Do you know that food manufacturers and restaurant owners spend thousands, if not millions, of dollars studying flavors, colors, aroma, and presentation of the food so that you’ll eat more? When you’re craving something, the urge to eat just doesn’t come from your stomach or taste buds. A lot of it has to do with tricking your mind as well. Thankfully, there are also techniques you can apply to condition your mind to discourage overeating. Below are some unique weight loss tricks that actually work.
HERE ARE 13 UNIQUE WEIGHT LOSS TRICKS THAT ACTUALLY WORK
“A huge part of losing weight is believing you can do it and realizing it’s not going to happen overnight.” – Unknown
1. USE A BLUE PLATE
Did you know that the color blue is an effective appetite suppressant?
Many weight loss gurus swear that if you use a blue plate when eating, you’re likely not going to eat more than you should. Thus, you curb the weight gain and avoid indulging in high-calorie and high-fat meals.
Experts have proven in a study published in the Nutrition Journal that using blue plates can really deliver a positive psychological effect on a person trying to lose weight.
Other studies suggest that while blue plates can trick your mind to eat less, the contrast of the food’s color against the plate may also help curb your appetite.
Apparently, a light-colored food will blend in a light-colored plate so you won’t be conscious of how much you’re eating. But the same food will stand out and look like a larger portion on a dark blue plate. For this reason, you may be pressed to eat less.
2. WATCH A SCARY MOVIE
Some people avoid watching scary movies because the terror can be stress-inducing. However, experts at the University of Westminster in London said that you actually burn calories equivalent to one chocolate bar when you’re sitting through a 90-minute horror film.
Your pulse races or your heart rate quickens because of the adrenalin rush.
This has a positive effect on your metabolism while you keep your eyes glued to the screen.
The researchers determined the scariest movie – most effective at burning sugar and fat – is “The Shining,” which shaves off 184 calories.
Other recommended scary movies include “Jaws” (161 calories), “The Exorcist” (158 calories), “Aliens” (152 calories), and “Saw” (133 calories).
3. SPRAY OR LIGHT UP VANILLA-SCENTED FRESHENERS OR CANDLES
Are you a sugar nut who can’t say no to sweet cravings? Do you like to eat sinfully good-tasting desserts even though you know the calories will go to your waist and hips? Try suppressing your sweet tooth by spraying vanilla-scented air freshener or lighting a vanilla-scented candle when you’re having dinner.
Experts at the St. George’s Hospital in London studying the efficiency of vanilla weight loss patches said this scent seems to dull cravings for dessert. They think this sweet scent can alter the chemicals of the hormone serotonin that controls the appetite so that it sends the brain a different signal.
4. EAT IN FRONT OF A MIRROR
It might seem self-indulgent and pointless to have your meals in front of a mirror. However, experts at the University of Central Florida learned that people can be prompted to eat fewer servings if they actually see themselves eating.
The thing is, you are your worst critic. If you watch yourself eat, you supposedly gain a more objective view of the food you have whiel also considering your physical appearance.
The mirror helps people who are trying to lose weight to evaluate themselves and their attitude towards food, and adjust accordingly.
However, this weight loss trick has its downside. While it might encourage people to eat healthier food, it may also trigger feelings of weight discrimination and diffuse body positivity.
5. TIE A RIBBON AROUND YOUR WAIST
Women in France supposedly tie a ribbon around their waist to let them know if they’ve had enough food. If they feel the ribbon getting tighter underneath their clothes, they will stop eating no matter what still remains on their plate.
Isn’t this one of the most elegant and stylish techniques you’ve heard? It teaches the French ladies to enjoy everything in moderation. It’s probably why a lot of French women have lovely figures.
6. PORTION YOUR MEALS AND EAT SMALLER BITES
Try eating smaller bites and portion your food so that you won’t overindulge. This weight loss trick is also another technique in learning to enjoy tasty meals in moderation. Naturally, if you eat fewer portions of your food, you will manage your weight better.
Did you know that in Spain some women effectively lose weight by having one meal reserved for a bocadillo? This is a sandwich with two slices of whole grain bread and a filling of meat from a choice of chorizo, sausage or tuna.
This sandwich doesn’t have any mayonnaise, ketchup or dressing.
This meal might not be the tastiest compared to the American “Subway” sandwich, but it has the right amount of flavor and nutrients.
The Spanish women also do away with the desserts if they’re having their bocadillo meal.
It’s a clever trick on how to portion control your meals properly.
7. CHEW YOUR FOOD AT LEAST 32 TO 40 TIMES BEFORE SWALLOWING
In the 19th century, American health food expert and economic nutritionist Horace Fletcher advocated for people to chew their food at least 32 to 40 times before swallowing. He was dubbed “The Great Masticator” because of this credo, but his recommendation is actually backed by science.
