Drink 8 to 10 glasses of cold water daily. Never skip breakfast. Eat at regular intervals. You've heard these all before. But what else can you do to rid yourself of stubborn flub-flub? These simple tips will help you slim down without even breaking a sweat.
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An Australian study found that people who took the greatest number of breaks during otherwise sedentary behavior (like watching TV) had a 16 percent lower waist circumference than those who made a more permanent indentation on the couch cushions, regardless of whether they had a regular workout routine. Even just walking around for a minute or two was enough to make a difference. It's not just for your waistline: Other studies have shown that too much sitting can create some unhealthy physiological changes that can lead to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and a higher rate of mortality.
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There's ample evidence that being well rested can make for a slimmer silhouette. Several studies have shown that when you cut back on pillow time, you're more likely to have a higher BMI. One recent study from the University of Chicago Medical Center found that when dieters got a full night's sleep, about half of the weight they lost came from fat. When they cut back on sleep, only one-fourth of the weight loss came from fat. Researchers speculate that when we don't get enough sleep, we produce more of the hunger hormone ghrelin--so even if you're more active during the day, you may be more likely to grab a big bag of chips than a handful of carrots.
Instead of reaching for a snack, pick up the phone the next time you're feeling hungry. Research on female monkeys shows that social stress and isolation may lead to higher levels of central fat deposits, as well as higher levels of the stress hormones linked to belly fat.
It'll help more than just your breath. Researchers from the University of Rhode Island found that subjects who chewed gum for a total of 1 hour in the morning (broken into three 20-minute chewing sessions) consumed 67 fewer calories at lunch and didn't make up for it by eating more later in the day. They also expended about 5 percent more energy and felt more energized after chewing gum.
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The more steps you take, the more calories you burn--and that doesn't mean spending all your time on the treadmill. Try to work in more walking throughout your day. Visit a coworker in person instead of sending an e-mail; take the stairs an extra couple of flights; park your car as far from an entrance as possible. Just six 5-minute walks a day can add up to about 100 calories, which can make a difference of about 10 pounds a year. (Video: Burn more calories at work)