10 Strange Diet Hacks That Might Actually Work

diet hacks that actually work

Every day a crazy new diet trend pops up. The kind that make you think who the hell came up with that idea?! Luckily, most of those trends are out just as quick as they come in, but a few we wish would go away quicker.

But here are 10 strange diet hacks that have stuck around for awhile – and they might just be crazy enough to work. Even the researchers agree there is something behind them.

Maybe they’ll work for you!

10 Strange Diet Hacks That Might Actually Work

1. Eat dessert first thing in the morning.

Israeli researchers found that “obese participants who ate a breakfast high in protein and carbohydrates that included a dessert were better able to stick to their diet and keep the pounds off longer than participants who ate a low-carb, low-calorie breakfast that did not include sweets.”

Instead of fantasizing about dessert all day, you enjoy it first thing in the morning. Then you can eliminate any obsessive thoughts about whether or not you’ll get dessert later.

2. Eat 1 cup of raw vegetables before every meal meal

The trick behind this: if you aren’t hungry enough for raw veggies, you shouldn’t be eating anything else either. If you started each meal with raw veggies, you cut out the chance for emotional eating – since very few of us reach for the celery when we’re sad. Not to mention, you fill your belly with plenty of healthy appetizers. 

3. Eat across from a mirror

One study found that if you sit across from a mirror and see yourself eating, you will become more aware about what you are eating. In one study, the folks dining while looking at themselves ate about 1/3 less food than the folks without the mirror view.

Plus this diet hack can extend beyond just the table – putting a mirror on your fridge can force you to be more conscious about what food you pull out when you’re hungry.

4. Only eat candy that comes in wrappers 

When people eat candy, they consistently eat about 30% less if they have to unwrap it. Maybe we really are just that lazy that we get tired of having to work for our food! But the more likely rational is that unwarpping your food requires time. And that additional few seconds (over the course of your entire candy session) helps your brain register that your stomach is satisfied and you can stop eating.

This also works for other un-wrappable foods – like pistachios!

5. Surround yourself with blue 

Now there’s a little debate on what color helps suppress your appetite the best, but most of the research points to the color blue (although red plates seem to help folks become more aware of how much food they are eating).

People who ate their meals in a room painted blue, off blue plates or under bluish lighting ate about 33% less food than those in other colored areas. The color blue evidently makes food less appealing, giving you cause to stop dining sooner.

6. Turn the lights down

Low lighting and soft music aren’t just for fancy restaurants anymore. Eating under this kind of setting can actually encourage you to eat slower and focus more on your food.   Harsh lighting or loud music can unconsciously increase your stress and your internal pace, setting you up to chew fast and down everything on your plate quick!

But the slow tunes and soft lights do the opposite – they unconsciously tell you to slow down, chew leisurely and focus on the food. And the slower you eat, the easier it is for your brain to recognize satiety.

7. Only eat from the ends of the table.

Now if you aren’t the head of your family, it might be tricky to steal that spot. But Stephen Gullo, author of the Thin Commandments Diet, found that people who eat at the ends of the table eat far fewer than those seated right at the middle. The people at the ends have less access to reach for seconds or grab the sharing bowls again, while those in the middle could stick their fork right in if they wanted.

8. Smell peppermint

Peppermint has plenty of medicinal properties – like improving teeth, strengthening nails, relieving pain, and improving your immune system – but it can also help with your diet.

Researchers found that those who drank peppermint tea or even smelled a peppermint candle were able to reduce their feelings of hunger, fight cravings and reduce their overall intake of food. 

9. Eat with your non-dominant hand

There was a study done in the movie theater: those eating popcorn with their non-dominant hand ate significantly less popcorn than those snacking normally. Now, we think this could carry over into any eating, not just during your favorite flicks.

Using your non-dominant hand requires focused attention and time. Not only can the frustration of eating with the so called ‘wrong hand’ make you call it quits early on your dinner, but the extended time it takes to eat helps your brain register that you’re full, even if there is still food on your plate.

10. Never eat in loose clothing

There’s a reason people who are overweight are drawn to loose fitting clothing – they allows you to take your mind off your appearance or your expanding waistline.

Dieters who ate in only loose fitting clothing were 5x more likely to overeat, especially at night. But those who stuck with the form fitting clothes remained conscious of their goal to shed weight and made more mindful choices on the types and amounts of food they had.

diet hacks that might actually work

Now even with the research to back up these claims, there is no guarantee any of these hacks will work. And just implementing these will not guarantee you’ll shed weight. You’ve first got to make sure to eat the right kinds of foods, then you can try out a few hacks for some bonus points.

But if you want one more bonus strategy, one to help make your diet stick for the long run, check out this article:

Make Your Diet Stick: Lessons From a Snicker’s Bar


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