If you are watching your weight or trying to shed a few pounds before a special event, you get sick of hearing the same old advice of eating right and working out. While those are the basic ideas, there are more clever hacks you can use to set up your home and routine to make weight loss more mindless because we all have enough else going on right?
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1. For all those super fast eaters, use your non-dominant hand to eat.
Did you know that it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to recognize that it’s full? In that 20 minutes, we can eat hundreds of extra calories we don’t need. So, slow down your eating to keep from overeating. A study’s participants ate 30% less when eating with their non-dominant hand. (via Career Girl Daily)
2. Workout while you watch TV.
While you may not work out quite as hard, it will make cardio much more enjoyable. That means you are much more likely to stick with it, which is the key to any exercise plan. Try making a rule where you can only watch your favorite TV show at the gym to motivate yourself. You can also check out these fun TV workout challenges for your next Netflix binge. (via Eyeliner Wings & Pretty Things)
Or here is another awesome workout routine you can do while watching TV from my favorite trainer duo! The extra benefit of working out while watching TV is you don’t just burn calories from the workout but you prevent calories from snacking mindlessly which is SUPER common when watching TV. I know I am guilty of this. (via Cosmopolitan)
3. Wear fitted PJs and clothes at night.
Did you know that studies show that baggy clothes are linked to overeating because they give you the illusion that you are thinner than you are? Good excuse to get a cute new PJ camisole set, right?
4. Vanilla scented candles to curb cravings
Science shows that scents influence the brain in major ways that we don’t even fully understand yet. After all, don’t certain scents vividly remind you of specific memories? Well you can put your nose to work for weight loss. By lighting a vanilla scented candle or wearing vanilla lotion, the sweet smells may help curb your cravings. Check out the tutorial to make the French Vanilla DIY Candles pictured above via Hello Glow.
5. Adding cinnamon
Did you know that Native Americans have used cinnamon to help control blood sugar for hundreds of years? Well modern science is just now starting to study the same thing and while all the studies aren’t 100% convinced, a number of studies do in fact show positive health benefits of cinnamon to help prevent insulin resistance in diabetic patients. It is thought that cinnamon helps the body to burn glucose instead of storing it as fat and therefore helps control blood sugar and promotes weight loss. So, try some cinnamon-rich recipes like apple cinnamon oatmeal or these yummy muffins pictured above via Bren Did.
6. Sleeping in the cold (66F)
I never would have thought that losing weight in your sleep was legitimate, but there was actually a study showing that subjects sleeping in a 66 degree room did just that. Now this may sound like a piece of cake, but 66 degrees is quite cold and you’ll really have to feel the chill to see the effects.
7. Drink peppermint tea at night.
You can really drink any kind of tea you enjoy, but my favorite is peppermint tea (buy some here) because it is refreshing, curbs cravings, aids in digestion, and I can add a little bit of natural sweetener like Stevia to it if I’m really craving something sweet. (via The Indian Spot)
I have also heard really great things about Rooibos tea for weight loss which has a natural sweetness to it, so that may be worth trying out as well.
Also, if constipation may be the culprit of your stomach bloat, you may want to try out Smooth Move tea. It is SO effective that you may not want to drink the whole cup your first time if you know what I mean 😉 It is great to bring on vacation because many people have trouble being regular when traveling.
8. Eat your meals on a smaller plate.
You can actually trick your brain into feeling more full with less food when you eat your meals on a smaller plate. You know the old saying that your eyes are bigger than your stomach? Well it turns out that visuals really do play a role in how full we feel after a meal.
If food psychology like this fascinates you like it does me, I highly recommend reading Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink. Her is an incredibly interesting video about some of his studies and weight loss hacks that I highly recommend:
Several of our next weight loss hacks are from his findings…
9. Less variety = less calories.
Buffets are the enemy of weight loss. When we have endless options about what we can eat, we eat way more than we should or need. In fact, one study found that if people were given a bowl of M&M’s with 10 colors, they ate 43% more than those given a bowl with 7 colors. Shocking right?! Instead, stick to your meal planning and steer clear of the buffets while trying to lose weight.
