Don’t Be a Meat Head

Those three sliders you just inhaled? You barely noticed them. So try something new: mindfulness. In one study, people who scored low on mindful behaviours were 34% more likely to be obese than high scorers. Contemplate your eating – before, during and after. Step one is to know the difference between physical and emotional hunger. If it’s physical, feed it with good fuel, like protein or vegetables. If it’s emotional, find three words to describe how you feel (bored, frustrated, horny) and find ways to deal with the cause, says Susan Albers, author of Eating Mindfully.


Pear Down Your Gut

Pear eaters weigh nearly 3½ kilos less than people who shun them, even if both groups’ kJ intake is roughly the same, a study of 24 800 people showed. They’re also 35% less likely to be obese. One reason may be the high fibre content in pears – 30% higher than that of apples.

Counter Measures

Look around your kitchen. What do you see? If you said “cookies,” there’s a good chance you’re overweight. Junk food on the kitchen counter is likely to lead to weight gain, a study in Health Education & Behavior found. Among men who kept baked goods visible in their kitchen, 39% were obese while just 6% were slender. (A bowl of fruit was more typical for the slim guys.) When you’re hungry, you grab the first quick, no-prep snack you see, says researcher Dr Drew Hanks. So keep low-kJ options – like pre-portioned bags of nuts or fresh fruit – at the ready.

Elements Of Nutrition

Maybe you haven’t thought of magnesium since high school chemistry, but it may help stave off metabolic problems. Men ages 50 to 75 with low levels are more likely to have a higher BMI and larger waist, say scientists in Poland. They’re also more likely to have low testosterone, which plays a role in fat accumulation. Magnesium may help regulate testosterone. Get your 400mg a day from leafy greens, beans, nuts and grains.