“Crazy busy.” There’s no escape from it. No matter who you ask—family, friends, colleagues, retirees, people in solitary confinement—everybody seems to be “crazy busy.” You’re crazy busy, too. Everyone from your Mom to your college roommate to your boss expects immediate feedback to their latest email, Instagram or text message—while you’re crazy busy sharing your own.
That’s a lot of pressure. No wonder you don’t feel like you can find time to take care of yourself and finally get rid of that extra belly fat. Well, we’ve got good news: You don’t need any extra time. You can start losing weight now, in just minutes—no, seconds—a day, compliments of these tips from the New York Times bestselling book Zero Belly Diet.
IN JUST 2 SECONDS
Order a “Coffee, black.”
A cup of coffee has nearly zero calories. A cup of coffee with cream and sugar has 80 calories. If you drink two cups a day, learning to take it black will save you 14 pounds in a year.
IN JUST 5 SECONDS
Take a whiff.
Smelling fresh green apples, bananas and pears can curb appetite and make sugary desserts less appealing, studies have shown. The scientists suggest this is because the produce makes you subconsciously think about making healthier choices. If a fruit basket on your desk attracts too many flies, try a simpler idea, like a shea butter-based scented lotion, which will have the same effect. In the meantime, you could lose even more weight—easily—with this free special report: 10 daily habits that blast belly fat.
IN JUST 15 SECONDS
Take a candy daydream.
A recent study found that fantasizing about eating an entire packet of your favorite candy before indulging may cause you to eat less of it. For the study, researchers asked participants to imagine eating 3 or 30 M&Ms, and then invited them to help themselves to some of the candies as a “taste test.” Those who imagined eating lots of M&Ms actually ate the least.
IN JUST 30 SECONDS
Erase 560 calories with a cheeseburger.
Hitting the drive-through can actually help you hit your target weight if you make the right call. At Burger King, order the Bacon Deluxe Cheeseburger instead of the A.1. Ultimate Burger, and save 560 calories. At Wendy’s, a Junior Bacon Cheeseburger will save you 210 calories over a Hot ‘N Juicy Quarter Pound Single. Try this same trick at McDonald’s for breakfast: choose an Egg McMuffin over a Bacon, Egg & Cheese Bagel and you save 320 calories! You can do this all day long in no time at all. Don’t believe it? Check out this ultimate no-diet weight-loss solution.
IN JUST 60 SECONDS
Schedule a workout date.
It’s hard to squeeze in a workout before meeting friends for drinks, so you blow off…the workout, of course. A better idea: Tell your bud to meet you at the gym. You can socialize, get fit, and still hit the bar afterwards. This trick works with spouses, too: A recent JAMA Internal Medicine study of nearly 4,000 couples found that people are more likely to stick to healthy habits like exercise when they team up with their partner.
IN JUST 75 SECONDS
Nuke frozen veggies.
While frozen produce has a nutrient density that’s often higher than fresh, canned foods don’t hold up. A study in theJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture found that for some vegetables, canning degraded as much as 95 percent of the vitamin C and damaged every B vitamin in the food. Prepare a deliciously healthier meal—and feel flat-bellied afterwards—with the essential 8 foods that beat the bloat.
IN JUST 90 SECONDS
Take your oatmeal high-tech.
Thank you, Nature Valley, for meeting us here in 2015 with your ingenious new Bistro Cups Oatmeal. It’s a packet of dried oats, a sleeve filled with nuts and dried fruit and a K-cup filled with flavoring. You put the dry ingredients in a mug, pop the K-cup in a Keurig, and hit brew. According to aJournal of the American College of Nutrition study, hot oatmeal is more effective than cold cereal at reducing hunger. (Don’t have a Keurig? Quick Quaker Oats take only a minute to cook.)
IN JUST 100 SECONDS
New studies suggest that stone fruits—like plums, peaches and nectarines—may help ward off belly fat, high cholesterol and insulin resistance. The belly-flattening properties of the fruit may come from powerful phenolic compounds that help modulate the expression of your fat genes. Eat one as a snack, or chop it up and toss it on your morning cereal or afternoon salad. Or pair one with one of the metabolism-boosting 9 best flat-belly superfoods!
IN JUST 2 MINUTES
Pregame your dinner.
While it may sound counterintuitive, eating before going to a work dinner or happy hour can actually take off pounds. A series of studies out of Penn State found that noshing on an apple or a broth-based soup prior to sitting down to a restaurant meal can reduce total calorie intake by 20 percent. With the average restaurant meal weighing in at 1,128 calories, saving 20 percent once a day could help you lose up to 23 pounds this year.
AND IN JUST 10 MINUTES
Slow-cook a beef feast.
This is a great one for busy weekends: Heat 1 tbsp canola oil in a pan over high heat, and brown a 3-pound chuck roast on all sides for about 10 minutes. In the meantime, slice some onions and mushrooms. When the meat’s brown, throw it into a slow cooker, and add the onions, mushrooms, 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 tbsp Worchestershire sauce, some bay leaves and a can of dark beer. Put it on low and go about your Sunday. Six hours later you’ll have an incredible dinner at the ready for just 345 calories per serving!
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