If you're looking to shed just that last couple of pounds for a slimmer silhouette in your dream wedding gown - here are 10 ways you might be surprised to learn that can actually help with weight loss.
From those that don't make complete sense, to those that make you go "Why didn't I think of doing this sooner?"; here's one thing they have in common - they work!
1. Wear a belt
If you struggle with overeating, accessorise your outfits with a belt. Cinch it to your natural waistline and don’t adjust it through the day.
When the belt starts feeling tight at mealtimes, it’s a good hint to put down the fork.
2. Weigh yourself daily
A study by Cornell University in the US found that people who stepped on the scales daily tended to lose weight and keep it off.
The experts theorised that this habit probably worked because it reinforced weight-loss behaviours like having smaller portions of food, or being active, while making people more conscious of their decisions.
3. Eat some fat
If you don’t feel full after eating, it could be because you don’t have enough fat in your diet. Fat makes you feel full and leaves you feeling more satisfied.
Then again, you’ll want to make sure you’re limiting saturated and hydrogenated fats commonly found in processed foods and animal products and going for healthy fats like those in nuts, plants and fish such as omega-3, omega-6, and other monounsaturated varieties.
4. Drink black tea
We know that drinking water before a meal is one trick to fill up before noshing.
However, black tea may be a better option for weight loss, according to a recent study by the US-based University of California, Los Angeles.
Apparently, black tea is able to alter liver metabolism and gut bacteria to mimic that of a lean person’s, thus leading to slimmer frame over time.
5. Share selfies and goals
Make social media work for you by posting your weight-loss goals online.
According to a report published in the Journal of Interactive Marketing, those who made public commitments and shared photos and setbacks along the way were more likely to succeed because they felt more motivated and accountable for meeting their targets.
6. Use a smaller plate
Your stomach isn’t that big, so if you tend to load up your plate with food, avoid extra calories by picking a smaller plate.
Having a full, albeit smaller, plate, will also trick you into feeling more satisfied, and over time you’ll get used to these healthier portions.
7. Spice up your food
Spicy foods give you a rush when you eat them, and research has shown it also helps you feel fuller quicker.
Adding to that, capsaicin, which brings the heat, has also been proven to speed metabolism, helping you burn off some calories from your yummy meal.
8. Eat mindfully
Do you often sit alone at mealtimes browsing the news and social media on your phone?
While looking at the screen, you’re not monitoring how much you’re eating, or fully appreciating how your food tastes, smells, and looks, which are all part of helping you feel sated.
To help your waistline, save the screen time for those long bus and train commutes instead.
9. Keep a regular bedtime
Accumulating a sleep debt could make you hungrier and drive you to make unhealthier food choices, says a study by University of Chicago Medical Center in the US.
Get enough sleep so you can fight off urges to grab a candy bar.
10. Keep a food diary
One American study found that those who kept a food diary tended to lose twice as much weight as those who did not.
Further, those who were most diligent about keeping records seemed to have more success.
Your food diary need not be elaborate, even noting what you ate on your phone or a sticky note will suffice. It’s being conscious of your intake that matters most.
This article was first published in Shape Singapore.