New Year, New You

Feel your best and meet all of your health goals -- for real -- this year!

Secrets to Weight Loss Success

You don't have to diet to shed pounds, try these tips instead!

Weight Loss Success

Visualize each bit
When experts at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh asked people to envision eating 30 pieces of candy, participants ate fewer sweets afterward. It appears the brain doesn't distinguish between imaginary and actual bites, so you can want less by just imagining yourself eating more. Have a craving? Start by sating it with a mental splurge.

Supersize your utensils and shrink your plate
You might think using a bigger fork causes you to eat more, but researchers at the University of Utah found the opposite to be true. As part of a study, they set tables with oversize forks (ones that held 20 percent less than the norm). Diners eating with the bigger forks left more food on their plate at the end of the meal. Experts say the calorie-cutting success in the larger-fork group might be in the bite sized delivery. If you use a larger fork, you're likely to take bigger bites, so you think your making more of a dent in your portion. As a result, you might not take as many bites before you consider yourself full. Meanwhile, when it comes to your plate, smaller is better; serving your food on smaller plates means it takes less food to make your plate look full. The end result? You'll serve yourself less and eat less, too!

Light it right
Overly bright or dim lighting is dangerous when it comes to healthy eating. The brain-stimulating effects you receive from high-watt bulbs can cause you to eat more and faster, experts say. Dining in dark settings (for example, candlelit) lowers your inhibitions, prompting you to linger longer at the table, so you wind up consuming more. Try to enjoy your meals in even, comfortable lighting.

Keep evidence around
If you decide to go for seconds, it's helpful to have a reminder of how much you already have eaten. In a study, people consuming Buffalo wings ate 28 percent less if the bones from the past portions remained on the table. If your food doesn't leave behind a similar trail, such as a wrapper, skin or shells, serve your extra helping on a second plate and leave your first plate on the table.

Sleep yourself slim
Getting a good night's rest can help you tighten up around your waistline. Recent studies have found that women who sleep five or few hours each night are about 32 percent more likely to experience major weight gain and 15 percent more likely to become obese than women who sleep an average of seven hours. Researchers say that is due, in part, to hormonal changes that happen during sleep. To avoid tossing and turning and packing on pounds, try to get to bed at the same time—within an hour—every night and wake around the same time every day.