CONTRAVE® is a prescription-only, FDA-approved weight-loss medication that may help adults who are overweight or struggle with obesity lose weight and keep it off. CONTRAVE is believed to work on two important areas of the brain—your hunger center and your reward system—to reduce hunger and help control cravings.2 By adding CONTRAVE to your weight-loss plan for a full year, you could lose approximately 2-4x more weight than with diet and exercise alone.3
Got a serious chocolate craving? This shake will scratch that itch and prevent cravings later in the day when your willpower is weaker, says Amy Shapiro, R.D., C.D.N., and Truvia dietitian. "The avocado adds creaminess and heart-healthy fats and fiber that will keep you full and your skin glowing, too," she says. "The cacao is a powerful antioxidant and the chia seeds provide a dose of omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, protein, and hydration so this smoothie will keep you going all day long."
“Diet and exercise are a marriage that should never divorce,” said Giancoli, noting that the benefits of exercise aren’t restricted to the sheer number of calories you burn during thirty minutes on a treadmill. (Need one of those, by the way? We have some favorites.) Instead, research shows that muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue, proving that “muscle mass is a key factor in weight loss.”
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Losing weight on autopilot is appealing. But in the age of meal-delivery services (Blue Apron happens to be Whole 30-approved) — is there really a market need for gimmicky Nutrisystem? Our taste buds tell us no. You could easily recreate its no-prep diet by stocking up on breakfast bars, Lean Cuisine lunches, and signing up with the likes of HelloFresh for fast, healthy dinners. (Rough calculations tell us this approach would be equal or less than the monthly price of Nutrisystem.)
The meal replacement drink is another offering from Flat Tummy Co, the makers of "Flat Tummy Tea" (you've likely seen an "influencer" or five shilling for the brand on Instagram). In her sponsored post, Kardashian West wrote that she’s struggled to “fit in [her] regular work outs [sic] and eat healthy” during the holiday season (OK, relatable) and touted this product as the antidote: "These meal replacement shakes are so good and it’s helping me get my tummy back to flat in the new year." OK, Kim — but what's in those pricey shakes, anyway? We asked a nutritionist Keri Gans about whether we mortals should be shelling out $71.20 for Flat Tummy Co's recommended four-week program, and in a word, she was skeptical.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AKA the top nutrition authority in America) released a revised paper this year saying that both vegetarian and vegan diets are best for people's health as well as the environment. If you're not ready to make a complete shift to meatless and cheese-less, consider "part-time" vegan and vegetarian plans, where you eat mostly plant-based at breakfast and lunch or on weekdays, and then eat fish, meat, dairy, and eggs only during designated times.
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Contrave (bupropion and naltrexone), approved in 2014 for weight loss, is not used for depression, but contains bupropion from the antidepressant class of drugs. Contrave’s label contains a boxed warning found on all antidepressants: a risk of suicidal thoughts and actions in children, adolescents, and young adults when used for depression. In addition, Contrave is also not approved for smoking cessation, but contains the same ingredient that is in Zyban, a medication used to help people stop smoking. Serious psychiatric side effects, like mood changes (depression, mania), psychosis, hallucinations, paranoia, delusions, thoughts of suicide, and other serious events have been reported in patients using bupropion for smoking cessation.
"When you're trying to lose weight, protein is the most important nutrient," he explains. "It increases satiety, prevents spikes in blood sugar, and helps build lean muscle which will increase your metabolism." You can use a plant-based protein powder (pea, chia, or brown rice) or an animal protein (whey, casein, or collagen), depending on your tastes, but make sure it's free from hormones, additives, fillers, and ingredients you can't pronounce, he says, adding that organic is best.
Identifying and resolving typical weight loss hurdles — like flagging enthusiasm — is something Noom excels at. The initial questions that set up your profile, match you with a coach, and place you with a group, all intend to diagnose your learning style and what flavor of support you need. What kicks you into high gear, tough love or words of affirmation? How do you like to show support? How do you feel about goal setting?
Apples contain pectin, an ingredient that naturally slows digestion and encourages feelings of fullness. Studies show that eating a whole apple with your meal (as opposed to apple juice or applesauce) is a natural appetite suppressant, helping you consume fewer overall calories without feeling deprived. Sass likes using shredded apple in slaws and stir-fry, or mixing them into burger patties to add moisture.
Ceviche is a wonderful lean protein source found on many Mexican menus throughout the summer months, and it’s easy to make at home, says Sharon Richter, a registered dietitian in New York City. Depending on what type of fish is used, ceviche can range between 120-175 calories per serving. (And word has it that Lady Gaga fuels up on ceviche while on tour).
Quinoa is a unique whole grain because it’s a complete protein (about 7g per serving) and high in fiber (6g). Dietary fiber actually binds to fat and cholesterol, helping your body absorb less of the two. The ancient grain is also rich in eight essential amino acids, and vitamins and minerals like magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, iron and B12—both of which are crucial to energy levels. “Quinoa is great eaten alone, mixed with raw veggies as a cold salad, or warm like a pilaf,” Zeratsky says. It’s a high-quality carb that scores low on the glycemic index, so you won’t experience a sharp rise and fall of blood sugar.
Kefir is a yogurt-like substance, but it actually contains less sugar and more protein than conventional yogurt while remaining packed with gut-friendly probiotics that can help you lose weight by aiding digestion. In one study, kefir displayed weight loss properties similar to those of milk and other dairy-rich products. Other probiotic-rich foods include kombucha, bone broth, and fermented items such as sauerkraut and kimchi.
These low-calorie, water-rich, bite-sized tomatoes are great in salads, recipes or anytime you need a snack. Or, cut these candy-like veggies in half and add them to your next pasta dish, Cooper recommends. Adding ‘high volume', lower-calorie and nutrient-rich foods like cherry tomatoes means you can still enjoy foods like pasta without sabotaging your weight loss efforts.
“A pound of carrots will fill you up, with only a smattering of calories -- or you can have a pound of cheeseburger, and you’ll gain weight faster than you can jump on a scale,” says Elizabeth Somer, MA, RD, author of 10 Habits That Mess Up a Woman's Diet and Age-Proof Your Body. “People don’t gain weight on carrots and blueberries; it would be almost impossible to eat enough of them,” Somers says. “We fill up on the volume of food.”
The problem is that when you rely on exercise alone, it often backfires, for a couple of reasons. This is partly because of exercise’s effects on the hunger and appetite hormones, which make you feel noticeably hungrier after exercise. “If you walk briskly for an hour and burn 400 kcal,” says Klein, “and then have a beer and a slice of pizza afterwards because the exercise made you feel hungry…you will eat more calories than you have burned.” It may not always be beer and pizza, but people do tend to naturally compensate for the calories they expend.
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Speaking of standout breakfast foods, Greek yogurt is another option worthy of the spotlight thanks to its high-protein content. Per study in the journal Appetite, researchers from the University of Missouri compared the satiety effects of high-, moderate-, and low-protein yogurts on women aged 24-28, and found Greek yogurt, with the highest protein content, to have the greatest effect. What’s more? Probiotics in items such as yogurt and fermented foods, like pickles and sauerkraut, help good bacteria in the gut process food more efficiently. Hello, weight loss! If you want to get even more protein in your yogurt, check out Icelandic yogurts, which can have two to three more grams of protein per serving compared to Greek.