Losing weight is hard. Whether it's 10 pounds or 100, reaching that goal comes with nothing less than stellar determination, unwavering dedication, mindful planning, and a whole lot of helpful tips. We've gathered some tricks of the trade we're pretty confident you've never heard of, and we can't wait for these to help you along your weight loss journey!
1. Strategic Mirror Placement. A study found that eating meals in front of a mirror made people more mindful of their eating habits and cut back the amount of what people ate by 1/3. It may sound strange, but strategically placing a beautiful mirror opposite side of your seat at the table may go a long way in making you more aware of the amount that's on your plate as well as how quickly you're eating. (Reader's Digest)
2. Light Your Candles. Vanilla scented candles have actually been proven to quash your sweet tooth after dinner, as the sweet smell of vanilla satisfies the craving without having to eat anything.
3. Turn Up The Lights. Think restaurants dim the lights to provide a romantic atmosphere? Yes, but that's not the only reason. Lower lighting means lower eating inhibitions, and restaurants count on this correlation to make more money. So, be mindful of this at home and turn up the lights to make better food decisions and slow your pace.
4. Seating Is Key. If you're at happy hour or dinner with friends or family, stay away from the middle of the table. What happens in the middle? All of the food action. Bread baskets, appetizers, shared desserts...it's all right there, front and center and far too easy to grab and gobble. Take a seat at the end and you'll be far less likely to overeat.
5. Check Your Allergy Meds. Don't you just hate when something beneficial to your health starts working against you? We do too. It's time to check your allergy meds, as "People on antihistamines are ten pounds heavier on average than their unmedicated counterparts, Joseph Ratliff, a postdoctoral associate in Yale School of Medicine's psychiatry department, has found." (Allure) Why? Many antihistamines block the immune system's histamines, which actually play a role in how your body breaks down fat and controls your appetite.
6. Eat Chocolate For Breakfast: For those of you who have an insatiable sweet tooth and know that it has full potential to derail your diet, go ahead and get that craving out of the way in the morning. Giving into your craving (in a smart, mindful way) actually does a better job curbing them before they absolutely sabotage your plan. Now don't take this advice out of context and crush a Snickers bar for breakfast. Instead, try any of these chocolatey recipes: Skinny Chocolate Protein Shake (119), Reese's Overnight Oats (230 calories), or enjoy our make-ahead Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bars (183 calories).
7. Cook, Serve, Pack. After the dinner servings have been dished out, immediately pack up the rest for lunch throughout the week. Once clean up is finished and the leftovers are accounted for, you'll be less likely to go back for seconds. Give yourself some time after dinner to realize that you're actually full off of one good portion.
8. Warm Up Your Water. Chris Powell, Extreme Weight Loss Makeover Edition's trainer, suggests drinking a glass of warm water before a meal in order to feel fuller quicker and help with weight loss. (PopSugar)
We don't believe in quick tricks or fads for lasting weight loss, but we do believe smarter decisions (and sometimes even hacks) can make the process a litter easier, and we're all for that! Do you have any weight loss tips that have helped you reach your goals? Share them with us in the comments below!