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10 Ways to Fool Yourself Into Losing Weight

Small lifestyle changes will help build healthy habits

Could We Split That?

When you eat out, share an entree with a dining partner. Researchers at South Carolina’s Clemson University questioned 300 chefs about how much food they dished up. Three out of four chefs thought they served regular portions, but the amount of steak and pasta they heaped on plates was two to four times more than the recommended serving sizes. The chefs based their decisions on how the food looked on the plate and what the customers expected. But if you ask the waiter to split the entree onto two plates, you may not even notice you’ve got less than that giant portion—especially if you order a hot soup first. Studies have shown people eat less when they eat soup before a meal.

Hot Stuff

Add some zing to your food with hot peppers. Capsaicin, the natural substance that gives a spicy kick to hot peppers, revs up metabolism and helps the body burn calories. In one laboratory study, researchers found capsaicin actually prevents fat cells from developing.

Ice It

Drink your water iced. “Your body has to spend energy to warm the water,” notes physicist Rebecca Thompson-Flagg of the American Physical Society, “so you’ll burn some extra calories.” How many? About 8 calories for an 8-ounce glass of water. Not all that many, but still . . .

Play Chopsticks

It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to get the message that you’ve had enough to eat. If you race through your meal, you’ll chow down extra calories while your body is figuring out whether it’s still hungry.

To slow down your eating pace, William Sears, M.D., author of Prime-Time Health, suggests using chopsticks instead of a fork. Not only will you most likely eat more slowly, you’ll also take smaller bites.

Chew on This

You’ll probably snack less if you chew gum more. When a group of men and women were offered lunch on two different days and later allowed as much snack food as they wanted, they shaved 40 calories from their afternoon treat on the day they chewed sugarless gum in the three hours between lunch and snack.

How Sweet It Isn’t

To save the calories packed in a can of sugar-sweetened soda, people often switch to diet soft drinks. But those drinks may be playing a trick on you: Some research suggests that quaffing diet drinks is linked with putting on weight. David Ludwig, M.D., of Harvard University recommends using diet drinks as a short-term transition from highly sugared beverages to minimally sweetened ones, such as a cup of coffee or tea with a teaspoon or two of sugar.

Next: This simple tool will motivate you to move more. >>>

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