DIET-DERAILING TIP #2:
DO A JUICE CLEANSE TO TRIM DOWN FOR GOOD
If you have a special event coming up or if you recently fell off the healthy-diet bandwagon, a juice cleanse may seem like the perfect way to reset your diet and trim down in a hurry. We have some bad news: An all-or-nothing approach to weight loss will ultimately fail—sorry! Most people on liquid cleanses feel tired and hungry, which ultimately leads to overeating and weight gain.
Want to do a juice cleanse anyways? Do a two-day 1,200- to 1,500-calorie mini cleanse instead of a full-blown week-long liquid diet. Replace breakfast and lunch with a fresh-pressed vegetable juice (we like daily greens), flat-belly smoothie or shake made with vegan protein powder.
To keep keep insulin levels steady and ward off hunger, look for sips that have less than 10 grams of sugar. For dinner, eat a healthy combination of whole grains, vegetables and lean protein. You’ll likely feel a bit lighter on your feet after the two days are up, which can help you feel more motivated to stick to a long-term healthy eating program. Need some diet-friendly recipe ideas? Check out our 10-Minute Meals for 6-Pack Abs.
DIET-DERAILING TIP #3:
SMOKING CAN KEEP YOU TRIM
Many people start smoking because they believe it will help them lose weight quickly, and many current smokers cite fear of weight gain as the primary reason they don’t want to quit.
Sound like you? Well, as it turns out, heavy smokers—defined as more than 25 cigarettes a day—are more apt to be overweight or obese than people who smoke fewer cigarettes or don’t smoke at all. Wondering why? Smoking can increase insulin resistance and cause fat to be stored around the middle.
As for your concern about gaining weight if you quit, it can actually have the opposite effect, according to research presented at the 2014 meeting of the Endocrine Society in San Diego. They found that although ex-smokers gain a bit of tummy chub during the initial eight weeks of their new, smoke-free life, they actually lose weight and belly fat in the long run—likely because they have less nicotine and carbon monoxide in their system.