If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that eating tasty food can be one hell of an experience. It can improve your mood, give you the energy you need to go through another hard day at work, and it can even be an integral part of a romantic evening. Salty, fatty and sugary foods taste incredibly good to us, because these types of foods are rare finds in nature and are necessary for us to keep functioning properly. Over time we have developed mechanisms that keep us hooked on calorie dense foods, and our bodies tend to favor fat build up over muscle synthesis, because this enables us to survive long periods with minimal resources available.
Combine these natural traits with the fact that our modern lifestyle requires us to move and exert force very little in our daily lives and you have the perfect recipe for incredible fat gain and a number of health problems. Most of us can’t hope to push our bodies even close to the point our ancestors would push them in terms of physical exertion, as we don’t actually need to put in a lot of effort to survive, so we need every little bit of help we can get to keep ourselves fit.
With this in mind, here are some unusual weight loss tactics that don’t require too much energy, but actually add up and make a big difference in the grand scheme of thing.
1. Keep your home squeaky clean
Let’s face it, most people should be putting a little bit of extra effort into home maintenance. In order to keep your home impeccably clean you’ll need to vacuum at least every other day, wash the dishes a couple of times a day, do some dusting every day, as well as wash and iron your clothes regularly. All this requires quite a bit of effort, which can actually benefit you in several ways.
When you clean the house you are actually spending time on your feet and applying a certain amount of force, which will help you burn a decent amount of calories. You are also less likely to think of food or have random snacks when you are preoccupied with a number of household chores.
2. Don’t heat up or cool down your house too much
The body burns calories to keep warm or to cool when the temperature of our surroundings is not optimal. If you keep reaching for the AC at the first sight of temperature change, e.g. turning on the heat drastically in winter or making your room chilly in the middle of the summer, you are actually doing yourself a disservice. All it takes to boost your weight loss is to focus on saving energy on heating, and by doing so you will make your body work on keeping the core temperature stable and will be able to burn some extra calories with no effort at all.
3. Spice up your meals
It’s true that hot peppers can boost metabolism, although not to a great extent. The biggest weight loss benefit that you can get from spicy food is the fact that it makes us eat slower and less food overall. You can’t just shovel the food from the plate to your mouth quickly, as you will need to catch a breath and have a drink, which means you’ll be cutting some calories from your meal.
4. Serve food on red-colored dishes
Red color is associated with stopping and danger. If we serve food on red plates we are reminded that we are on a diet and our brain is subconsciously being told that we are engaging in something that isn’t right, making us less likely to overeat. Combine this with smaller plate sizes and you have a more effective way of portion control.
5. Eat bite-sized snacks at work
This one might seem counter-intuitive. As we all know, when you have a bunch of small snacks in front of you, it’s very easy to eat a whole lot without even realizing just how much we’ve eaten. However, a bag of bite-sized snacks can be easily shared with colleagues at work, so you end up eating less overall simply because others dip in and eat a good portion of the food. The trick is to force yourself to share it openly and offer it to others, treating the food as more of a snack that you can’t handle alone instead of a big meal.
6. Go shopping with some friends
One of the biggest problems people have when losing weight is to find the time and motivation to engage in physical activities that help burn off calories. Well, a very low effort form of physical, like walking, done for a couple of hours can burn a decent amount of calories, so you don’t have to worry about feeling tired or sore. If you mask it with a fun activity, e.g. shopping, you can end up walking around shops, going up and down stairs, picking things up and carrying bags for 2-3 hours straight without even noticing it. Just don’t sit down for a burger or a cup of coffee with tons of cream and sugar afterwards – have a salad or some fruit as a snack.
7. Work on your oral hygiene
Brushing your teeth right after a meal signals that eating time is over and it leaves that strong minty taste in the mouth that makes everything taste weird. You won’t want to eat anything more for at least 10-20 minutes after brushing your teeth, i.e. until the minty taste subsides, and you can find something else you can occupy yourself with during this time. You’ll have clean teeth and you’ll avoid grabbing a few cheat snacks after a meal, so it’s a great habit to adopt.
8. Read a book instead of watching TV
We eat while watching TV, but if your hands are busy with a book and your mind engaged, you won’t get a chance to eat. A good book, particularly one you’ve bought recently is not something you’ll want to leave chocolate smudge marks on, and it requires a lot more focus than watching a movie and engages the brain more, so you’ll forget about the hunger and you’ll have your hands occupied.
9. Have traditional family meals
Eating with a family means waiting for a big meal to get ready (the designated cook will have your head if you try to fill up on snacks before lunch) and you eat more slowly as you engage in conversation and try to look a bit classier. Now, some traditional family meals will have several courses and a whole lot of food and drink that you are expected to gorge on.
However, unless it’s a big holiday dinner you can try something a bit different and prepare a tasty healthy meal for the whole family. This way you won’t be tempted to break your diet because your family is eating junk food in front of you, you’ll eat slower and avoid overeating, and you will learn some great recipes that make healthy food actually taste good.
10. Dress up for lunch and dinner, even if you are eating alone at home
Loose fitting sweatpants make you feel more relaxed and allow you to fill up more, while tighter-fitting jeans make it more formal and won’t allow you to eat as much as you would. When you feel more formal you will be more likely to follow the rules and do what is expected of you, i.e. follow your diet, and the same goes for having a tidy room. Also, you can’t really fill up too much when your stomach is pressing against the tight jeans and belt. You will also try to eat a bit slower and avoid putting too many condiments on the food, as you will want to avoid staining your good clothes.
When all is said and done, we realize that going for healthier food options, controlling our caloric intake and striving to burn off more calories through physical activity are the things that will get you good results on a weight loss program. However, no one said that you can’t make things easier, more fun or even trick yourself into doing all the right things without making it seem like too much hard work. With these great weight loss tips, you will be able to stay motivated and shed some serious weight over time, so go ahead and try them out.