Little-Known Weight Loss Tricks That Totally Work, Say Experts
Did you know that the humble Oreo can actually be your new weight loss ally? Or that shifting your dinner time back, instead of forward, may actually help you shed a few pounds over time? Or what about the fact that you don't actually need to ditch all of your favorite sweets in order to lose weight?
Well, it's all true—according to several top registered dietitians and weight loss experts we spoke to. If you're curious to know some of the totally random, hard-to-believe, and little-known weight loss tricks are that can help you reach your goals, read on, because we've listed them right here. And for more great weight loss advice, don't miss this list of Sneaky Weight Loss Tricks That Totally Work.
Bookend Your (Healthy!) Meals with Oreos
"Hop aboard the Oreo train," advises Jeff Blackman, a weight loss psychologist. "Put anything between two Oreos and you can turn the most boring foods into a treat to remember."
Here's how it works: If you're hungry for your favorite unhealthy foods so much that you're dreading a lean, healthy dinner, he advises you to have a single Oreo before the meal and then a second Oreo after the meal. "The last thing you'll remember from your meal is having eaten the Oreo and you'll feel full," he says.
If you're trying hard to lose weight, we don't suggest you do this every meal or even every day, of course. After all, a single Oreo contains 55 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, and 5 grams of sugar—which isn't ideal. But in moderation, this is a handy hack we'd recommend. And if you're in the market for another hack, see The One Weight Loss Trick You Should Be Doing.
Add a Dash of Turmeric
"Turmeric shouldn't be strictly relied upon for weight loss, but can make an excellent addition to an existing weight loss regimen," says Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD. "This is primarily due to turmeric's anti-inflammatory capabilities. Reducing inflammation in the body has an almost direct impact on preventing or reducing obesity and overall body weight. By cutting down inflammation in the body, your metabolism is better able to burn calories at an efficient rate." For more on this magical superfood spice, here is everything you need to know about turmeric.
Eat Dinner an Hour Later
Want to lose weight? "Push your dinner so you're eating an hour later than usual!" says Brian Kiselstein, an ISSA and NESTA certified fitness professional. "By doing this, you'll cut back on snacking and eliminate your desire to eat junk food in the evenings."
In other words, if you move back your dinner, you'll be less tempted to snack after dinner. "I've asked clients to push the time of their dinner so they are eating later and have had good feedback on how it can eliminate snacking," says Kiselstein. "I think it's a great way to assist yourself in losing weight."
Identify Your True Hunger
"True hunger surfaces as physical symptoms—your stomach growling, a lack of energy, or feeling hangry," says Kayla Girgen, RD, LD, a clinical dietitian. Cravings, on the other hand, are triggered by emotions such as loneliness, stress, and happiness, as well as environmental cues like social events or the smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.
"Emotional and environmental triggers encourage us to eat outside of true hunger which, over time, can lead to weight gain," she says. "Next time you find yourself reaching for a co-workers candy dish, pause and check for true hunger first. If physical hunger signs are absent, wait an hour to check back in with yourself." For more great weight loss advice, see The Foods That Drive the Most Weight Loss for Women, According to a New Study.
Avoid the Wrong Smoothie
"Liquid calories always get folks," says Caroline Susie, RD, LD. "I had a client doing an extreme workout each morning. She was busting her tail on exercise, watching her portions, and eating healthy, but the scale wasn't moving. Upon further discussion, I discovered a post-workout habit: she was stopping and getting a smoothie after every workout! After learning of her order, I found out that she was adding between 400 and 600 calories to her day! This was outside of her meals and snacks, so it was obviously hindering her results."
If this sounds like you, know that you may have discovered what's holding you back. "This was a very easy change for her to make," says Susie. "Cut the smoothie! Watch out for other liquid calories like juice, wine, and cocktails. They can add up so fast!"
Embrace the Right Sweets
"For myself and my clients, making healthier sweet treats helps a ton," says Alyssa Hixenbaugh, CNC, a certified nutrition consultant. "I make muffins, cookies, and bread with whole-food ingredients to keep my sweet tooth satisfied. They are lower in calories and fat and the ingredients are controlled. Rather than having a cheat day, have healthier sweet options around to stay satisfied." For some great healthy sweet options you can buy, check out this list of 25 Amazing Low-Cal Desserts!
Recreate Healthy Twists on Your Favorite Foods
"Think about the food you love," says Jinan Banna, Ph.D, RD, CDN, a professor of nutrition at The University of Hawaii at Manoa. "Think about what you really like to eat and see if you can find ways to consume a healthier version of it. This works because you need to enjoy your diet to sustain the changes you will make for weight loss."
Consuming healthier versions of foods should mean making sure you're choosing foods with enough of the essential nutrients while not exceeding your calorie limits. "For example, if you love ice cream, you can try blending your own simple ice cream using banana, almond milk, peanut butter and ice," says Banna. And for more top-notch advice, don't miss the 200 Greatest Weight Loss Tips Ever!