A bag of beef jerky will power your mind through the afternoon slump more effectively than a sugary drink. Although glucose is your body's primary energy source, new research shows that your brain prefers protein. Scientists were able to establish that orexin cells, which release stimulants into your grey cells to keep it alert, work most effectively with protein-based fuel. What's more, increased activity in these cells is linked to fat burning. So when your work rivals are cracking open a Coke, grab an egg sandwich to outsmart them, as well as winning the battle of the bulge.
KILL CRAVINGS WITH NUTS
Gram for gram, nuts are one of the higher-calorie snack options. However, choosing a few handfuls over crisps (which can contain around half the energy) could help you shed pounds in the long run. A new study from the University of Barcelona has found that nuts help to boost your production of serotonin: a hormone that improves mood and reduces appatite. Walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts were studied in detail, but other types of nuts are also thought to produce a similar effect. So keep a bag in your desk drawer to save you from those mid-afternoon chocolate runs.
* Control your appetite by going nuts
* Put the stopper on cinema snacking
* Lose your gut without counting calories
BOOST YOUR WEIGHTLOSS IN JUST TWO DAYS
Who said blitzing your belly was a full-time commitment? Research at University Hospital in Manchester has proved that following a low-carb regime just two days a week is a superior fat-burning method to cutting calorie day in, day out. They found that over four months, patients who shunned starchy carbs completely for just two days a week lost an average of 9lb of fat (4kg), compared with 5lb(2.4kg) lost by those on a traditional low-calorie diet. The part-time low-carbers also had improved insulin function, reducing insulin resistance by 22% compared to a mere 4% reduction for those on the low-calorie regime. Lower insulin resistance means a reduced risk of developing diabetes. The message is that there's no need to go the 'full Atkins' in order to reap the weight-loss benefits of a low-carb diet. It looks like you can have your bread and eat it after all.
CUT SNAKING WITH A STROLL
Exercise not only helps to burn fat, it stops it forming in the first place by reducing your urge to snack. And you don't even have to spend your lunch hour on the treadmill to benefit. Scientists found that a brisk 15min walk was enough to Siash cravings by 50%. Participants were studied in a simulated work environment, with snacks available. Those who had walked before the study ate half as much as their more idle counterparts. So, next time someone at work brings some duty-free Toblerone back from holiday, pop out for a breath of fresh air before tucking in.
SOOTHE PAIN BY MUNCHING ON APPLES
Next time you're suffering from indigestion, save yourself a trip to the chemists for some Rennie and reach for an apple instead. Research recently published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology shows that apples, or more specifically their peel, have anti-inflammatory properties. Polyphenol antioxidants found in the peel suppress T cells in the colon, which can cause digestive pain. So, next time you've put your gut through a gastric assault course by ordering the phaal, grab a Granny Smith the morning after. Alas, a pint of cider doesn't work.
CUT YOUR CANCER RISK IN ONE MINUTE
Sitting at a desk all day can increase your chance of developing colon cancer. But if you work in an office there's no need to ask for your P45. According to Cancer Prevention Research, you can cut that risk by 25-30% just by getting up and moving for a minute every hour. Adopt one of these healthy habits:
1) Talk face to face with your colleagues, rather than over-relying on emails.
2) Keep light dumbbells in your office to use while reading or on the phone.
3) Walk around during longer calls or even when waiting for the kettle to boil.
4) If you can't get to the gym, do basic stretches or press-ups on your break.
BEAT GUM DISEASE AT THE GYM
Anyone who has visited the dentist recently will know it can cost an arm and a leg to save your teeth. The good new is that your body is better able to fight off gum disease when fat levels are reduced. In a study at Case School of Dental Medicine, participants with fewer fat cells responded significantly better to periodontal treatment. The study also showed that those with higher glucose levels-often seen in people who are overweight-appeared to be more at risk of suffering from bleeding gums.
USE YOUR RIGHT HAND TO SAVE CASH
You can get a plumber to give you a lower quote with a simple trick: force them to lean to their left. Scientists have found that even an imperceptible lean in one direction can affect our numerical estimates. In a study, Subjects at Erasmus University Rotterdam were asked questions with numerical answers which they had to guess. When the subjects leant to one side they estimated higher on a right tilt and lower on the left. Get your contractor to lean left by gesticulating with your right hands as you face them. It's a handy cheat, but another nail in the coffin for any chances of a revival Play Your Cards Right.
A TWO-SECOND TRICK TO CUT STRESS AT WORK
The way that you think about an angry individual can help you to be calmer and more positive in the future. Researchers at Stanford University showed pictures of angry faces to subjects who were then asked to think about the pictures in two different ways:
This man has had a bad day and his anger doesn't have anything to do with you.
Try to feel the precise emotions that you think this man is experiencing.
In both situations, subjects found the angry faces disturbing, but participants reacted differently when they were shown the pictures again later on. This time only the faces they wwere asked to respond to emotionally still provoked the same negative reactions. The psychologists believe that training yourself to detach from negative emotions in this way helps you to remain calm in future confrontations. Particularly handy if your boss isn't exactly known for his love of Buddhist meditation.
SHOP MORE TO LIVE LONGER
Yes, we knowing buying online is convenient, but the simple act of popping out to the shops a few times a week can add years to your life. In a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health researchers recorded the habits of almost 2,000 people over a 10-year period. They found that men who went shopping every day were 27% less likely to die prematurely than those who shopped less. The researchers cited the opportunity to buy fresh, healthy food as well as allowing for exercise and social interaction. Plus you're less likely to collapse under the weight of bags than once-weekly shopper.
NEVER FORGET A FACE AGAIN
Next time you walk into a room full of strangers, whether at a work conference or on a night out, don't try to remember new people by particular features. While locking on 'triggers', such are curly hair or blue eyes, may be tempting, scientists have found that this makes it harder to remember people than if you take a step back and look at their faces as a whole. When introduced to someone new, try thinking aboyt what kind of character or attitude their features convey, rather than the size of their ears. It could be the factor that makes or breaks a deal - whether that's in the boardroom or the bedroom.
BOOST YOUR WORKOUT IN THE SAUNA
Sitting in the sauna at your gym isn't just a way of winding down after a tough workout-it could also help you to run further next time. Scientists asked patients recovering from heart problems to spend 15 minutes in the sauna five times a week. Results showed that those who followed the steamy regime increased the distance they were able to walk by 10% and saw a significant improvement in their VO2 max. Make time for a bit of extra sweat at the end of your session and you can increase your cardio capacity before your next workout (and even get home a bit quicker, too).