Sure enough, a more recent 2014 report confirmed we need to update the equation. While cutting calories does help you drop pounds, the weight-loss rate slows down by the time you’ve been dieting for four weeks, the analysis found. The 3,500-calorie rule “can lead to unrealistic expectations and eventual frustration when dieters can’t seem to shake those last few pounds,” says Acosta.
It makes scientific sense, also: A recent study found that antioxidants in cocoa prevented laboratory mice from gaining excess weight and actually lowered their blood sugar levels. And another study at Louisiana State University found that gut microbes in our stomach ferment chocolate into heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory compounds that shut down genes linked to insulin resistance and inflammation. Why the berries? The fruit speeds up the fermentation process, leading to an even greater reduction in inflammation and weight.
Here's something else most people probably don't know: Fidgeting is good for you. It's considered a nonexercise physical activity, and it's an important way to burn energy. You get more health benefits if, in addition to exercising, you are a more fidgety, more active person the rest of the day. This means gesturing while you're talking, tapping your foot, just moving around.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined the anti-obesity effects of tea flavones. The study analyzed 4,280 men over a 14-year period. The researchers focused on 6 specific catechins and 3 flavones during the study period. The study was also adjusted for factors including type 2 diabetes, smoking status, and lifestyle. After the adjustment, researchers found that increased flavone intake resulted in healthier BMIs. The improvements were seen mainly in the female participants.
Dr. Travis Stork: In my new book, The Lose Your Belly Diet, I emphasize the importance of building a diverse population of beneficial gut microbes (I refer to them as our Little Buddies); they play such a crucial role in our health that it’s kind of amazing that it’s taken so long for us to start giving them the attention they deserve. Research is emerging about the connections between our gut microbes and chronic disease and taking better care of our gut microbes may help us lose unwanted weight while also lowering our risk of developing the top three chronic health conditions in the U.S. – cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. The more microbial diversity and greater number of beneficial gut bacteria one has, the better the chances for living the longest, healthiest, and most vibrant life possible.
"It’s easy to become impatient and frustrated when you’re trying to lose weight and haven’t seen the results yet. But be realistic – you won’t see the affect overnight. Your brain’s wiring plays a huge part in resisting changes in lifestyle, and it takes time to establish new habits – up to 12 weeks. Stick with it for at least eight weeks and you should notice a change."