Pimp your waterNot only does drinking cold water help you burn more calories, it can also suppress appetite (studies have shown that obese adults who drank water before meals lost 44% more weight than those who didn’t).
Try making water into a ‘treat’ – that way you’re more likely to drink more of it.
Jill Gardner, weight loss expert at website hateitchangeit.co.uk , says: “Make a homemade non-alcoholic ‘Pimms’. Freeze some fresh orange slices and add to sparkling or plain water.
“Then add a sprig of mint, a couple of strawberries, sliced cucumber and serve in a tall glass with a stirrer.”
Sip your chocolate
If you’re craving chocolate and are pretty likely to scoff the whole bar should you succumb, give yourself the taste without the calories and fat – in a cup.
“Add a large tablespoon of organic cocoa powder into a mug and mix into a paste with small amount of water or milk,” says Jill. “Top up with hot water and sweeten with honey or stevia. Cocoa powder is high in antioxidants and flavonoids which help boost blood flow and energy plus help combat cravings.”
When it comes to the crunch
If you’re in the habit of eating a bag of crisps with your sandwich every lunchtime, try substituting with something else crunchy instead. It’s often the crunch we’re craving, not the crisps. Try a crunchy baguette, some celery or finish off lunch with a crispy fresh apple or pear, suggests Jill.
Call your snack a meal
A State University of New York study found people who ate snacks they associated with ‘meals’ – a turkey and cheese wrap, for example – ate 87% less for dinner than those who snacked on the same foods but labelled them as ‘snacks’.
“So replace snacky foods with mini-meals,” says Jill. “Swap a bag of crisps (150 calories) for a hard boiled egg on a bed of fresh baby spinach (also 150 calories) for example.”
A London hospital study found that people who inhaled the scent of a vanilla patch lost an average 4.5 pounds in four weeks and managed to cut their chocolate consumption in half. Carry a bottle of pure vanilla extract or vanilla essential oil with you and inhale it for at least 30 seconds whenever a craving strikes.
Go small with spoons
Weight loss surgeon Dr Sally Norton ( vavistalife.com ) says: “Using smaller spoons, plates and cups to trick your body into thinking you’re getting more than you actually are is a great way to help reduce portions.”
Slow it down
“It takes our body about 20 minutes to register we are full, so eating quickly means we may eat much more than we need before the body has a chance to register it’s had enough,” says Dr Norton.
Eat less speedily by using chopsticks or your non-dominant hand.
Do your teeth after dinner
That way you’re giving your body a psychological cue that you’re not going to eat any more – because brushing your teeth is usually the last thing you do before going to bed.