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28 New Slim-Down, Shape-Up Ideas

28 New Slim-Down, Shape-Up Ideas

1. Take control of your kitchen

Okay, actually: Just choose the spot that stresses you out the most (like the corner where permission slips seem to breed) and try to bring at least some sense of order to it. Research shows that a messy space can undermine your self-control. “So, the more cluttered your kitchen, the more you’ll tend to snack,” says Brian Wansink, Ph.D., director of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University and author of the book Slim by Design.

2. Pace yourself

Pushing your body too hard (and being really sore as a result) can wreck even the best-laid workout plans. So take it easy at the beginning of the week: Start with a yoga class or power walk on Monday, says Vanessa Castro, a personal trainer in Miami. “Then you’ll have energy for a butt-kicking interval class on Thursday.”

3. Forget family-style

Unless they’re filled with steamed veggies or salad, big bowls don’t belong on the table. Instead, serve dinner straight from the stove. You’ll eat about 20 percent less if it’s not as easy to snag seconds, says Wansink.


4. Leave the dishes for later

You have fewer to do now anyway! In a study, people who took a brisk 30-minute walk right after dinner shed more pounds than those who waited an hour. And don’t use The Voice as an excuse to let your food “settle” before you get moving, says trainer Jessica Smith, creator of The Ultimate Workouts for Weight Loss DVDs. “Walking is too gentle to make you feel sick.”

5. Sleep with the shades open

The rays that stream into your bedroom at dawn just might make you slimmer, according to researchers at Northwestern University in Chicago. Light regulates your body’s internal clock and influences hormones that play a role in appetite and metabolism. And if you find some solitude before everyone else is up—well, that’s just a bonus.


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