If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you know it can be a struggle. Counting calories, crazy diets, grueling exercise, pills, potions — we’ve tried it all with little to no success. But what if incorporating one or two rather unconventional tactics could kick up your success rate? Even though there is no magic bullet or fast fix, here are seven suggestions that can give the extra edge you need to finally realize your weight loss goals.
1. Cook Your Own Food
One of the most important steps to losing weight is to ditch the highly processed food. Even diet meals contain a plethora of chemicals and unhealthy ingredients that can quickly sabotage your best efforts. By switching to grass-fed meats, fresh eggs from pastured chickens and organic vegetables, you can begin to rid your body of all the extra stuff it doesn’t recognize as food. Then your body can begin to use what you consume for its original intended purpose — fuel. Even the process of preparing your own meals can help you shed calories. Standing on your feet while performing the tasks necessary to cook a meal burns a lot more calories than throwing something into the microwave.
2. Adopt a Mantra
The hardest part of losing weight is the mental aspect. Mantras can help keep you positive and quiet your negative self-talk. Find a mantra you can adopt to help stick with your goals. It should be short enough to remember and something that speaks directly to you. Repeat your mantra frequently and post it all over your home and office with sticky notes or decorative little cards. Before you know it, your old negative thoughts and beliefs will be replaced with a new thought pattern that leads you to success.
3. Sniff Your Way to Success
A 2012 study posted in Flavour stated that spicy, bold foods with strong aromas actually make you take smaller bites. Other studies have shown that smelling bananas, green apples, vanilla or peppermint when hungry helps curb appetite and increase weight loss. Grapefruit, a well-known favorite of dieters, can provide an added boost if you give it a good sniff before you consume it. According to researchers at Osaka University in Japan, letting rats inhale the aroma of grapefruit oil at 15 minute intervals both curbed their appetite and lowered their weight.
4. Get a Lymph Massage
According to research, approximately 80 percent of women who are overweight have lazy or sluggish lymphatic systems. A lymph massage can push up to 78% of stagnant lymph back into circulation, which results in increased lymph flow and aids weight loss. As added bonuses, cleansing the lymphatic system can also aid in the absorption of nutrients, which decreases cravings and increase metabolism to burn more calories and increase energy.
5. Use Blue to Curb the Cravings
Blue foods rarely occur in nature, so our appetite response does not automatically react to them. When humans foraged for food, the colors blue, black and purple were indications of a potentially toxic food source. This primal built-in response makes blue the perfect appetite suppressant. Eating on blue plates or putting a blue light in your refrigerator will help curb tendencies to overeat and help you regain control. If you’re still having problems, you can try dying your food blue for an extra shot of willpower.
6. Avoid White Foods
When you’re trying to lose weight, it can be hard to know what to eat and what not to eat. An easy way to cut out many calorie-laden, nutrition-depleted foods is to avoid white foods. White flour, white sugar, white salt and white rice are all highly processed foods that add nothing beneficial to your diet and can lead to type-2 diabetes. If you don’t develop diabetes, fluctuations in your glucose levels can be a big factor in your inability to shed those extra pounds.
7. Brush Your Teeth After Meals
If you’ve ever tried to drink a glass of orange juice after brushing your teeth, you know it doesn’t taste too good. Making a rule to brush your teeth right after you eat discourages additional eating because food doesn’t taste as good, or because you simply don’t want to have to brush them again. It also sends a signal to your brain that mealtime is over.
Some of the above tactics might seem a little odd, but you have nothing to lose — except for maybe a few pounds. Give one or two of my suggestions a try. You might discover an elusive element that will work for you!
Jennifer Landis is a 27-year-old healthy living blogger who loves yoga, running, and dancing it out with her toddler! You can find more from Jennifer at her blog, Mindfulness Mama, or by following her on Twitter: @jenniferelandis.