Your grandma tells you that valerian root will help you both lose weight and improve your luck. Your gym buddy says you should wake up at midnight to chug some caffeine to help boost your metabolism and lose weight. Your roommate tells you to wrap yourself in saran wrap before going for a run in order to lose an extra 5 lbs of weight. We’ve all received dubious advice in the past, and sometimes it can be hard to separate fact from fiction. But here are 4 new tips to help you lose weight that have come to light as a result of scientific studies. If you want to drop some pounds, here is some solid advice.

The first may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people skip it in their quest to lose weight. Exercise. It’s tough, it’s hard, it’ll make you break a sweat, but changing your diet is simply not enough if you’re looking to change your body. A recent animal trial conducted by researchers at Oregon Health and Science University found that overweight monkeys who went on a lower-calorie diet lost almost no weight, but when they were encouraged to be more active and continued with their regular diet, they lost pounds like crazy. The equation is simple: burn more calories through exercise than you consume if you want to make a difference.

Second: realize that your brain reacts to food as if it were a drug. And we mean that literally. A recent study by the National Institute of Drug Abuse found that the brains of drug addicts and overweight individuals reacted in similar fashion to the ingestion of their stimulant, release dopamine (the chemical that causes joy) into the blood stream. However, both required increasing amounts of their substance of choice to release the same amount of dopamine. Cutting back on calories causes your dopamine levels to fall, which may lead to bad moods, withdrawal symptoms and binging. So if you’re having trouble losing weight? Consider seeing an addiction specialist.

Third: should you be doing your Insanity workout on an empty stomach? If your goal is to lose weight, than a new European study indicates that you should. They discovered that cyclists burned more fat when riding on an empty stomach that following a pre-workout meal. Being hungry they discovered helps your body keep adrenaline high and blood sugar low-an ideal formula for the oxidation of fat. The only problem is that without a pre-workout meal, you can bonk and run out of energy mid-workout. The solution is to thus do a couple of empty stomach workout a week, and do the rest after a pre-workout meals to maximize gains and weight loss.

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