Experts say these simple tips can help you beat sneaky weight gain.
Snack on salsa.
Salsa is more than just a delicious dip. Turns out, spicy foods are thermogenic, helping rev your body’s ability to burn calories fast. In fact, a study at the Oxford Polytechnic Institute found that cayenne pepper stimulates metabolism by nearly 20 percent and results in increased distribution of oxygen throughout the body. Boost the effects even more with Indian curry. These same scientists found that dried mustard in the dish spiked metabolic rates by 25 percent, helping study participants burn off at least 45 extra calories during the next three hours.
Relax with a heated pack.
This ancient fix releases trapped fluids that block metabolism. “Castor-oil packs stimulate the liver and gallbladder to draw toxins from the body,” explains WW “Radical Health” columnist Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD. The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians reported that using castor-oil packs daily for two weeks resulted in a normalizing of liver enzymes, a decrease in elevated cholesterol levels and greater energy. To do: Rub your stomach with castor oil, then place an oil-soaked cotton cloth on it along with a heating pad and relax on a towel on your bed for 30 minutes. “Some people have lost as much as 2 inches from their waistline,” notes Gittleman.
Sip this tea.
You might have heard that green tea has the power to oxidize fat. But as it turns out, its cousin, oolong tea, has twice the belly fat-burning capacity. That’s because oolong is even richer in the fat-metabolizing and health-enhancing plant compounds called polyphenols that both teas deliver. Aim for two cups a day of oolong tea. Another bonus: It’s easier on sensitive stomachs than green tea.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.