Your top nutrition questions answered
Why can’t I sleep through the night?
Lately I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night with a full bladder, and it really disrupts my sleep. I’ve tried drinking less and going to the bathroom before bed, but it hasn’t helped. What else can I do? A:
It sounds like you may be getting too much salt in your diet. A new study has revealed that the number of times people get up to urinate during the night is directly linked to the amount of salt they consume during the day. Salty foods prompt the body to retain fluid, which increases urine production at night. Fortunately, when subjects reduced their daily salt intake by just 25 percent—from 2 tsp. to 11⁄2 tsp. per day—their number of nighttime bathroom trips was cut in half.
An easy way to dramatically cut the salt in your diet is to avoid processed foods, which are filled with sneaky sources of sodium. We also suggest keeping the saltshaker off the table during meals. These tweaks should have you sleeping more soundly within a week. And in addition to helping you feel more energized, that’s good news for your waistline: Well-rested women lose 138 percent more fat than those who don’t get a good night’s sleep.
Drew’s fat-loss flavor booster
Busy actress Drew Barrymore has found a delicious way to rev metabolism: She flavors meals with coconut aminos (like Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos, $6 for 8 oz., iHerb.com). Made from coconut sap, this sauce has savory flavor like soy sauce but contains 65 percent less belly-bloating sodium, plus it delivers 17 fat-burning amino acids.
Is there an easy way to speed slimming?
I’m giving a new diet a try this week, and I know from past diets that if I start losing right away, I’ll be so much more motivated to stick with it and see real results. Any suggestions to help me slim quick?
To melt fat faster on any weightloss plan, we advise incorporating turmeric into your diet. This vibrant yellow spice contains curcumin, a plant compound shown to calm fatpromoting inflammation and shrink fat cells, especially those in the dangerous visceral fat tissue that surrounds vital organs. The payoff: In a study in the journal Drug Research, subjects who consumed curcumin daily lost
6.6 times more body fat—and 7.6 times more belly fat—over 8 weeks than those who didn’t get the compound.
It only takes 1 tsp. of the super spice to get the benefits, and it has a subtle warm taste that is delicious mixed into soups, curries and smoothies.
Or if you prefer to supplement, try
Life Extension Super Bio-Curcumin ($29 for 60 capsules, LEF.com/ffw). Q I’ve been taking walks around the park and I’ve already lost a few pounds, but I’m
so hungry after every walk. What
can help? A Our secret weapon for curbing postexercise cravings: a shake made with a scoop of whey protein, like Reserveage Nutrition Grass-Fed Whey Protein ($26 for 12 servings, The Vitamin Shoppe stores). A new study in the European Journal of Nutrition found that women who sipped a drink made with 24 grams of whey protein after a workout consumed 10 percent less at their next meal than those given a carbrich drink with the same number of calories. The credit goes to whey protein’s ability to lower levels of the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin, which spikes during exercise.
Another boon: Whey protein supports the building of metabolism-revving lean muscle mass to help boost slimming results. In fact, this effect has been shown to help women who sip a protein shake after exercise lose twice as much fat as those who don’t get protein.