(Relaxnews) – Looking for a way to trim the holiday excess with only minimal effort? UK science magazine New Scientist combed the scientific journals to offer up a slew of research-supported ways to shed some weight without really lifting a finger. One way to fight the battle of the bulge is to avoid getting sick this season and get vaccinated, according to the report. At least one common cold virus has been linked to obesity, and a researcher from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana discovered that cold virus adenovirus-36 (Ad-36) boosts both the number of fat cells in the body and the amount of fat inside these cells. Plus another study published in the journal Pediatrics found that children with Ad-36 antibodies weighed an average of 23 kilograms more than children without them.
While easier said than done, staying relaxed is another way to fight the fat. ‘One recent study found that moderate calorie restriction made mice much more sensitive to stress, and this effect persisted once the diet was over,’ states New Scientist. ‘The mice went on to choose more high-fat food than those that had never had their food restricted.’ Global warming may be heating up the planet, but it is also possibly contributing to our broadening waistlines, at least according to an Italian study published in International Journal of Obesity. Among more than 1500 middle-aged adults, the team found that those who enjoyed keeping their homes warm and toasty were about twice as likely to become obese during the course of the six-year study. Rationale: shivering to stay warm burns calories. But you don’t need to freeze to death to make a difference: turning down your home thermostat by a few degrees could help, states the article.
Other lazy ways to shed the fat include eating more protein, getting plenty of rest, and breathing in fresh air (the kind you find in the country, not the city). Also, watch the packaging on your foods since some plastic packaging and cans contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals that can leach into food and drinks, and evidence is beginning to link this to expanding waistlines.