There’s a lot you can do in ten minutes: take a shower, read through your inbox or stalk your crush on Instagram (no judgment). But what if we told you that in the time it takes to do any of those things you could also make a number of healthy choices that would help you lose weight and keep it off for good? While it may sound too good to be true, we wouldn’t dare tease you like that! Scroll down to check out the expert tips that can make it happen now.
Break Up with Your Bran Flakes
Does your crazy-busy morning routine leave you with little time to do more than scarf down a bowl of cereal before running out the door? If so, put down the spoon and listen up! Research has found that eating oatmeal is more satiating than the cold stuff and can help you slim down. Since the instant varieties aren’t always nutritional champions, it’s better to use the slow-cooking variety and whip up a bowl of drool-worthy Zero Belly oatmeal. It will only take 10 minutes out of your morning and, with delicious flavors like Cherry Pie (a blend of hazelnuts and cherries), it will be well worth it.
Shop and Chop
While all fruits are healthy, a handful of them reign supreme when it comes to frying fat and de-bloating your belly. University of Kentucky researchers found that eating watermelon can lower fat accumulation, while another group of great minds discovered that honeydew can banish water retention and bloat. Spend ten minutes chopping up these slimming fruits for the week ahead. Enjoy them solo as a snack, throw them into yogurt or add them to salads.
Say Sayonara to Stress
According to researchers, not only does stress make people more apt to reach for sugary, fatty fare, it also causes the body to metabolize food more slowly. Lose weight by stopping stress before it starts. All you need is—you guessed it—ten minutes! Set aside this short chunk of time to do something relaxing daily. Listen to soothing music, take a walk at lunchtime or spend some time puckering up with your honey. Yes, science says kissing relieves stress by helping the brain release endorphins! Smooching to slim down is definitely something we can get behind.
Find Your Frying Pan
A spatula, a carton of eggs and ten minutes on the clock is all you need to fry some serious flab. Eggs are one of the best sources of choline, a major fat-burning nutrient that helps turn off the genes responsible for belly-fat storage. Sunnyside up, scrambled, hard-boiled, or fried—it doesn’t matter. Just set aside the time and whip yourself up a plate for breakfast, lunch or even dinner. Breakfast for dinner is a winner in our book.
Walk This Way
Set aside ten minutes before work and take a walk around the block. Yes, ten minutes every day is all it takes to start losing weight! Sounds crazy, but science says it’s true. Recent study findings reveal that even brief exposure to UV rays between the hours of 8 am and noon can reduce the risk of weight gain—regardless of daily activity level, caloric intake, or age—by synchronizing metabolism and undercutting fat genes. That’s why it’s one of the most effective Zero Belly secrets.
Delay and Distract
Next time you’re jonesing for a dietary no-no, seek out a distraction. Most cravings only last about ten minutes; if you can just stay away from the kitchen and keep your mind occupied for that long, you’ll likely forget all about it, which can save you thousands of calories and subsequent pounds in the long run. So call a friend, take a walk, play Words with Friends or even your favorite video game. Research has found that getting in touch with your inner gamer stimulates the brain’s reward system and reduces the desire to eat. It really doesn’t matter what you do to distract yourself as long as it doesn’t involve putting fork to mouth (finger foods count, too!).
Play Betty Crocker
If you’ve let the time pass and you’re still craving something sweet, it’s okay to indulge—just do so mindfully and in moderation. Instead of munching on a few Oreos, whip up a single-serve dessert in the microwave. It only takes ten minutes. (We love this Chocolate Chip Cake in a Mug by blogger Chocolate Covered Katie.) According to Psychological Science research, people who prepare sweets themselves find them far tastier than those who watch someone else make the same recipe. The more satisfied you feel, the less likely you are to go back for seconds and the easier it will be to lose weight.
While sautéed veggies are definitely a healthy side dish, every calorie counts when you’re trying to slim down. If you typically use about two tablespoons of cooking oil in your frying pan, you could slash 250 calories from your plate just by steaming your veggies instead. Making this healthy swap for 14 days can take a pound of fat right off your frame. If you usually find steamed veggies bland, punch up the flavor without piling on the calories by topping your produce with some lemon juice and Zero Belly spices like cayenne, mustard seed, ginger and black pepper.
Take Out The Rags
…and the mop and the vacuum, too. Housework is an easy and productive way to burn a ton of calories and lose weight! While it may not seem like dusting or doing laundry requires much movement, it still burns more calories than sitting in front of the TV—and every little bit counts when you’re trying to slim down. Pump the jams or listen to your favorite talk show while you clean and you’ll be done before you know it.
Make Every Day Casual Friday
The average person takes about 10 minutes getting dressed in the morning. Instead of using that time to throw on a suit and tie, pair your suit jacket with a pair of jeans—if your office culture allows, of course. University of Wisconsin researchers found that people who wore denim to work took almost 500 more steps (about a quarter mile) throughout the day than they did on days when they wore more formal attire. Sure, you may feel more dapper in your suit, but shedding that extra belly fat is sure to make you see jeans in a different light and feel more confident—no matter what you’re wearing.