Are you over the gym and the fad diets? I know I am. If only there was an easier way to lose weight that was effective, cheap and time-efficient.
I decided to do some research on ways to lose weight that are outside the box. It turns out there are quite a few suggestions out there.
Here is what I found and some of them really do work!
Further reading: 3 Hacks to beat your takeaway temptations.
12 UNUSUAL WAYS TO LOSE WEIGHT WHICH YOU MAY NOT HAVE THOUGHT OF
1. HAVE EGGS FOR BREAKFAST
Did you know that eggs are a great source of protein and fats that help keep you fuller for longer compared to just simple carbohydrates. Eating eggs for breakfast (or any protein-rich food like lean meats, peanut butter and nuts) keeps hunger at bay and tides you over until lunchtime. Studies show that replacing grain-based breakfasts with eggs can help you eat fewer calories for the next 36 hours. I need to be careful as I have high cholesterol but otherwise eggs seem to be a bit of a superfood when it comes to keeping weight off.
2. USE SMALLER PLATES
Why didn’t I think of this? It seems so logical. Bigger plates equal bigger portions, and more food means greater temptation to overeat. One study showed that smaller plates helped some people eat fewer calories, while these benefits were not reported on other studies. Whilst the evidence is conflicting, try using smaller plates when you’re setting the table. I honestly found this to work and realised how huge my dinner plates are!
3. CHEW SLOWER
Who knew chewing slowly can help you lose weight. According to this study, eating slowly can lower obesity risk by increasing appetite control. Slow and thorough chewing might also help reduce eating rate. While there’s no correlation between eating behaviour and total calorie intake, reducing the number of chews before swallowing might be a useful behavioural strategy for weight management. So next time you sit down to a meal, remember to chew slowly and savour every bite.
4. TAKE A PHOTO OF YOUR FOOD
Now you have the perfect excuse to Instagram every meal. Of anyone asks, just say it helps you eat healthier. Taking photos of your food is like keeping a diet journal, but it’s a visual account of what you’re actually eating. That monster plate of cheese fries at brunch that looked too amazing to not finish? It might guilt-trip you into reducing portions tomorrow.
5. GET DIVORCED!
Many people overeat and put on kgs when they are stressed, but losing weight is also a common response to extremely stressful situations. Divorce is on the top of the list of stressful things that can happen to a person, and it might transform your body completely. Now I’m not wishing divorce on anyone or actively suggesting that you make that life-altering decision, but there is some evidence for the Divorce Diet. Looking back, I am not entirely sure if I lost weight or put it on during my divorce but it’s definitely a valid point.
6. DRINK GREEN TEA
Green tea and beverages containing green tea may help you lose weight, although the evidence is conflicting. Some studies say that green tea extract can slightly improve weight loss and reduce body weight and body mass index (BMI) in obese children and adults. This is mostly due to the catechins or caffeine in green tea. However, other studies show no benefits. If you’re already a tea drinker, by all means continue this healthy habit as it might help you lose weight, and green tea has heaps of other health benefits.
Unusual ways to lose weight (cont.)
7. SLEEP MORE
People who sleep poorly are highly at risk for obesity. This isn’t just to scare you, it’s actually supported by evidence that shows a 55% increased risk of obesity in adults and 89% in children. Sleep turns out to be as important as exercise and healthy eating when it comes to controlling weight. Anything that maintains a healthy energy balance, sleep included, should definitely be a part of a wellness regimen. Time to get some healthy sleep habits happening.
8. WHEY PROTEIN IS THE WAY TO GO
There are a myriad of reasons why people include protein in their diet, but did you know it can play an important role in weight loss? Whey protein releases hormones that suppress your appetite and ultimately curb your hungry cravings, yay! So, make sure you include a scoop of this magic powder in your morning smoothie recipe.
Not sure which protein powder to get? See here: Which protein powder is best for me?
9. DIM THE LIGHTS
Here’s one of the most unusual ways I discovered to lose weight: Dim the lights. It it thought that moody lighting might help people eat slower and reduce their calorie intake. The logic? Dim lights cool your food. Cool food is much less appetising than a hot meal, as anyone who’s eaten leftovers straight from the fridge will tell you. Next time you go out to dinner, pick a restaurant with soft lighting and soothing music over a loud, busy place. Softer lights and music (and chewing slowly) can help you savour the meal instead of rushing through it and reaching for seconds. The jury is out on this one for me. If you have low self esteem and body perception, try dimming the lights as an unusual way to lose weight.
SURPRISING WAYS TO LOSE WEIGHT (CONT.)
10. DRINK LOTS OF WATER
Plain water is the ultimate adult beverage. It can be difficult to drink the recommended 8 glasses a day for some people, even those who have no problem knocking back a six pack of beer in an hour! But drinking water is an excellent habit that can do wonders for your health and maybe even your weight. Drinking water before meals can help dieters eat fewer calories and lose more weight compared to those who don’t drink it. Water also helps keep you full and burn off more calories.
11. EAT SPICY FOOD
The compound capsaicin in chilli peppers may aid weight management for dieters and people actively losing weight. Capsaicin activates brown adipose tissue (BAT) in the body, which is involved in the regulation of energy balance. So don’t be afraid to eat curry every now and then, or any dish with chilli. It might just help you keep the kgs off. I love spicy food so it’s a great excuse to eat more.
12. HAVE A SOUP STARTER
Soups are great after a long day, especially when it’s cold out. Making homemade soups is one of my favourite pastimes. But did you know that eating soup as a starter might also help you lose weight? One study showed that those who ate low-calorie soup before the main course ate 20% less food during the meal compared to those who didn’t have soup. Soup eaters also didn’t feel hungry at the end of the meal.