As a follow-up to the popular How to Lose Weight: 6 Methods You Haven’t Tried post, I started looking for even more unusual ways to lose weight. Granted, these are all small changes, but each have one thing in common: They will make you more cognizant of when and what you are eating, and heightened awareness means weight loss. Here are five unusual methods I’ve found:
1. Make mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes.
Although skinned potatoes only have 57 calories per cup, cauliflower has just 28 (CalorieCount.com). Still, there’s a better reason than 30 calories: Cauliflower has a much lower glycemic index than potatoes, keeping blood sugar more stable and you feeling fuller for longer. Plus, mashed cauliflower is super delicious and hard to tell from mashed potatoes! Simply steam some fresh or frozen cauliflower in the microwave. Then spray the cauliflower with butter substitute, add a little nonfat half-and-half substitute, and puree in a food processor or blender. Still craving that sour cream sensation? Try yogurt!
2. Use a bigger fork.
A study published in the Journal of Consumer Research shows that restaurant-goers who eat with forks that are 20% bigger than a normal fork eat less food. There are a few explanations for this. Discomfort, for one, could make you more inclined to subconsciously weigh the benefits of eating versus the detriments of holding such a heavy utensil for so long. Another possible explanation? When people use small forks to eat, they feel like they are not making much progress in their meal (Time).
3. Eat using the wrong hand.
Research published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin shows that eating with your non-dominant hand decreases food consumption. There are many proposed reasons for this, but I again think it comes down to making yourself aware that you are eating. The more obstacles you place between yourself and eating, the less inclined you are to continue when you are full.
4. Eat your food over a blue placemat.
Color psychologists state that if people were to prepare and eat their meals on blue plates, or keep a blue light in their fridge, they would lose their appetite. According to writer Abby Willow of Yahoo!, blue is just plain a color of danger, way back to the days of our ancestors, and visualizing the color blue today just doesn’t bring up any food at all. Not eating at home? Close your eyes briefly and visualize the color blue!
5. Substitute as many high-glycemic index foods with low-glycemic index (GI) foods as possible.
A quick rule of thumb: The more processed the food, the higher its GI; the higher a food’s fiber content, the lower its GI. So choose foods with less processing and high fiber, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Still lost? Consult a glycemic index table; I recommend the one from SouthBeach Diet Plan.com.
Don’t let yourself fall victim to mindless eating. Use a blue placemat, heavy utensils, and eat using the wrong hand. And if you are truly hungry, make yourself full on as few calories as possible by selecting low-glycemic index foods – that is, those that have little or no processing and are high in fiber.
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