This week we’re serving up 5 rules that actually work if you’re trying to lose weight.

From myths about snacking to sleeping in a cool room, here are the 5 things you can implement in your daily life to help you right now.

1. Eat meals, not snacks

A new study found those who ate fewer, larger meals and cut the snacks weighed less. How so? You burn more cals processing a larger meal than lots of little ones. Stick to noshing breakfast, lunch, and a small dinner, says study coauthor Gary Fraser, M.D., a professor of medicine at Loma Linda University in California.

2. Sweat a little less

Really! In a study comparing groups who ran or cycled for 30 versus 60 minutes a day, the half-hour group dropped 33 percent more weight and spent 20 percent more time being active later in the day. Since we are programmed to conserve cals, when we burn lots of them through exercise, our bodies may hoard them later—by moving less and eating more. If you love a longer workout, keep moving later in the day to ensure your metabolism hums.

3. Go for whole grains

People who eat them tend to be slimmer than those who don’t. Why? These sturdy carbs require extra energy to break down. Their fiber also traps some of their cals, whisking them out of your body before they can be stored away as fat.

4. Sleep in a cool room

Humans carry two kinds of body fat: white (stores energy) and brown (burns it). Ambient temperature can influence which wins. Researchers had volunteers spend one month sleeping in a 75-degree room, and another in one set to 66 degrees. After 30 days of dozing in the chillier quarters, their brown fat was 42 percent more active and their metabolism was 10 percent faster. So set that thermo to 66!

5. Don’t clean your plate

“That means you’re eating with your eyes rather than listening to your body’s satiety cues,” says Erin Palinski-Wade, R.D., author of The Belly Fat Diet for Dummies. “You almost always end up eating more than your body needs.”
Forgo the last 10 percent of each meal by leaving a few bites on your plate. Nutritionists estimate this trims almost 200 calories a day, axing 10 pounds per 6 months.

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