If you’re like 94 percent of women who’ve experienced weight loss, you’ve had trouble maintaining it. Not anymore! The key to nixing rebound weight gain, research reveals, is boosting your body’s ability to produce and use leptin, a hormone that curbs appetite, plus stokes your fat-burning engine. These four solutions will help to turn on your ‘stay-slim’ hormone:
Eat omega-3 foods
Taking 2,000 mg. of omega-3 fatty acids daily will help prevent 10 pounds of rebound weight gain — plus speed your slimming 25 percent if you’re dieting now, research in the American Journal of Physiology suggests. Omega-3s prod your fat cells to produce — and release — more appetite-taming leptin, says study coauthor Andrea Rossi, Ph.D. One option: Now Foods’ Omega-3 ($10.50 for 200 softgels, Amazon.com). Important: Always talk to your doctor before starting a new supplement.
Eat more nuts
Eating 1/2 cup of nuts daily will help you dodge 11 pounds of rebound weight gain yearly. Almonds, pecans, and other nuts are rich in satisfying healthy fats; more important, they’re loaded with zinc and magnesium, which shuttle leptin into brain cells, cutting cravings for up to six hours per serving, British research reveals.
Just staying well-rested (fitting in seven to eight hours of sleep nightly) will slash your risk of rebound weight gain in half—plus help you shed an additional 14 pounds if you’re dieting right now, according to University of Chicago scientists. Turns out, your muscles and digestive tract produce slimming leptin — and their production peaks while you sleep.
Have pink grapefruit every dayEating one pink grapefruit daily could help you shed a pound a week — plus prevent rebound weight gain if you’re already at your goal weight, reports the International Journal of Molecular Medicine. The fruit contains compounds that help your tissues absorb leptin, researchers say.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.