By Dr. Nina Radcliff
How many times do we need to be reminded, ‘If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is’?
This is particularly true when it comes to get-rich-quick schemes and weight loss gimmicks. I recently came across an article about a 4-minute workout. If this were true, then I must be a huge fool to continue my grueling, 60-minute long, 4-day a week, sweat-filled, heart-pounding, muscle-burning, breath-taking workout. Taking the path of least resistance is not just a law of physics, but also human nature. While I cannot condone or endorse this get-thin-quick scheme, or many others like it, there are several easy tricks that can help us curb our appetites for sweets and unhealthy snacks as well as trim our waistlines.
Dr. Nina’s What You Need to Know: To Help Your Weight “Get Gone” in 60 Seconds or Less
Kick Your Sugar Addiction to The Curb: Sugar can hack into an area of your brain that is designed to help us survive and provides a reward mechanism, similar to other addictive substances like nicotine and street drugs. So when those intense cravings kick in, reach for a banana, pineapple, mango, or berries. They will satisfy your addiction without the added sugar. And because they contain vitamins, nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants, it is a win-win situation.
Drink Like a Fish: Water that is. Being dehydrated can cause and intensify sugar cravings. The next time you want to reach for a cookie or piece of cake, drink 1-2 glasses of water and then reassess if you still want that sugary snack.
Chew Sugar-Free Gum: Research has shown that chewing on sugar free gum can suppress hunger for up to 3 hours after a meal and decrease sweet snack intake by 160 calories compared to someone not chewing gum.
Take a Seat…Stand: Sitting for prolonged periods is bad for our health. Studies have shown that it increases our risk for diabetes, cardiovascular events, and premature death. While the reasons are complicated, we can keep it simple by taking a stand! Make it a point to move every 30-60 minutes, or whenever it crosses your mind. Stretch your arms, take deep breaths, stand, climb stairs, or walk around. Just keep it moving!
Brush Your Teeth: “Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.” I am referring to eating after you brush your teeth or use mouthwash. It can literally ruin your sugar craving. The winter fresh feeling makes it fun to kiss with, but ruins the taste of almost anything you eat after.
Weigh Yourself Weekly: Studies have shown that most people underestimate how much we eat and drink and overestimate the amount we exercise. By weighing ourselves weekly, we can provide a reality check and take action to erase the weight before it becomes out of control. Avoid weighing yourself daily because small fluctuations are typically a sign of your hydration, food you have eaten, or bowel movements.
Fill’er Up: While not quite as tasty as a piece of carrot cake, eating a tablespoon of flaxseed can fill us up. Flaxseed is a powerhouse when it comes to fiber. And we all know that fiber can “fill’er up.” For those who have difficulty stomaching the idea, consider sprinkling it on your oatmeal, nonfat yogurt, salads, meals, or soups.
Have a Whiff of Vanilla: Have you ever noticed that when you cook all day, you just don’t feel like eating as much? This may be because immersing yourself in a scent all day may desensitize you. Consider smelling vanilla-scented candles to reduce your sugar cravings.
I still stand firm that most get-thin-quick schemes are T.G.T.B.T: “Too Good to Be True.” But it is nice to have a few tips and tricks in our pocket that we can reach for when it comes to helping us along on our journey to live healthier, and happier, lives.