1 – Pay with Cash, not Credit
That’s right, the way you pay for your goods and services might actually be related directly to the size of your waistline. Instead of pulling out the plastic the next time you make a purchase, use cold hard cash instead.
The Journal of Consumer Research conducted an informative study that showed human beings are much quicker to pay for impulse items and unhealthy food with credit or debit cards, rather than ponying up the cash.
The conclusion is that the psychological attachment to paper money creates a physical and tangible loss in your mind when you spend it. Not having to pay those interest fees on your credit cards is a nice added benefit to this strategy.
2 – Raw Cacao Powder
This is a weight loss tip that really works, and you actually will not mind practicing it. One of the best-known food sources for antioxidants and magnesium, raw Cacao powder boasts a reputation in the nutrition community as a “superfood”.
With unique appetite suppressing qualities, raw Cacao powder can also keep you from binge eating because it promotes a positive mood.
3 – Brush Your Teeth
You can use classical conditioning to lose weight. Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov discovered that if he rang a bell when he fed his dogs, eventually he could ring that bell in the presence of no food, and the dogs would salivate as if food were present.
Over time, humans have come to understand brushing their teeth as a signal that eating is done for the day. Immediately after dinner, brush your teeth. This helps you resist after-hours snacking, according to nutrition author Dawn Jackson Blatner.
4- Eat Cake and Cookies for Breakfast
You probably won’t believe this, even though you want to. But an in-depth study at Tel Aviv University showed that big breakfasts including a rich, sweet dessert actually helped test subjects lose weight and keep it off over the long term.
A group of 93 obese women were divided into two groups. One group ate 1,400 calories a day, with 700 for breakfast. The second group also ingested 1,400 calories a day, with just 200 at breakfast.
The big breakfast eaters lost 17.8 pounds each after 12 weeks, as well as 3 inches off their waistlines. The small breakfast group also lost weight, 7.3 pounds, as well as 1.4 inches off their waistlines.
“High risk” items like cake and cookies were included in breakfast, and the results were the same. Incredibly, those big breakfast eaters were able to keep their weight off more successfully after the study was over than those eating the smaller breakfasts.
5 – Lots of Protein for Breakfast
Tim Ferris is the author of The 4-Hour Body, and he is not the only health minded individual who has related high protein breakfasts with weight loss.
Many researchers have shown that ingesting at least 30 grams of protein for breakfast fires up your metabolic rate, making you feel full even much later in the day.
6 – Practice Yoga
The practice of yoga is a spiritual Eastern ritual that calms and quiets the mind. It has also been proven successful to help combat unhealthy food cravings.
The next time you catch yourself walking towards the fridge for a mindless snack, stop. Take a few moments to calm down your mind, as well as your body.
The simple standing forward yoga position can reduce the stress that often leads to fat and calorie-rich food cravings.
With your feet shoulder width apart, stand with your back roughly a foot away from a wall. Lean backwards against the wall, then gently bend your knees and fold forward.
This will bring your chest and belly to your thighs. In this position, take 6 to 12 controlled breaths, and focus on complete exhalation.
Slowly “roll up”, until your spine is again touching the wall. Relax, take a few calming breaths, and repeat 3 to 5 times.
7 – Drink Plenty of Cold Water Daily
It turns out that your body is not very good at distinguishing between hunger and thirst. And for those who drink a lot of coffee or tea, chronic hydration is even a bigger problem.
In what seems like a contradiction, you are more likely to retain water weight by not drinking enough rather than too much water.
Drink plenty of cold water every day, as your body burns extra calories heating up the cold water, and a healthy, hydrated body is more likely to be in line with its natural weight. 48 to 64 ounces a day is recommended.
8 – The No-Salt Habit
Modern-day diets have entirely too much salt in them already. Salt is also excellent at making you retain water.
The typical American diet leads to twice the consumption of salt each day than is recommended. This leads to bloating and weight gain, and sometimes a frustrating feeling of inability to lose that last 10 pounds.
Salt also makes you feel hungrier, so start cutting back on your sodium intake, which is easy to do when you eat more natural, unprocessed foods.
9 – Don’t Believe the Diet Soda Hype
Multiple studies have shown that the more diet sodas you drink, the greater your risk of being overweight or obese.
A University of Texas Health Science Center experiment showed that adding only two cans of diet soda to your daily diet increases your risk of a bigger waistline by an incredible 500%. That is because artificial sweeteners confuse your natural ability to process calories.
Put simply, consuming diet foods with artificial sweeteners makes you much more likely to overeat. Your body believes it is eating sugar, and you crave more of it.
10 – Stop Counting Calories
Stop counting calories if you want to lose weight and keep it off.
Okay, a little explanation is required here. This doesn’t mean that you are free to consume 4,000 calories a day.
You should still eat sensibly, but it is more important to make sure that every time you eat, you get carbs, fat and protein.
