Get off to the best possible start on your weight loss journey with these 8 surprisingly odd yet easy and effective diet and exercise tips. Consistently work one or two of them into your daily routine and you’ll see yourself burn fat off your body like butter in a hot frying pan.
1. Chew Gum
Gum is a bad-breath and weight-loss solution? A 2011 study published in the journal Appetite seems to think so.
Researchers found chewing gum for 45 minutes significantly decreased the participants’ level of hunger, appetite, and cravings.
On top of that, it also made them feel more full, helping them better control their appetites to lose weight. (Just be sure to grab the sugarless varieties so you don’t rot your teeth in the process.)
2. Clench Through Your Cravings
You might have heard that tapping your forehead can reduce cravings, but how about clenching your fists? A 2010 study published in the Journal of Consumer Research discovered those who tightened their muscles — whether it was their hand, finger, calf, or bicep — had more willpower to say no to tempting foods, making it easier to shed some pounds.
3. Get Some Vanilla Perfume
Yep, it might be possible to sniff your way to weight-loss. In one study, 200 overweight participants wore different patches — which included vanilla, lemon, a placebo patch, or no patch — to find out if any affected their ability to shift the scale.
It turns out that, after four weeks, those with the vanilla-scented patches significantly reduced their cravings for high-calorie sweets. Spritz on some vanilla-scented fragrance for a similar effect.
4. Turn Down The Lights
Here’s your chance to splurge on those dim, overhead kitchen lights you’ve been waiting. A 2012 study published in the journal Psychological Reports: Human Resources & Marketing found those who ate in environments with soft lighting and music ate fewer calories than those who ate in bright, loud environments. So turn down the lights and turn every meal into a fine-dining experience.
5. Eat Your Biggest Meal At Breakfast
Typically, Americans eat a small breakfast, medium-sized lunch, and big dinner, but one study of 50,000 adults published in the Journal of Nutrition found you should be doing the opposite, if you want to lose weight.
By eating your most calorie-heavy meal at breakfast, you’ll be able to better decrease your BMI — and, you know, enjoy more of your favorite foods right away in the morning. Healthy pancakes, anyone?
6. Focus on Quality, Not Calories
There are still plenty of people who believe losing weight is solely about limiting calories, but according to a 2018 study of more than 600 participants in JAMA, that’s not the case. Researchers found that simply focusing on the quality of their food instead of counting calories — like eating mostly whole foods and scrubbing their diets of added sugar and processed junk — can lead to more weight loss. Plus, you’ll be much happier along the way.
7. Swap Butter For Olive Oil
The next time you eat bread, swap the butter for olive oil. A 2003 study published in the International Journal of Obesity found those who made the switch ate 23 percent less bread — and less calories — overall.
So if you’re going eat bread during your next restaurant outing, this little hack can help you lose some weight. But don’t use this as an excuse to go overboard. Tempting, we know.
8. Exercise in the Morning
If you’re trying to decide whether to work out in the morning or at night, getting up early has some serious weight-loss potential. A 2019 study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found 45 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise can reduce your appetite, decreasing your motivation for food throughout the day.
Because of that, you’ll see the number on the scale drop.