Maybe you’ve tried it all—Jenny Craig, the Keto diet, Paleo, intermittent fasting, Atkins; you name it. And maybe you’ve lost some weight with one or more of these methods. Hooray! But then you gained it all back, plus some. Discouraging, right?
So maybe it’s time to try some outside-of-the-box ideas that have more to do with your lifestyle than with the actual food you and your family eat. If you’re up for some new and different weight-loss tips, keep reading. These are suggestions for weight-loss success that you may never have heard before.
Tip #1: Get more sleep.Sounds almost silly, doesn’t it? It’s not. The truth is, people who do not sleep well are at higher risk for weight gain. There is a solid connection between your weight and how much sleep you get. This is because sleep regulates the hormones that govern your sense of being hungry and your feeling of being full after you eat. These two hormones are ghrelin and leptin.
Ghrelin is the hormone that regulates hunger. It’s the inner trigger that lets you know it’s time to eat something. Leptin is your satiety hormone, the one that sends the “you are full, so stop eating” signal. When you don’t get enough sleep, these hormones sabotage your efforts to lose weight. The hormone that makes you feel hungry, ghrelin, increases, while leptin, the hormone that tells you you’re full, decreases. Leptin also regulates carbohydrate metabolism. Studies have found that having a low leptin level causes people to crave carbohydrates, regardless of the amount of calories they consume. Thus, people who don’t sleep well often crave high-calorie, high-carb foods. Not exactly a prescription for weight loss!
You see the problem? Solution for the whole family: get more sleep!
Tip #2: Open the blinds as soon as you get out of bed. (What?) At first glance, this idea also seems a bit sketchy, but it, too, has some science behind it. Studies show that people who get direct exposure to sunlight in the morning, between 8 a.m. and noon, reduce their risk of weight gain, regardless of how much they eat. Researchers think it’s because the morning sun helps synchronize your metabolism, so you burn fat more efficiently.
This idea is so simple to implement, why not make it a habit and see what happens? What have you got to lose? Oh, right, a few pounds….
Tip #3: Do your grocery shopping online. But why, you wonder. Because when you buy food online, you’re more likely to use your head and stock your pantry with healthy foods. When you shop online, the food is virtual instead of face-to-face with you, so it’s easier to avoid the temptation to buy junk food. If you don’t buy it, you can’t eat it. (You’ll be doing your family a favor, too.)
Tip #4: Order off the kids’ menu. Whenever you dine out or stop by a restaurant for takeout food or place an order for delivery to your home, you subject yourself to portion distortion—those oversized restaurant portions that entice you to eat way more than you need. Ordering off the kids’ menu solves this problem. Many restaurants won’t allow adults to order from the kids’ menu when you are dining in the restaurant. But when you’re placing a takeout order or ordering online, there’s no way to tell who the food is for—so order like a kid!
Tip #5: Pick restaurants by their music. Okay, I admit this one may actually be a little sketchy, but, once again, there is some research behind this idea. According to that research, restaurants that play loud rock, pop, or heavy metal music create a hectic dining atmosphere that compels people to eat quickly. A study by researchers at Cornell University found that even though people who dine in restaurants with lighter music linger at the table longer, they actually eat less food. So, could dining in places with a relaxing musical ambiance help you and your family resist “portion distortion”? Why not do your own research on this one and see if it makes a difference?