Tying to shed some pounds? Here are 5 of my favorite tips to help you do just that. Happy reading!
1) Sniff to supress
Studies have shown that certain smells affect the brain’s chemistry and alter levels of seretonin (chemimal that elevates our mood and supresses appetite).
In a recent experiment, Wheeling Jesuit University researchers had volunteers sniff the scent of peppermint oil every two hours for five days straight. At the end of the study, the volunteers reported feeling significantly lower levels of hunger, and they also took in 3,485 fewer calories over the course of the week than usual.
10 appetite suppressing scents promoted by aromatherapists around the globe include:
- Green apple
- Fennel or Patchouli
Try putting a few drops of your favourite essential oils on a tissue, lighting a vanilla scented candle after dinner (to dampen your dessert cravings) or you if prefer the real thing, go ahead and sniff a banana or an apple! Enjoy!
2) Stare at cool colors or bubblegum pink!
While studies conclude that red, yellow, and orange encourage eating, cool colors like blue, green, and grey suppress the appetite. That’s probably why we don’t see many restaurants decorated in blue.
Psychology experts believe green lacks edible appeal because our subconscious links the color to mold and spoiled food. In addition, green and blue are soothing colors, so they calm the appetite. Dieting? You may want to consider flooding your kitchen and dining room with lots of blue – blue tablecloth, blue plates, blue candles, blue placemats, etc. :-D
On the other hand, while blue and green are well-known for their unappetizing effects, researchers say bubble gum pink is the best hunger-suppressing hue. If you’re really looking to use colors in your weight loss plan, keep a pink flash card in your purse or wallet and stare at it for 30 seconds before eating.
3) Buy a pedometer
How many steps should you take a day for weight loss? Apparently 10,000.
An inactive person takes 3,000 steps or less just in daily activity of moving around the house. 10,000 steps is approximately 5 miles of walking during the day, but the truth is, unless you have an active job such as a waitress or a nurse, it would be difficult to log 10,000 steps just through our daily work activities.
According to studies, a person weighing 70kg (~154lbs) can burn about 440 calories by walking 10,000 steps briskly (3.5mph). If you're trying to lose weight, you should aim to burn 600 more calories than you take in through food and drink every day. Of course, combining exercise with a healthy diet will make all the difference, but in the meantime, start counting your steps!
4) Eat more protein
Eat more?!! Yep! Hence, my ultimate favorite tip of all time. Mwahaha!
Most weight-loss plans have one thing in common – eating less. Nevertheless, new research suggests that eating more protein could boost fat loss. According to a 2005 study from Arizona State University, protein is a fabulous weight-loss aid since our bodies actually burns calories during the digestion of protein (google “thermic effect” for more info).
So how much protein should we eat for weight loss? Here’s a simple formula:
[Your weight (in lbs) x 0.36] x 2
This will give you the recommended daily amount of protein (in grams) that you should be consuming. That’s about 110 grams of protein per day for a 150-pound person or slightly more if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, super-active, or elderly. Here are some protein-rich options for you, happy eating!
5) Brush your teeth after every meal
While brushing your teeth 50 times a day is not safe for your tooth enamel, it is healthy to brush your teeth after every meal. That clean, minty freshness will serve as a cue to your body and brain that mealtime is over, not to mention inhibit the urge to snack between meals.
Just like sniffing peppermint in item #1 above, mint flavor has been known to be an appetite suppressant. Try it!