A lot of articles and books out there will tell you that a religious exercise regimen and a hardcore diet plan are the keys to sure weight loss. What they don’t tell you, though, is that there are little strategies you can employ to cut down and manage your weight. These tricks might sound a bit funny or strange at first, but you probably won’t be complaining once you step on the bathroom scale afterwards.
1. Take a picture. Of your food, that is. While this activity is usually reserved for food critics at a new restaurant, having a visual log of your eating history will go a long way in helping you keep tabs on what you eat. It’s harder to forget that cake you had after lunch if there’s an icing-heavy photo of it in all its high-resolution glory on your camera.
2. Fix your playlist. Believe it or not, studies have found that rock music has an unusual tendency to increase people’s appetites. Take out all the Nirvana and The Clash tracks when you’re eating, even if it means listening to Britney Spears or Miley Cyrus. It’ll be good for you (though maybe not for your reputation with the neighbors).
3. Change your plates. No, don’t go to a buffet. When you’re eating your meals at home (or anywhere else, for that matter), try to use small- to medium-sized plates. The play on proportions will trick your brain into thinking that you’re eating more than you really are. It’ll also be useful for tricking your date into thinking that he or she is eating more than you paid for.
4. Sit down! If you’re planning to ingest anything, find the nearest table and take a seat. Eating while in a standing position distracts your brain away from how much is going down your gut.
5. Use a plate. It’s more than just table manners. Eating from a plate, bowl or any other table service gives you a measurement of how much you’ve eaten so far. At any rate, it’ll sound better than just using ‘handfuls’ to measure how much you’ve eaten from the chips bag.
6. Gross yourself out. Whenever you’re feeling the urge to eat, you’ll probably need something stronger than your weight goals to resist the temptation. Whether it’s the memory of the smell of that sewer under repair in the summer heat or the roadkill you passed on the interstate, prepare a small array of things to help dissuade your stomach.
7. Focus! This is another concentration thing. When you’re eating at the table, lay the newspaper aside, keep the remote control out of sight and just focus on your eating. Getting caught between boredom and focusing entirely on what you’re chewing will give you a better idea of how much you’ve eaten. Don’t despair; you can always get that new episode of House on TiVo after you’re done eating.
8. Slow down. Like trying to watch YouTube on a dial-up connection, it takes a while for the stomach to tell your brain that you’re eating and that you’re not starving anymore. Take your time – at least 20 minutes – to finish your meal. You never know, you might end up eating less than you planned.
9. Get small clothes. Seeing clothes in your closet that are just a little too small to fit you will give you a concrete and easily measurable goal to work toward. Besides, few goals offer the same satisfaction as looking great in that form-fitting pair of denims.
10. Set a date with your thin friend. Even if he or she isn’t the type to comment on your weight, you’ll inevitably compare yourself to your more diet-conscious colleague. There’s even a good chance that you’ll get the same Caesar salad as he or she does for lunch. Talk about good influences.
Perhaps the best thing about these wacky methods is that they don’t involve any expenses (save for maybe a small plate or two). If you’re the kind who can’t afford a gym membership or doesn’t have the patience for weird diets, this is the kind of weight loss you’ll enjoy.