What the Irish can teach you about shedding extra pounds.
Eat the Rainbow
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Not to be confused with taste the rainbow, which will result in a serious sugar crash, eating a rainbow of fresh produce comes with a wealth of health benefits and can help you lose weight. A new study from Florida State University found that women who incorporated apples into their daily diet lost more weight than their non-apple-eating counterparts.
Make a goal to pick up one new fruit or vegetable every week—and actually eat it. Mixing up a smoothie is a simple way to work some new flavors into your diet.
Lift Some Heavy Metal
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As amazing as it would be if there were random pots of gold around town for the taking, stick with iron for guaranteed results. New to weight lifting? Try working in a total-body strength routine twice a week (This effective plan hits every major muscle group).
A more seasoned lifter? Try pushing yourself to go as heavy as you can safely lift. Lifting heavy will skyrocket your human growth hormone and torch more fat faster.
Make Green Your Favorite Color
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Salads get a bad rap as "diet food," but leafy greens pack a powerful nutritional punch. And with so many different healthy toppings to choose from (think lean protein, nuts, seeds, and fresh veggies), you're sure to find one you like.
To make it easy to pack more greens into your diet, buy a bag of lettuce and fill a large container full of chopped vegetables at the beginning of the week. That way, all you need to do is mix, dress, and enjoy!
Do an Irish Jig
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Mixing up your workout routine can shock your body, helping you break through a weight-loss plateau. If folk dancing isn't your thing (but how will you know if you don't try it?), check out a new class with a friend. You'll be less intimidated by kettlebells, TRX, Zumba, or aerial yoga if you've got a buddy to laugh with.
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You don't have to be Irish to say "Kiss me!" but finding someone to snuggle up with is important. Studies show that an active sex life helps reduce stress and lessen depression—both factors that can be involved in sneaky weight gain.
Don't Deny Yourself a Little (Irish) Butter
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Upping your intake of healthy fats like coconut, olive oil, and, yes, even a little butter, can help you feel satiated longer and keep cravings away. You may have heard that saturated fats are bad for you, but the latest research shows that as long as they come from natural sources—like organic butter from grass-fed cows—you can enjoy them guilt-free.
Kick Back and Enjoy the Festivities
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Sometimes being too focused on losing weight can work against you. Everyone needs a break now and again. Plus, your muscles grow during the repair and recovery phase so take a look at your workout schedule and make sure you're not overdoing it. Weight gain or a weight-loss plateau is one of the signs of overtraining. Others include exhaustion, depression, lethargy, and catching every cold going around. You don't need to work out every single day to be fit and healthy!