Eating clean and consistent workouts are proven to boost metabolism, increase muscle (and therefore after burn) as well as blast fat. But if the Polar Vortex has you skipping both in the name of maintaining mental and stay warm sanity, here are simple no-gym-in-sight alternatives so that you can keep the scale in check until spring strikes.
POUR SOME HONEY ON IT.
While the sweet nectar won't zap fat on its own, what The Honey Diet claims is that it helps keep your waist trim by helping to shut down sugar cravings. So essentially, if you are drizzling the sweet stuff onto snacks, or salads or even taking it straight up throughout the day, in addition to cutting out refined carbs and increasing your veggie and protein intake, the result is an even keeled blood sugar level. And the result: you're more apt to stay in check when it comes to your food choices because you're cravings no longer have a mind of their own. And unlike other sugar treats the likes of cookies or Skittles, since honey is derived from bee pollen, some experts believe it is a natural alternative. The only catch? Limit your honey ration to four tablespoons a day (each equals about 60 to 70 calories each).
GET YOUR EARS PIERCED.
With acupuncture, not Van Cleef & Arpels. Some experts consider the shape of the ear as a mirror image to that of the body (similar to how reflexology works with feet). And some research has shown that ear acupuncture did help those with excessive weight to lose (instigating a 6.1 or 5.7 drop in BMI), whether needles were placed in several spots in the ear or strictly where the hunger trigger point is, compared to those who did not receive the treatment. Of course, the above was all done—as is recommended outside of the treatment room—to also follow a healthy diet.
BOOST YOUR VITAMIN D.
Vitamin D has received a lot of buzz lately, especially the fact that most Americans seem to be deficient in it. However, what only recently was touted that along with D being necessary for overall cell function throughout the body, it could also play a key role in weight loss, too. Although no foods contain ample levels of D, there are several that are fortified with the vitamin—milk, OJ and cereal. Plus, taking a daily supplement of D3 in particular (the kind that the body absorbs most readily as it has to convert D2 to D3; and D3 is the same kind that you get from the sun). So what is the stay-slim connection? Since every cell in the body requires D, that includes fat cells and the vitamin seems to play a role in whether or not fat cells store or burn what is inside of them. Another interesting aspect is that the brain requires D to keep your appetite balanced as well as to produce the happy neurochemical serotonin and boost your absorption of calcium, which has been shown to help skyrocket weight loss. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that women who ingested 1200 mg of calcium along with a healthy diet for 15 weeks lost approximately six times more weight than those who didn't take the supplement, too.
EAT MORE STRAWBERRIES.
Typically it's the large amounts of antioxidant levels in strawberries (and all berries in general) that push it to the top of the super food list. However, it's the strawberry's stellar vitamin C, fiber as well as calcium content that can also make it an amazing way to not put on extra pounds. Not only does research show that they are able to boost metabolism and also suppress appetite, but because they're able to help keep blood sugar levels even, they can also prevent sudden urges to overeat and reach for sugar laden foods.
MAKE ASPARAGUS YOUR DAILY GREEN.
This stalk-like veggie is a known diuretic, which means it helps eliminate excess water and therefore can act like a quick fix to de-bloat the belly. However, it is also flooded with amazing nutrients such as chlorophyll (which gives plants their green coloring) as well as a slew of antioxidants and also vitamins A, C, K, B6 and iron—all with a mere 17 calories per serving and almost no fat content. What's interesting though is some suggestion that it could help the body break down fat due to their alkaloid content, which helps stimulate the circulation system as well as the kidneys and the removal of toxins from the body.