Losing pounds doesn't have to be torture (we're looking at you, cayenne-pepper cleanse). Adopt at least three of these behaviors - they're simple to integrate into your day-to-day routine, and all are enthusiastically backed by nutritionists - and you'll be thinner and healthier in days.
1. SNACK, BUT SMARTLY
Grazing between meals used to be on the weight-loss hit list. But nutritionists now know that it's better to satisfy a craving with healthy grub than ignore it and risk a junk-food binge later. The best picks are filling, protein-packed snacks, such as one stick of string cheese, a tablespoon of peanut butter on a piece of fruit, or a medium-size bowl of edamame.
2. SCULPT THREE TIMES A WEEK
Doing 5 minutes each of push-ups, lunges, and squats (in 30-second intervals) will help build and maintain muscle mass. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism will be, so you'll torch more calories as you go about your day. Try Marissa Miller's favorite workout.
3. EAT A BIG, BALANCED BREAKFAST
An a.m. meal made up mostly of carbs and protein with some fat keeps blood-sugar levels steady and hunger pangs away so you're not susceptible to pigging out come lunch, studies show. Opt for something satisfying for your stomach and taste buds - like egg whites and turkey bacon with whole-wheat toast.
4. WATCH THE BOOZE
One innocent-looking margarita or cosmopolitan can rack up hundreds of calories that do nothing to quench your appetite. Treat yourself just on the weekends and cut back somewhere else or stick to a glass of wine, light beer, or vodka and soda - three drinks that each have about 100 calories per serving. So, read this before you raise another glass.
5. STAY ASLEEP LONGER
Getting to bed just 30 minutes earlier and waking up 30 minutes later than you normally do can help you make better food choices, researchers report. Also, when you're well-rested, you're less prone to snacking out of fatigue or stress.
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