Your partner may love the #dadbod, but don't believe the hype. New research from the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University shows that neglecting to shed the pounds can lead to a number of risky health problems, including high blood pressure, abnormal lipids and insulin resistance. Here's our ultimate guide to losing weight and getting a lean body at the same time. Time to let go of those love handles in favour of something sleeker.
Add vinegar to your meals
The stuff you usually douse your chips with reduces the accumulation of body fat and weight gain by 10%, according to research in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. It’s rich in acetic acid, which slims your waist by churning out the proteins involved in breaking down fats. Soak veggies in a diluted teaspoon before steaming, marinade meat in it before grilling, or make a dressing to pour over your meals.
Runny nose? Grab a tissue instead of a pill. A study in the journal Obesity found men who take antihistamines to combat hay fever are 55% more likely to be overweight during summer due to overeating. The researchers think suppressing histamine reduces fat metabolism and boosts appetite. So next time you’re sniffing, think of your abs when deciding how to tackle the problem.
Make sure your salads are better dressed
Eating salads can aid weight loss but your dressing can undo the good work. A mixture of honey, olive oil and low-salt soy sauce is the best combination according to research from the University of Illinois. The antioxidant-rich honey is a healthy alternative to the refined sweeteners in shop-bought dressings. Plus it stops the omega-3-rich oils from oxidising so they remain 100% effective for weight loss. Combine 1 part honey, 1 part soy and 2 parts olive oil.
Give yourself a rub-down
Research in the Iranian Journal of Health and Physical Activity found that massaging your gut for 15-20 minutes a day helps it lose significant amounts of fat. The action increases a process known as local metabolism and makes the fat biologically available for burning. You might get some odd looks if you try it in the changing rooms, so do it in the privacy of your own home.
Choose the right protein shake
Pick the right shake to up your calorie burn for hours to come. Opt for whey protein after a workout as it provides a bigger calorie-burning boost and hits your muscles faster than other protein sources, according to a Swiss study. For an anytime drink stick to casein as it’s digested slower, delaying hunger pangs.
Avoid low-fat snacks
You’ll take on 28% more calories if you eat low-fat snacks instead of the everyday variety, according to a study in the Journal of Marketing Research. People tend to think these ‘healthy’ versions are much lower in fat than they actually are. Low-fat foods usually contain around 11% less fat than their regular counterparts, but dieters believe they contain anywhere up to 40% less. “People don’t realise that low-fat foods are not always low-calorie,” says study author Brian Wansik. Take home message? Go full fat (in moderation) to lose weight.
You’ll double your body’s ability to build muscle if you take a fish supplement with at least 150mg of DHA and 200mg of EPA every day, found research at Washington University. “These omega-3 fats send signals to your body telling it to start turning protein into muscle,” says study author Dr Bettina Mittendorfer.
Go low GI at breakfast
You’ll burn an extra 5% of fat during training if you start your day with a low GI breakfast, according to research in the Journal of Nutrition. Try reduced-sugar baked beans on rye toast to sweat off more of your paunch and reduce the chances of you raiding the vending machine before lunchtime.
This article was originally published on MensHealth.co.uk