Most hot weight loss tips have been circulating for years at this point, proving not so 'hot' after all. And everyone knows that the key to losing weight ultimately comes down to diet and exercise, burning more calories than you consume.
But as it turns out, there are still a few lesser-known tips and tricks that can help you shed those pounds; they just might not be the ones shouting at you from the tabloids in the checkout line or hawked on Instagram by your favorite influencer.
Check out these secret tips and try them for yourself!
Spicy food is your friend.
Turn up the heat to shed pounds—and we're not talking about hot yoga. Consuming spicy foods is a great way to lose weight.
Not only are hot peppers great for your metabolism, but the hidden benefit is that eating spicy food tends to make you eat slowly and mindfully. As James Hill, PhD, past president of the American Society for Nutrition told Health, "Americans eat too fast." His advice is to eat slower so your body recognizes when it's full, but sometimes that's easier said than done. "Eating slower is a good weight loss strategy, and making food spicier is an easy way to do it."
Sleep matters more than you may think.
We all get a little lax when it comes to sleep schedules (especially when Game of Thrones is streaming), but this could be affecting your weight more than you'd expect.
Not only does poor sleep mean poor recovery from all those fat-burning workouts you're trying, but "Lack of sleep also increases hunger and food cravings, and may make some people fall off the wagon," Kyla Ford tells Bodybuilding. Not only that, but getting poor sleep impedes the secretion of growth hormones—one of the most powerful fat loss hormones your body has to offer.
Don't be afraid of the f-word: fasting.
"Fasting" may be an anxiety-inducing buzzword in the health and wellness world, but there's mounting evidence that safe, controlled periods of fasting can actually help you on your fitness journey. The 16/8 plan, which involves fasting for 16 hours (largely while you're asleep!) and eating for eight, has been described by certified dietitian Leslie Langevin, MS, RD, CD as "a safer version" of fasting that can be effective at providing "the boost of weight loss success you need" to get things back on track. It's relatively low-stress as fasting goes; in fact, for many, the 16/8 plan can often be as simple as skipping breakfast.
Make the scale part of your routine.
Scales can't tell you everything about your level of fitness; in fact, as devices go, they're pretty useless for assessing health. But one study found that participants who weighed themselves daily as part of a morning routine were significantly better at losing weight—and keeping the weight off—than their scale-fearing friends.
Whether or not this subtle switch to your daily routine works for you, it's worth a try. It could be the easiest adjustment you make!