10. Don’t destroy the evidence.
This is another fascinating study from Brian Wansink who wrote Mindless Eating. He found that when subjects ate chicken wings, they would eat more if the bones were cleared from in front of them than if they remained as evidence of how many they had eaten. So, keep candy bars or chicken wing bones in front of you as a reminder of how much you have eaten to help eat less.
11. Be careful about what you buy in bulk
The larger the bag of snack food, the more you are going to eat of it. The studies show this time and time again. So, set yourself up for success by doing a couple things: 1) Try to buy only healthy foods in bulk like fruits and vegetables. 2) If you do buy snack foods in bulk (I get the desire to save money, believe me) then pre-portion out appropriate sized servings into baggies instead of eating directly from the container.
12. Out of sight, out of mind
As described in the video above, a study showed that if you have a bowl of candy on your desk, you will eat much more than if it is just 6 feet away. Many of our food choices come from convenience. So, do yourself a favor and put out a bowl of fruit on your kitchen counter and not a jar of cookies like Khloe Kardashian.
13. Buy cute workout clothes and wear them around the house
This next trick on our list of weight loss hacks will motivate you to stay active, not overeat, and get yourself to the gym. Zella is one of my favorite more high end workout brands, but I actually get a ton of my favorites at Forever 21 believe it or not!
14. Only let yourself watch your favorite TV show at the gym
This is another one of my favorite strategies that I use on a daily basis. I tell myself that I can only watch the Bachelorette if I do it on the treadmill or elliptical at the gym. This has been a game changer for me and not only gets me to the gym, but gets me excited to do my cardio.
15. Drink more water.
Drinking water is crucial for weight loss. Sometimes we mistake thirst for hunger and it can lead to overeating. Studies show that if you drink 2 cups of water before each meal, you can cut calories by up to 30% without even trying. The biggest obstacle to doing this is that people get bored of drinking plain water. So, you can spice it up by trying out some fun flavored detox water recipes we shared recently or unsweetened iced tea.
Watch some of these and a few bonus weight loss hacks in action:
16. Weigh portions for common foods you eat for 1 day.
We all tend to WAY underestimate how much we eat when we eyeball portions. So, it can be very helpful to help “calibrate” your eyes to the correct portions of things by weighing them out with a food scale. Now I am NOT suggesting you have to do this every day because it is very cumbersome and become a bit obsessive, but if you just do it here and there to keep an eye on your portion sizes, it can be really helpful in understanding where you may be overdoing it and where those extra calories are probably coming from.
17. Exercise less. Do HIIT instead.
Next on our list of weight loss hacks, get better results in less time with high intensity interval training (HIIT). The results speak for themselves and studies back it up time and time again. This is the perfect workout for busy ladies who struggle to find time to exercise.
Or follow along with a Tone It Up (my fave!) HIIT video below. Read our full post on Tone It Up (with referral code) here.
18. Brainstorm craving cures.
With any healthy eating or weight loss plan, there are going to be times when you are REALLY struggling and just wanting to give up. For those times, brainstorm some “craving cures” that will help take your mind off your cravings and keep you on track. For instance, you can take a bath with a fun DIY bath bomb (see our post), call or FaceTime a friend, go for a walk with your dog, or read a book. Write them all out and keep handy for when you need them!
19. Add veggies to bulk up your meals.
There is a lot of research showing that we tend to consume the same volume of food each day regardless of how high or low calorie that food is. So, to hack this fact for weight loss, you can incorporate more low calorie foods like vegetables into your pasta dinner to make it look like you are eating more food, but you are actually eating less calories which means weight loss! The mushroom burger recipe is an awesome example of this because it helps you cut calories, is cheaper, and has been shown to be more flavorful than an all-beef burger patty! (via Love Grows Wild)
What to Read Next: 17 Amazing Protein Shake Recipes for Weight Loss
Which of these lazy girl weight loss hacks are you excited to try? Please share any others that work for you in the comments below.