The internal and external obliques, which I like to call "nature's girdle," are located at the sides of the rectus abdominis. They are the muscles you use when you bend sideways at the spine or twist at the waist. They also contract to compress the abdomen, so you should work them just as hard as you work the rectus abdominis. Adding a twist to crunches works, as well as dumbbell side bends, but be careful not to use any jerky motions, especially if you've had back problems.
How often do you eat in the bathroom? Disgusting, right? Most people wouldn't even think of it because they've linked the bathroom with other activities. Yet most of us have no problem eating in other rooms—and that's not good. Eating somewhere other than the kitchen or dining room isn't recommended, because noshing linked with a specific cue (like a room) can trigger eating even when you're not hungry. That's how bad habits are developed.
Going long periods of time without food does double-duty harm on our healthy eating efforts by both slowing down your metabolism, and priming you for another binge later in the day. (Think: You've skipped breakfast and lunch, so you're ready to takedown a whole turkey by dinner!) Make it your mission to eat three meals and two snacks every day, and don't wait longer than three to four hours without eating. Set a "snack alarm" on your phone if needed.
Pace around your office while talking on the phone or run into the bank to cash your check instead of using the drive-thru. When researchers at the Mayo Clinic fed a group of volunteers an extra 1,000 calories a day over the course of eight weeks, they found sedentary individuals gained eight times more weight than those who fidgeted a lot during the day.
Here’s a shocker: When a group of U.K. researchers told 30 women to avoid chocolate, then packed them into a room filled with the stuff; the women were much more likely to sneak a bite than individuals who hadn’t been given the order. Blame the allure of the forbidden: The more you tell yourself you can’t eat something you love, the more you’re going to want it.
Make a protein-rich dinner with grilled pork chops and asparagus. Heat one teaspoon olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Season a three-ounce pork chop with salt and pepper. Place it in the pan and cook it for three to five minutes per a side. Serve with ½ cup mashed potatoes, one cup steamed or baked asparagus, and ½ cup bell pepper strips. Top the meal off with ½ cup fresh raspberries.
Try a protein heavy meal like a bean tortilla with gazpacho. Warm up a two-ounce wheat tortilla in the microwave or on the stove and fill it with ½ cup cooked black beans, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, two tablespoons shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, and half an avocado, sliced. Serve it with one cup of ready-made gazpacho or salsa. Finish with a one-ounce piece of dark chocolate for dessert.

Lose weight, eat well and feel great with this easy weight loss diet plan. This simple 1,200-calorie meal plan is specially tailored to help you feel energized and satisfied while cutting calories so you can lose a healthy 1 to 2 pounds per week. Each day of this 7-day diet plan features the best foods for weight loss, being high protein, high fiber foods (a combination that research shows can help with weight loss by keeping you feeling fuller for longer), and strategically balances calories throughout the day so you won't feel starved. The calorie totals are listed next to each meal so you can easily swap things in and out as you see fit. Couple this healthy meal plan with daily exercise and you're on track to lose the weight.
Ultimately, long-term weight loss requires some short-term behavior change and healthier habit formation. That's why we created our Good Housekeeping Nutritionist Approved Emblem, which exists to help turn smart food choices into healthier eating habits. All GHNA foods and drinks make it easier to find — and eat — good-for-you foods without additional time, effort, and cost. We target the lifestyle-related factors that make healthier eating hard, and find simple but creative solutions that actually work! Look for the emblem on labels wherever you shop for food.
×