Variety is the spice of life, but could it also be the key to losing weight? Whether you’ve hit a weight-loss plateau, feel like you need to shake up your routine, or are just sick of the same old slim-down advice, it may be time to take the weight-loss-road less traveled. Here are five bizarre tummy trimming tips that actually work.
1. Skip food commercials: Oozing cheese, crisp vegetables, sizzling beef: those burger commercials are designed to make your mouth water—and they work. Food advertising turns on your hunger switch, which entices you to grab a snack whether it’s healthy or not, according to a Yale University study. This could be because the sight of food (yes, even your favorite recipe shows or foodie Instagram feeds) may trigger a boost of ghrelin, your hunger hormone. So next time you watch TV, skip the commercial breaks so you’re not turned on to eat. They don’t call it “food porn” for nothing.
2. Hide your junk food: The saying “out of sight, out of mind” is a steadfast rule when it comes to snacking. A study conducted by researchers at the Cornell Food and Brand Laboratory found that people ate about two more treats from the office candy dish each day when they were visible or within reach. What’s more, when the candies were on their desk, people tended to underestimate how many they ate—meaning they ate more without realizing it. Whether you’re at work or at home, minimize the mindless eating by hiding your junk food so you’re not tempted, and keeping healthy snacks close by. Here’s how to organize your fridge for weight loss.
3. Drink unsweetened green tea: When it comes to weight loss, green tea is a triple threat: it’s hydrating, it can distract you from cravings, and it’s also chock-full of antioxidants. Could it get any better? Guess what, it does. Though more research is needed, some studies suggest that the antioxidants in green tea may slightly boost the fat-burning process, especially when paired with exercise. Green tea has also been shown to improve insulin sensitivity.
Sip it iced or hot and sans sugar for maximum benefits.
4. Weigh yourself every morning: Keeping a close eye on your weight can help you drop pounds, according to a study conducted by University of Pittsburgh researchers. This may be because monitoring the number on the scale can help keep you accountable and motivated. Weigh yourself before breakfast for the most accurate reading (undigested food or fluids in the belly can add weight), and to help inspire healthy behaviors for the day.
5. Keep your kitchen clean: Clutter anywhere can cause stress, but the angst caused by a chaotic kitchen may lead you to make unhealthy food choices. In a study by the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, women were asked to wait in either a messy kitchen or a tidy one. These kitchens were also stocked with cookies, crackers, and carrots. As it turns out, women in the messy kitchens ate more cookies than women in the clean ones. Moral of the story? Keep your kitchen clean so you can stay calm, cool, collected—and in control of your cravings.
These tips may be unusual, but they may be just what you need to tip the scales in your favor. Give them a try—all you have to lose is weight.