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Researchers Find A Simple Way To Lose Weight That Everyone Can Do

Researchers Find A Simple Way To Lose Weight That Everyone Can Do

New research has found that taking one simple action, something you might already do, could help you lose weight.

What is it?

Drinking a glass of water.

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Just make sure to time it right and down the glass 30 minutes before a meal.

Researchers at the University of Birmingham found that drinking water half an hour before each main meal may help you lose weight. Their research showed that something as simple as drinking a pint (500 ml) of water before at least one meal, but as often as before all three main meals of the day, resulted in an average of almost 3 lbs lost over the 12 weeks of the study. The most incredible finding was that those who “pre-loaded” with a glass of water before all 3 of their main meals lost an impressive 9.48 lbs over the 12 weeks. That’s just over 3/4th of a pound a week and nearly on par with the common recommendation of “one pound per week” for weight loss that many popular weight loss programs use.

While this study was was performed with obese subjects, these findings could have applications for anyone trying to lose or maintain their weight,

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“We all get fatter over time, so it might well work as a prevention strategy at a population level.” — Daley

This study was different from past research which has shown water consumption to be an effective part of a weight loss program only when water takes the place of caloric beverages. While drinking water has wonderful health benefits, it didn’t seem that weight loss was one of them.

“There is very little evidence that drinking water promotes weight loss; it is one of those self-perpetuating myths.” — Ben Kitchin Ph.D, R.D.

However, research had shown that eating a diet containing mostly low energy density foods, many of which tend to have high water content per calorie, was associated with successful weight loss and weight maintenance. Generally, it’s believed that the high water content in those foods helped to fill the stomach, increasing satiety and feelings of fullness for longer, which resulted in less calories being consumed at a meal.

“If you eat lower-calorie, ‘heavier’ foods, you’re not going to magically lose 25 more pounds than somebody on different diet, but it might help you feel fuller and not hungry,” Kitchin said. “While drinking water may not help you lose weight, a focus on eating foods with high water content like fruits, veggies and broth-based soups can.”

This new study was among the first to show that pre-loading with water could have the same effect as eating low energy density foods and lead to the consumption of fewer calories. That is what makes this finding so exciting. Unlike diet and exercise, which are often seen as time consuming or undesirable lifestyle interventions, drinking water is generally seen as easy and painless. “It’s something that doesn’t take much work to integrate into our busy everyday lives,” says Dr Helen Parretti,

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Why is weight gain such an issue?

Because being overweight is linked to a number of chronic diseases such as heart disease, dementia, Alzheimers, cancer, and diabetes, whose rates have been rising so rapidly it’s been described as the Biggest Epidemic of the Twenty-First Century. Due to the causative relationship that has been established between excess weight and these diseases, weight gain has been identified as one of the primary public health concerns of the United States moving forward.

Unfortunately, as a society, we’ve become increasingly overweight, even obese, for decades. It’s now believed that up to 70% of Americans classify as overweight. All despite the 64-billion-dollar diet industry. In fact, it’s estimated that in 2012 as many as 100 million Americans were on a diet. So, it’s clear that the current weight loss interventions are not working for most Americans. This is why it’s so important that we find and implement simple, painless, and easy techniques to accomplish strategies that combat our growing waistlines.

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“Losing a few extra pounds over the course of a year can be significant to an individual, and this could be an easy way to help with that weight loss. It’s a simple message that has the potential to make a real contribution to public health.” — Dr Parretti

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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