When you chew food slowly until there are no more morsels left, you’re helping your body burn 10 percent more calories.
You’re also facilitating the proper flow of nutrients from your mouth to your stomach and gut so your organs function better.
Experts observed that people who take time to chew their food are leaner than fast eaters.
They are also less prone to have hunger pangs and food cravings because they are still quite full from their last meal.
In contrast, people who eat fast aren’t burning any calories when they eat. They are also prone to develop metabolic problems like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, visceral fat, and chronic diseases.
8. SIT AT THE CORNER OF THE TABLE DURING DINNERS
Psychologist Stephen Gullo in the book “The Thin Commandments Diet” recommended a sure-fire way to curb your food indulgence. He wrote that if you’re at a dinner or a cocktail party and you’re watching your weight, it’s best to sit at the table’s corner.
When you’re seated at the middle, you’re more likely to indulge in the food since the center spot is where dishes are usually placed. You have easy access to bread, chips, and other delectables that you should be avoiding because you don’t really want those extra calories. If you’re seated in the corner, you eliminate the mindless eating.
9. CONTROL YOUR CANDY CRAVINGS BY EATING INDIVIDUALLY-WRAPPED PIECES
You’re less likely to eat candy if you stick to treats that are individually wrapped compared to wrapper-less sweets like skittles or jelly beans. An experiment in the journal Appetite revealed that people are more inclined to control their candy indulgence if it comes with its own wrapper.
A group of 30 people in the experiment was told that they can freely take candies from a bowl on a table. Averagely, the participants took at least three pieces of wrapped candies while gobbled down five or more unwrapped candies.
Apparently, the little effort it takes to unwrap a candy is actually a deterrent. But it’s a big help when you’re trying to control your sugar or sweets intake.
10. CHALLENGE YOURSELF TO EAT USING CHOPSTICKS
Ever wonder why there are so many Japanese with slimmer figures? Perhaps their use of chopsticks has something to do with it, according to Kimiko Barber, author of the book “The Chopsticks Diet.” If you haven’t mastered how to use this tool, then perhaps it is time to start learning (and lose some weight in the process).
Barber wrote in her book that since chopsticks require more accuracy and dexterity, you’re forced to slow down when you’re eating. You’re also likely not to fill up your mouth with food since you can only take smaller portions from your plate with chopsticks. If you’re eating slowly, you’re also eating less but feeling more satiated. Your food becomes easier to digest as well.
11. BRIGHTEN UP THE LIGHTS AND PLAY SOFT MUSIC
Create the right atmosphere and ambiance in your dining room to help you eat less. Experts say that if you brighten up the lights when you’re eating, you’ll be more inhibited from putting additional food on your plate.
Ever notice how restaurants have such low lighting? It’s not just because they want you to enjoy your romantic date but they also want their customers to order more food.
While you keep the dining room lights bright, experts advise you to keep the music down. Apparently, when there’s soft music in the background, it sends a positive signal in your brain that a meal should be leisurely enjoyed. So, you take more time to chew and finish your food. This mindful eating helps you develop a healthier habit that keeps the weight off.
12. MAKE BREAKFAST HEAVIER AND DINNERS LIGHTER
“Eat breakfast like a king and dinner like a pauper.” Have you ever heard this saying? If you’d like to keep the weight off, then this might just be the best way to do it.
Experts from the American Diabetes Association performed a controlled 12-week study. They learned that obese women who followed a heavy breakfast/light dinner diet lost more pounds than those who had a light breakfast/heavy dinner diet.
The women also lost at least three inches off their waist for having larger breakfast meals than dinners. It seems this diet helped women with metabolic syndrome balance their intake better.
13. TAKE A PHOTO OF YOUR FOOD
Do you enjoy taking a photo of your food to post on social media? If you’re trying to lose weight then there’s another purpose for getting a snap of your meal. According to Joan Salge Blake, who wrote “Nutrition & You,” the photos might help you stop and think about what you’re eating. A visual representation of your food may help you muster more control over what you put on your plate.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON UNIQUE WEIGHT LOSS TRICKS THAT ACTUALLY WORK
Most weight loss diet fads won’t work over time. You’ll still gain weight especially if you’re not consistent with your eating habits.
But these tips above are not just weight loss tricks. These are actually techniques that can teach you how to enjoy food in moderation and practice mindful eating. If you follow some of these tips while aiming to eat healthier, you might not need to a diet. Losing the pounds or maintaining an ideal weight should begin to come more naturally.