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Avoid the 5 eating weight-gain traps!

Avoid these common mealtime fat-gain pitfalls to eat for a leaner and healthier body!

Stop drinking calories

A fresh salad piled high with chicken or tuna is a fantastic high-protein meal to move you a step closer to a leaner body, but don’t undo all your hard work by having a fizzy drink on the side. Not only will you be taking on sugar calories you don’t need, but a super-sweetened drink with a protein-rich meal can prime your body to store more of the food you eat as fat, according to the BMC Nutrition journal. Stick to sparking water flavoured with some slices of fresh fruit to stay hydrated without the metabolism-meddling sugar.

Pick smaller plates

The larger your plate the more food you put it on; that’s just basic buffet knowledge. But if you want to get lean it’s worth knowing that the reverse is also true: using smaller dishes prevents you from over-eating while still satisfying your hunger. In a study published in the BMC Obesity journal, subjects given plates based on the “Ebbinghaus illusion”, which is the optical trick where the diameter of surrounding circles makes a central circle look bigger or smaller, consistently self-served smaller portion sizes than those using normal plates. Your lesson? Use larger plates when eating salads and veg, and smaller bowls when scooping out the ice cream.

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Try the seafood diet

Following the “see food and eat it” diet is a terrible punchline and the fastest way to a bulging belly. But eating more seafood, such as salmon, tuna, crabs and oysters, as well as other copper-rich foods including red met and nuts, can help you get trim by improving the ability of your fat cells to release their energy for fuel. That’s according to a study by Johns Hopkins University, which found that copper-deficient subjects had larger fat stores in each fat cell because of less efficient energy burning processes.

Be clever with carbs

For many people carbohydrates remain the arch-nemesis of a lean, hard and defined physique. That’s because all carbs get grouped together despite each type having very different nutritional profiles – some, such as vegetables, you want to eat more of, while others, such as sugar, are best avoided if getting lean is your goal. But eating more wholegrain carbs, such as unrefined brown bread, rice and pasta, can help you lose weight, according to a study from the University of Eastern Finland, because wholegrains increase levels of betaine compounds, which improves your body’s ability to breakdown glucose to keep your metabolism firing.

Sit at a table

Eating your meals while sitting at a table, instead of walking back to work, hunched over your desk, or screen-watching on the sofa, reduces your risk of over-eating by making you more mindful during meals. That’s because people eat far more in social or distracting situations – such as when walking and talking or working or scrolling – than when sitting down solely focused on their meal, according to research from Cornell University. Think about how each mouthful smells, feels and tastes to maximise your mealtime mindfulness. Here’s some more top advice on how to be more present when eating.

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