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You may have tried a diet or two in hopes of dropping pounds. But a new Harvard study has uncovered a no-diet way to shed: Adding certain foods to your day while nixing others can slim you.
Researchers analyzed eating habits and gains and losses over several years. Based on their findings, we mapped out a sample day that'll lead to weight loss.
Keep up this eating style, and you'll ditch up to 5 pounds in a year.
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Rise 'n' shine. Forgo your usual O.J. and scone.
You'll lose: .28 pounds a year. The combo of juice and a giant scone each day would pack it on.
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At the cafe bag up a yogurt parfait for breakfast.
You'll lose: .41 pounds a year. Every additional daily serving of whole grains can peel off .09 pounds over a year. A serving of fruit helps you shed another .12 pounds; a daily dose of yogurt leads to a .2-pound loss.
Hungry again? Nibble on a bowl of blueberries.
You'll lose: .24 pounds a year. Two extra servings of fruit daily means another .24 pounds lost this year.
Photo: Lew Robertson
Step away from the supersize soda. Swap for a diet one.
You'll lose: : 1 pound a year. For every regular serving of sugary drink you down daily, you could gain .25 pounds.
Deli dilemma: Ham or pastrami? Neither. Skip cold cuts on white bread. Pass up the cheese, too.
You'll lose: : .44 pounds a year. A daily serving of cold cuts adds on .23 pounds a year. Cheese and white bread also set you back. If you crave a sammy, have one with turkey breast and veggies instead.
Hold the potato chips!
You'll lose: : .42 pounds a year. In the study, potato chips were one of the biggest offenders, causing .42 pounds of weight gain per year if eaten every day.
Pick up a vegetable stir-fry from your favorite takeout restaurant.
You'll lose: : .18 pounds a year. A daily serving of veggies leads to .06 pounds lost in a year; so any meals, like stir-fry, that offer three or more servings are golden.
Dodge the vending-machine munchies and grab a banana.
You'll lose: : .12 pounds a year
Snack on almonds.
You'll lose: : .28 pounds a year. Two servings daily is what it takes.
Quench commute thirst with water, not a sugary sports drink.
You'll lose: : .5 pounds a year
Steak? Go easy on it, research says.
You'll lose: : .72 pounds a year. A daily serving of red meat can pack on .24 pounds in a year; many steak entrees are three or more servings.
On tonight's menu: Brown-rice veggie sushi. So good!
You'll lose: : .15 pounds a year. Each serving of whole grains will help you drop an extra .09 pounds this year; a serving of veggies can help you shed .06 pounds.
Pass on the ice cream and cookies for dessert.
You'll lose: : .4 pounds a year. Big helpings can set you back .2 pounds yearly per sweet treat.
Toast your success with a glass of wine. Of all the indulgences studied, alcohol had one of the smallest associated gains.