Recent research reveals that women gain the most weight with the change of seasons during fall, as we begin to cozy up inside a whole lot more. Luckily, a few science-backed tricks will help you fend off autumn weight gain, no diet required.
Take good notes
Jotting down what you consume in a day doubles weight loss. In a new study, folks who kept a journal of their intake dropped 10 percent of their body weight in 24 weeks — that’s 17 pounds for the average American woman. “Keeping a food log is probably the most effective way to help someone lose weight,” says obesity expert Natalie Digate Muth, M.D., author of Family Fit Plan. That’s because it boosts awareness of everything we eat, including snacks, drinks and extra helpings.
Sip a cherry smoothie
A milk-and-cherry smoothie is a delicious recipe for weight loss. Subjects who drank 12 oz. of milk per day lost 91 percent more weight than those with low dairy intake, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Study authors credit milk’s abundance of calcium and vitamin D, which multiple studies have linked to weight loss. Tossing in a handful of tart cherries boosts the effect. “Cherries contain anthocyanins, compounds that ‘clean’ the body of chemicals that damage cells and have been shown in many studies to aid in weight loss,” explains Brittany Linn, R.D., C.D.N., of the Mount Sinai Health System.
Sleep in total darkness
A 2019 study reveals that folks regularly exposed to incidental light from a TV screen or alarm clock while sleeping gained 11 pounds on average over five years and put themselves at high risk for obesity. “Light exposure disrupts our circadian rhythm, which increases hunger hormones,” explains Linn. The simple fix: a sleep mask designed to block 100 percent of the light.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.