Spring Shape-up Secrets
Oxygen Magazine Australia|Issue 99

These 12 research backed nutrition hacks and quick fix strategies can help you get your body bikini-ready.

Matthew Kadey

When trying to tone up and shed those last few pesky winter kilos, you know the score: eat whole, clean foods, exercise regularly and cut back on vices such as sweets, alcohol and junk food. But there are a number of less obvious dietary strategies that have been proved by research to be effective in whipping your hibernating bod into shape. Here are the top 12 tips to get you shorts ready in short shrift..

A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND … CALORIES?

Pants too tight? Perhaps your Facebook feed is to blame. In today’s social media storm, everyone is eager to share their food porn, and while these opulent meals are just photographs and not the real thing, they can still have an effect on your physique. Multiple studies show that images of towering smoothie bowls and decadent desserts actually increase your urge to eat by lighting up the brain’s reward centre and triggering visual hunger — sensations of appetite even in the absence of true hunger or real food. In other words, even if your stomach is not saying “feed me,” your Instagram feed can send you to the kitchen in search of a treat, leading to unnecessary calorie consumption.

YOUR MOVE: Limit the time you spend on social media and unfollow your usual #foodporn feeds. Instead, follow accounts with inspirational people doing extraordinary feats in the gym or other activities.

EAT THE BURN

The beach shouldn’t be the only place you feel the heat this spring/ summer: when Danish researchers provided people with tomato soup made with and without cayenne pepper, they discovered that the fiery soup resulted in increased satiety both at the end of the meal and one hour afterward, as compared to a bland soup. Capsaicin, the compound that gives chilli peppers their hurts-so-good bite, appears to help tame the hunger monster and put the brakes on overeating. And while it’s true that chilli peppers can raise your metabolic rate, it’s not enough of a change to impact your figure.

YOUR MOVE: Look for ways to spice up your meals. Shake some chilli sauce onto scrambled eggs and sandwiches, add chilli powder to salad dressings and use sliced fresh chillies in stir-fries.

MINDFUL MEALTIME 

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