When it comes to losing weight, everyone knows the age-old advice of eating more fruits and veggies, skipping processed foods, and exercising more frequently. But did you know that drinking caffeine or eating pickled foods can help you drop the pounds, too? Here are some unexpected ways to get your body and your mind in the best shape to lose weight.
1. Grow Your Gut Microbiome
Your gut microbiome is a colony of microorganisms, bacteria, viruses, and more, that lives in your intestine. Certain members of this community digest the food you eat and can even determine how full you feel after a meal. Eating a diet full of prebiotics, fuel for the healthy organisms, and probiotics, a source of additional important bacteria, can help you lose weight. A systematic review of several studies into the gut microbiome showed that consuming prebiotics and probiotics resulted in reduced BMIs and body weights. Incorporate fermented foods, yogurt, legumes, fruits, and veggies into your diet to enjoy this benefit.
2. Sip Some Caffeine
Drinking black coffee or unsweetened green tea can help you shed some pounds. The high level of caffeine in coffee revs up your metabolism, while the smaller amount of caffeine in green tea combines with certain antioxidants called catechins to create the same effect. One study found that mice burned more fat when they consumed caffeine before performing aerobic exercises. Be sure to avoid sugary versions of these drinks, as they won’t have the same effect on your weight.
3. Track Your Food
Writing down everything you eat can seem like a chore, especially when you’re trying to balance your professional, home, and social lives. However, tracking the food you consume can help you eat smaller portions and think harder about whether you should snack on an apple or those potato chips. One study showed that participants who consistently wrote down what they ate lost more weight than those who did not. Whether you prefer a paper journal or an app, tracking your diet can provide you greater insight into your health.
Are you looking for more advice on how to lose weight? Visit your Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group primary care physician for assistance in creating a meal plan or fitness regime. If your weight loss attempts are consistently unsuccessful, ask your doctor if you’re a candidate for bariatric surgery, the most effective and enduring solution to obesity.
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