This gives you much higher energy levels and greater fat loss. You also stay full for a longer period of time.
11 – Slow Down When You Are Eating
Did you know that it takes approximately 20 minutes for your stomach to realize that it is full so it can send a message to your brain, which commands you to stop eating.
When you eat quickly, you run the risk of eating more than you need before your stomach has a chance to alert your brain that you are full.
You can slow down how quickly you eat by thoroughly concentrating on chewing each bite, and putting down your fork or spoon between bites. You may also take this time to read a newspaper or magazine, and stop eating on the run.
12 – Fidget
Do you know any fidgety people? Odds are, they are slim and trim.
The Mayo Clinic reported research that shows you can burn as many as 350 extra calories a day simply by keeping in motion. And this does not mean high intensity exercise.
Simply by tapping your toes, clicking your pen, drumming your desk and fidgeting, you burn a significant amount of calories each and every day.
13 – Control Ghrelin
Thanks to your wonderful survival instinct, once true hunger grabs hold of you, you’re going to eat, regardless what your diet tells you. That is because a hormone called ghrelin drives your appetite, and tells you when to eat.
The best way to control the ravenous ghrelin is to eat smaller portions throughout the day, approximately every three hours. Simply divide your daily caloric intake over five or six meals.
Ghrelin also shows up when you deprive yourself of carbohydrates, so stop cutting carbs and skipping meals, eat smaller meals several times throughout the day, and you will be able to control your hungry ghrelin gremlins.
14 – Cook with Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is much healthier than olive oil, and is much better for you than sunflower oil, canola oil and every other vegetable oil.
Extremely high in medium chain triglycerides, coconut oil is burned off as energy more effectively than other oils, which tend to get stored in your fat reserves. You can even use it to replace butter and bread spreads.
15 – Get 30% of Daily Calories at Dinner
The myth about eating late at night causing weight gain has been busted time and time again. It is more important to ration out your daily caloric intake on a proven schedule, than it is to be concerned about when you are eating dinner.
As long as you consume 70% of your daily calories before you sit down to dinner, you don’t have to worry as much about gaining weight.
Your remaining 30% of daily calories can then be consumed at dinner, whatever time you decide to eat. Simply allow 90 minutes after eating before you go to bed, for proper digestion.
16 – Deep Breaths, Lots of Walks
Most people do not breathe deeply enough. A few minutes of walking or deep breathing helps oxygenate your brain and your body, and reduces stress.
Stress is often the cause of binge eating, so the next time you get unhealthy food cravings try some deep breathing exercises.
17 – The 80/20 Rule
This may very well be my favorite tip on this list of truly effective weight loss strategies.
Recent research shows that if you apply 80% of your weight loss efforts to nutrition and diet, and only 20% to exercise, you will effectively lose weight and keep it off. Start cooking more at home where you can monitor your salt and fat intake.
Restaurant eating usually involves large, unhealthy portions.
Make a food journal, and refer to it frequently. Pick one day to precook for the week.
Make sure you add lots of vegetables and fruits to your weekly and daily diet, and choose coconut oil as your new cooking oil. Research and think about proper nutrition practices frequently, and you will find that you do not need to exercise as often to lose weight.
18 – Big Salad with Each Meal
One great tip for losing weight that really works is to eat a large salad with every meal.
With mixed greens, celery, avocado, green onions and cherry tomatoes, you become full without taking in many calories. Combine that with a healthy salad dressing, and eat this side dish before your entree.
19 – Eat Before You Party
There is a reason why many people gain extra weight around holidays.
Spending time with friends and family making wonderful memories often involves a lot of overeating, as well as eating sweets and less healthy foods.
One notable study discovered that you are actually 2.5 times more likely to eat fried and cheesy foods, and starchy carbs, if you arrive at a party or gathering with an empty stomach. Eat a small, healthy snack or salad before a party or event to keep from overeating.
20 – Go Nuts
Aside from being great for your heart, a handful of healthy nuts is an outstanding snack choice as a replacement.
Munch on a few almonds or walnuts instead of reaching for chips or a soda, and you will fight off those problem cravings, while also benefiting from healthy fats and protein.
21- Bonus Idea
Guys, this is probably not going to work for you, but who knows. Ladies, the next time you are tempted to pop open a bag of chips or head to the freezer for some ice cream, give yourself a manicure.
Painting your nails means you have to spend the necessary time for the polish to set. This also means you won’t be munching on fat and calorie-laden snacks.
Some also report that painting their nails is a relaxing activity. This could relieve stress which can cause a false hunger signal to be sent to your brain.
Top Photo by Nicolas Gerin
Like This Article? Sciencebeta has a free 3 times weekly digest of the most interesting and intriguing articles in psychology, neuroscience, neurology, and cognitive sciences. Want to give it a try? Subscribe right here