Aside from the typical weight loss strategies such as staying hydrated, eating more vegetables, and exercising regularly, there are alternative approaches you can take to achieve your weight loss goals.
For example, you may want to consider increasing your vitamin D intake, working out before eating anything, or having a sweet breakfast.
While these methods may seem unconventional, they can still help you shed some pounds and ultimately get you closer to your desired weight.
1. Keep Your Eating Window Small
If you typically wake up early and stay up late, there’s probably something you’re consistently doing throughout that entire time: eating.
Your eating window is bigger, so the amount of calories you take in during the day is, too — and that’s why it’s worth keeping that window as small as possible.
What’s more, a recent study found that only eating within a 8- to 9-hour window — even without restricting your calories — was an effective way to lose weight and prevent obesity.
2. Take Vitamin D
Vitamin D doesn’t just help your body absorb calcium and regulate your immune system — it could also help you lose weight.
In a 2019 study out of The Endocrine Society, researchers found that adding vitamin D to a reduced-calorie diet might help you shed more pounds.
In addition, another study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that vitamin D did a lot of good for burning body fat. Hello, double weight-loss whammy.
3. Eat on Blue Plates
Feeling blue? That’s a good thing for your weight — well, when it comes to your dinnerware.
In one recent study, researchers found those who ate in a blue room ate 33 percent less. Why? According to one doc, it has to do with how it alters the look of your meal — which is exactly why you should snag some blue plates, stat.
Blue lights make food look less appealing, while warmer colors, especially yellow, have the opposite effect.
4. Try Carb Backloading
Carb backloading — when you eat all your carbs later in the day — is becoming a buzzy trend in the health space, and it could actually help you lose weight.
It might seem surprising to load up on carbs at the end of the day opposed to in the beginning, but one registered dietitian said it can help you burn fat faster and more effectively.
The theory of carb backloading is based on the fact that insulin sensitivity is higher earlier in the day, which promotes carbohydrate absorption into your muscles and fat tissue.
Carb backloading requires you to eat all your carbs later in the day to promote using fat for fuel during the day and suggests you also work out in the evening to promote better carb absorption into your muscles. And, in a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, participants did indeed lose weight using the method. Just, unfortunately, not by eating spaghetti.
5. Workout on an Empty Stomach
If you’re the type of person who likes to eat a full breakfast before hitting the gym, you might want to change up your eating schedule. According to a study published in the American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism, researchers found getting your sweat on with an empty stomach could get rid of excess fat cells. So, give it a try: your healthy bowl of oatmeal can wait.
6. Start Weightlifting
Weightlifting isn’t going to make you look bulky — that’s just a myth. Something it can do, though?
Help you lose weight — and super effectively. In a 2020 study published in the journal Obesity, researchers found pumping some iron (along with consuming less food!) helped the participants lose more weight.
And in comparison to the participants who walked as their form of exercise or didn’t exercise at all, the weightlifters dropped more fat and gained more muscle.
7. Eat Dessert For Breakfast
Having dessert for breakfast seems like a dream come true. You’re not dreaming, though: A 2012 study from Tel Aviv University found eating a big, 600-calorie breakfast that included a dessert — like the three Cs: cookies, cake, and chocolate — lost 40 pounds more than the group that avoided sweets.
It might seem backwards, but the researchers said those who had dessert first-thing were able to naturally burn off more of those extra calories throughout the day, and they were also better able to control their cravings later on.
8. Eat Chocolate Regularly
Speaking of sweets, if you’re going to choose something for dessert, it should probably be chocolate. A 2019 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found those who regularly ate chocolate were thinner than those who ate it less often.
Just make sure what you’re eating is the antioxidant-packed dark variety of 70-percent cocoa rating or higher.
9. Drink a Cup or Two of Coffee
Coffee doesn’t just energize you — it can also help you shed some unwanted pounds. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the caffeine in the morning beverage can boost your metabolic rate for hours, helping you burn more fat.
Going overboard won’t do you any good, though, and can even have adverse effects on your heart health: stick to the recommended 400 mg of caffeine per day.
10. Stop Peeling Your Food
Throw away your peeler. It might actually be limiting your true weight-loss potential — at least when it comes to apples.
In a 2021 study, researchers found ursolic acid — a natural substance in apple peels — could play a role in preventing obesity, as well as increasing muscle and brown fat, which are both known as being major calorie-burners.
11. Don’t Watch Commercials
Step far away from the TV — particularly during commercials. All the ads for high-calorie foods and snacks might not seem like they’re doing any harm, but researchers found that they can activate your brain, making you crave the sweet or fatty foods you see on your screen. And, those signals could end up making you put unhealthy foods on your own plate.
12. Get Some Spinach Extract
If you’re not a spinach fan, there’s still a case for sneaking it in powder-form into your food. A study published by the University of Colorado found adding just 5 grams of the supplement into your diet each day — whether that’s with water or hidden in your smoothie — could reduce your cravings for all things sweet and fatty by 95 percent. Clearly Popeye knew what’s up.