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6 Sneaky Weight-Loss Tricks

Do you want to lose a few pounds – or a few dozen?

Many of us do: in fact, over 60% of Americans are overweight (and other developed nations are catching up fast). You’d think that all the diet pills, diet foods, diet books and diet plans would help. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to be doing much good.

I’ve got a long history with dieting: I was overweight as a teen, and I still have to pay close attention to my weight to stop it creeping back up. (I blame a combination of genetics, a mild medical condition, and a fondness for chocolate…)

Over the years, though, I’ve learnt about a few tricks that really help. If you give these a go, you’ll find that you can lose weight without having to eat a restrictive diet and without spending hours trying to resist the siren call of that ice-cream tub in your freezer…

#1: Keep Junk Food Out of the House

However strong your willpower might be at 8am, there’s a good chance that at 8pm, you’re going to be delving into the cookie jar.

If you’ve got high-calorie snacks and treats in the house, it’s all too easy to weaken and eat them. But if you don’t buy them in the first place, you’ll find it much easier to resist your inner Cookie Monster – you’re probably not going to be craving junk so badly that you make an extra trip to the store.

#2: Record What You Eat

Studies have shown that keeping a food diary doubles participants’ weight loss – and it even helps people lose weight without them even trying to diet.

Why are food diaries so powerful? Well, they let you see your eating habits in black and white (and they can give you a few nasty surprises). Plus, the act of recording everything you eat makes you more conscious about it – you’ll pause for a moment, rather than scoffing that candy bar without a second thought.

#3: Weigh Yourself Weekly

I always know that I’m getting into bad habits when I start avoiding weighing myself…

By stepping on the scales every week, you’ll be able to see when you’re making progress (which is really encouraging). Or, if things haven’t gone so well, you’ll find it harder to remain in denial. If you know that you’ll be weighing in each week, it’s easier to stay on track day-by-day – especially if you’re going to a group like Weight Watchers, or posting your weekly weight on Facebook.

#4: Find Exercise That You Enjoy

Maybe you think you hate exercise – but that’s almost certainly not true. What most people hate is some particular type of activity, perhaps because it brings back unpleasant memories of sports at school.

There are so many different ways to move your body and get active, and you can find something which you look forward to doing. How about walking, cycling, rowing or swimming? Or, if you’re more adventurous, fencing, martial arts, trampolining …

#5: Use a Smaller Plate

This sounds like such a silly trick that it won’t work – but it really does. If you use a smaller plate (or bowl, etc) for every meal, you’ll eat less.

Most of us tend to fill our plates – and then we eat what’s in front of us. Researchers have found that this happens even when the food isn’t particularly enjoyable: in a study run by Cornell University, students supplied with large tubs of free (but stale) popcorn ate more than those given smaller tubs.

#6: Incorporate Walking Into Your Day

Whatever your fitness level and circumstances, you can probably walk for at least a block or two. Walking is a great way to sneak in some extra exercise – you don’t need any special gear, you won’t get sweaty, and you can use your walk to accomplish something useful (like going to the grocery store).

If you work at a computer, try taking a five minute break every hour to walk around. (Over an eight hour day, that adds up to forty minutes of walking.) This won’t just help you lose weight – it’ll also help to prevent health problems associated with sitting in one position staring at a screen.

 

So, six clever little tricks to help you lose weight without putting in much effort at all. Give one – or more – of them a try, today.

Do you have any sneaky tricks to add? Share them with us in the comments.


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  • http://www.kaltechsolutions.com Kaltech Solutions

    I do follow #6 everyday since I work with computer almost all the day. Other points are really new for me. Will start implementing them very soon.

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  • http://www.aplaceinthepattern.com ariana | a place in the pattern

    Another easy tip that I have heard that works is: if you go out to eat ask the waiter to put half of it in a to go bag. Since restaurants give really large portions it will be less tempting to eat everything if it isn’t all in front of you.

    good tips, Ali.

    -ariana

  • http://www.clintcora.com Clint Cora Motivational Speaker

    These are great tips. I can add onto the walking tip – get a dog or in my case, two of them. I would feel too guilty if I didn’t get them the exercise so I’m out with them daily to make sure that none of us gains extra weight. Food intake of course is very important as well. I think we have come to a point in food technology that we can really eliminate a lot of table salt, sugar and fat in our food. Many lower fat recipes out there which won’t cause you to miss the original rich versions.

  • http://www.Mazzastick.com Justin | Mazzastick

    Losing weight is hard work at first until your mind stops resisting it. The key is to move a lot and sweat a lot.

    Most of the extra weight that we are carrying around is water weight. Get to sweating and those extra pounds will melt away.

  • Chetan

    Nice Article. When I was small never seen adv for reducing weight by drinking some tea or by taking pills / powder but now thigns have changed. People who want to make money knows that most of people are lazy and will buy such product.
    Eating Zunk food is one of the reason and not doing any kind of excercise is other.
    In India – In Village ,people have habit of eating early in evening and then go for walk so that help in digesting the food but now a days we usually eat late in night and go to sleep
    Chetan

  • http://www.flutesolomusic.com janet bordeaux

    After 14 years in the fitness business, here are the two most important things I can add to your already excellent list:
    1. Adding 10 minutes a day of exercise that makes your heart beat faster will SIGNIFICANTLY improve your fitness level (if you are sedentary).
    2. Fitness is something you do FOR yourself and BY yourself. If you are relying on someone else to get you fit, it WILL fail.

  • AH

    Exchange snacks like chocolates and cookies with fruits
    AH
    http://ahechoes.wordpress.com/

  • http://undyingsuccess.com Jussi

    Thanks for your great tips!

  • http://www.frugalbeautiful.com Shannyn

    Since moving to the city and getting rid of my car I’ve lost 5 lbs! Even when I go off the deep end and travel (which means I sit more and eat more fast food) I typically work off what I gained in a few days.

    If I don’t stock junk food and I walk to and from the grocery store, I find I can eat as much food as I want and not gain weight. I don’t buy sodas anymore since carrying a liter or cans for 3-4 blocks, up 4 flights of stairs and then having to take out the spent cans/bottles is more work than it’s worth- I still buy some “bad things” but in general, things that used to do me in like soda and ice cream don’t even get purchased!

    Some people love dramatic diets and workout plans- those don’t work for me. I find I do better when I don’t have to think or suffer through the changes I make to get healthy! Now to use smaller plates so I don’t overeat the healthy stuff! :)

  • http://theshynessproject.wordpress.com/ Brittany

    Good tips, I like that you keep it simple! Walking my neighbor’s dogs about four times a week has helped me keep fit, and playing tennis for my high school team was a really good and fun way for me to stay active. I like going swing dancing when I can too, which is a ton of fun and a great workout! :)

  • http://www.mindofallan.com/ Allan

    Great tips! I would add avoid white carbs into the list though. You’ll be amazed how much weight you can loose if you cut out white carbs out of your diet.