2O flushes out your system, which helps you get rid of any water you’re retaining. But since you don’t want to be up all night running to the bathroom (and getting quality shuteye is crucial to weight loss), Gans suggests putting a halt to your water chugging one hour before bedtime.

MORE: 10 Ways to Drink More Water

Make Sure Your Bedroom is Super Dark
The hormone melatonin can help your body produce more calorie-burning brown fat, according to an animal study published last year in Journal of Pineal Research. Since your body already produces melatonin when you’re in complete darkness, make sure your room is light-free to boost weight loss.

Turn Down the Thermostat Before Hitting the Hay
The idea of burning more calories while you sleep may sound too good to be true, but a National Institute of Health Clinical Center study found that people who slept in a 66-degree room burned seven percent more calories than people who snoozed at 75 degrees. Seven percent isn’t a ton—but it can’t hurt!

Women’s Health Magazine

PUBLISHED: JULY 23, 2014  |  BY ANNIE DALY

3 Ways Exercise Can Help You at Work

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If you’re used to working out before or after the daily grind, here’s a suggestion: start incorporating fitnessinto your workday. Some recent cool research shows that a sweat session can have a positive effect on your job performance. Here are the details:
It Fuels Your Creative Juices
Ever notice how desk jockeying all day can leave you feeling so uninspired? Then this is for you: A new study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychologydemonstrates that simply taking a walk during office hours can score you a creativity surge. Study authors conducted four separate experiments, asking subjects to take part in a series of creative exercises while doing some combination of sitting, walking, being rolled in a wheelchair, and/or walking on a treadmill. The results demonstrated that walking indoors and outdoors triggered a burst in creative thinking, with the average creative output rising 60 percent (!) when a person was walking. 
It Calms Your Nerves
If the idea of delivering a big presentation or speaking up at a meeting makes your heart pound, consider doing yoga beforehand. Astudy from the Journal of Physical Activity found that just 20 minutes of Hatha yoga (the kind that involves traditional physical postures and deep breathing) reduced anxiety more profoundly than 20 minutes on a treadmill or no exercise at all. Of course, it’s not always easy to steal some time away to ommmm. But if you can manage it, plan your session 30-40 minutes before your date with the conference room to rack up the best results. 
It Helps You Stay Balanced 
Think a workout session is just a time suck in your already-busy day? AHarvard Business Reviewstudy suggests the opposite is true: People who managed to stick with their regular exercise routine experienced less trouble finding a good work-life balance, possibly because structured activity helped people become better at time management and more confident in their ability to pull off the demands of both work and home. 
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Women’s Health Magazine 
PUBLISHED: APRIL 28, 2014  |  BY ESTHER CRAIN

Can Eating MORE Meals Help You Drop Pounds?

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You may have read in the past that eating mini meals throughout the day is a smart way to lose weight. The thinking there is that by grazing every couple hours, you never get to that point where you’re starving—meaning you’re less likely to wolf down way too many calories in one sitting. But a new multi-university study, published in journal Appetite this month, claims that all of the research thus far on eating small meals throughout the day is inconclusive—and as a result, mini meals should not be touted as a smart weight-loss strategy at this point.

So how’d the researchers come to this conclusion? They analyzed all of the previous studies done about meal frequency and found that the majority of them used self-reported data—which, in the dieting world, is considered pretty unreliable.

So we asked Keri Gans, R.D., author ofThe Small Change Diet, for her take on the results. “Most people don’t understand what a small meal is—so the people in the study may have reported eating one thing when in reality they were eating full meals every couple of hours, not mini meals,” she says. In other words, the danger with this strategy is that you may end up overeating because you take in too many calories at each “mini” meal.

Gans’ suggestion: If you’re trying to slim down, eat a 400-500 calorie meal every three to five hours. Also, have a 200-calorie snack, like a handful of nuts and a piece of fruit, between breakfast and lunch and between lunch and dinner. And be sure to get your workout in, too.

Women’s Health Magazine

The Gym Equipment Personal Trainers Swear By—And How to Use It On Your Own

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What’s the cost of one workout? If you hire a personal trainer, it’s not just sore muscles: The average trainer charges $26 an hour, according to an American Council on Exercise survey—which means just three workouts a week could set you back more than $4,000 a year!  

Not in your budget? No worries: You can borrow some trainer-approved techniques. The IDEA Health & Fitness Association recently surveyed 2,818 personal trainers and revealed the five types of exercise equipment the pros are most likely to use with their clients. Lucky for you, we have workouts to help you put these handy tools to use!

92% use resistance tubing or bands
Try this: The 15-Minute Exercise Bands Workout

91% use stability balls
Try this: The Stability Ball Workout for Flat Abs

89% use barbells or dumbbells
Try this: The Power Pairs Dumbbell Workout

84% use foam rollers and small balls
Try this: Roll Your Way to a Fit Body

83% use balance equipment, like wobble or balance boards
Try this: The 15-Minute Balance Challenge

5 Easy Ways to Start Losing Weight NOW

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A new Gallup survey found that a full 51 percent of adults are hoping to drop pounds—yet only about half of them say they are truly doing something to downsize. We get it: Embarking on a weight-loss plan feels so daunting. But it doesn’t have to be; all it takes to get started is a few tiny lifestyle tweaks that get you on your way to reaching your goal. Here, five beyond-simple weight-loss strategies to get you started:

Start your day with oatmeal:Research shows it can help keep hunger at bay better than other cereals 

Ditch the guilt: Recent research shows beating yourself up about eating something indulgent can sabotage your weight-loss efforts. Instead, look at treating yourself as a celebratory—not shame-inducing—event. 

Ignore the scale: Numbers go up and down and stall in a plateau all the time, which can do a number on your motivation. A better idea: Focus on healthy habits rather than weigh-ins—it’s likely to result in more pounds dropped, according to a recent study

Don’t drink your calories: Around37 percent of the average person’s daily liquid calories come from sugar-sweetened drinks. Stick to water, unsweetened ice tea, or black or skim milk-infused coffee.

Avoid eating later at night: People who usually eat dinner around 10 p.m. consume 248 calories more per day than people who eat earlier, according to a recent study.