11 Bizarre Weight Loss Tricks That Work

You may look crazy doing these things to lose weight, but they could actually work for you.

By Reader's Digest Editors
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    Sniff a banana, apple, or peppermint.

    You might feel silly, but it works. When Dr Alan R. Hirsch of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago tried this with 3,000 volunteers, he found that the more frequently people sniffed, the less hungry they were and the more weight they lost—an average of 30 pounds each. One theory is that sniffing the food tricks the brain into thinking you're actually eating it.

    Eat a bigger breakfast than dinner.

    According to the physicians of The Doctors, in a recent study one group of obese women consumed 700 calories at breakfast, 500 at lunch, and 200 at dinner. Another group ate the same foods but had 200 calories in the a.m. and 700 at night. After 13 months, the big-breakfast eaters shed 18 pounds, while the big-dinner eaters lost only about seven.

    Jog for junk mail.

    Turn clutter into a challenge: For every piece of junk mail you pull from the mailbox each day, do one lap around your house or building, or up and down a flight of stairs. You'll burn between 35 and 140 calories per session.

    Tie one on.

    You could try fitness guru Valerie Orsoni’s “Le Petit Secret”: “A number of French women wear a ribbon around their waist and underneath their clothes when they go out for dinner. It keeps them conscious of the tummy—particularly if the ribbon starts to feel tighter as the evening goes on!”

    Hang a mirror opposite your seat at the table.

    One study found that eating in front of mirrors slashed the amount people ate by nearly one-third. Seems having to look yourself in the eye reflects back some of your own inner standards and goals, and reminds you of why you’re trying to lose weight in the first place.

    Shoot your food.

    Rather than writing down every morsel, take a picture of it; a visual account may help curb your intake. “Snapping photos and then looking back at them can make people stop and think before indulging,” says nutritionist Joan Salge Blake, author of Nutrition & You. Even your virtuous salad may “show your extra helping of cheese or deep-fried croutons,” Blake cautions.

    Stick to wrapped candy.

    People ate 30 percent less candy when they had to unwrap it first, a Swiss study found. Peeling off the wrapper requires effort, which can make noshers eat less.

    Light a vanilla-scented candle after dinner.

    The aroma has been shown to dampen dessert cravings. One group of 160 volunteers actually lost an average of 4.5 pounds each by wearing vanilla-scented patches.

    Surround yourself with blue.

    There’s a good reason you won’t see many fast-food restaurants decorated in blue: the color functions as an appetite suppressant. Researchers have found that people eat 33 percent less in a blue room; the bluish light that results evidently makes food look less appealing. So eat on blue plates, dress in blue while you eat, and use a blue tablecloth. Avoid red, yellow, and orange; studies find they encourage eating.

    Turn the lights up and the tunes down.

    Restaurants don’t just dim the lights to create a romantic atmosphere; they do it so you order more food. Low lighting lowers eating inhibitions. As for music, soft tunes playing in the background actually encourage more leisurely chewing and goes against hurry-up, stress-related, mindless eating patterns.

    Eat three fewer bites of your meal,

    one less treat a day, or one less glass of orange juice. Doing any of these can save you about 100 calories a day, and that alone is enough to prevent you from gaining the two pounds most people mindlessly pack on each year.

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    Your Comments

    • banyrich

      If you really mean it then I’m sorry but I must tell you you’re CRAZY I was anorexic and I promise you there is NOTHING fun about it. All you wish for is to be dead and its so so horrible that I can’t even explain it if you wanna know more you could contact me but I promise you again if you would know what anorexia really is you would never even make such a joke. Now just to aknolage you a anorexic is SO NOT PRETTY, but its horrible it looks ugly and makes people kind of keep away from you and all they think is OMG she is such a pitty… PLEASE don’t rune your own life

    • http://www.theplasticsurgerychannel.com/procedure/breast-augmentation/ Theplasticsurgerychannel

      Thanks for all the great tips! I am currently on this weight-loss program called Fullbar which is working great for me. Now if I add these tips with my Fullbar program I will be the size I want to be in no time.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/AOUSMGLGCKOJSAOEIOYLYIG4LI Gordie Howe Is God

      I’m half bulimic . . .

    • Kzoofunguy

      Have GPS and Google develope a steering wheel lock on your car so you cant turn into a fast food place for a mayonaise with beef sandwich , large french fries, and big extra fat coffee or milk shake, several times a day between meals. LOL

    • Angielicious

      Sad fact : #1 is also the same thing pro ana people do.

    • KQ

      does it work on chocolate?

      • Anonymous

        Oddly enough, yes. Went with hub to buy some for Valentine’s Day at a chocolate store. By the time we looked at, and smelled, all the selections we felt full and had no desire to buy any so we didn’t. Crazy but true.

    • Sporter

      Has it worked yet?  By my calculations, you should be dead by now!

    • Darwyn Norris

      #3. True.  I worked in a bakery distribution warehouse and someone in marketing thought blue would jump out at the customer in the sea of red, white, and yellow bags on the shelves. They put the same bread in blue bags as the bread in the traditional yellow bags and they soon found that the yellow outsold the blue 5 to 1.  It must be disclosed that the blue bags were almost solid blue and the yellow was mostly clear, which most people prefer. Consumers like to see what their buying.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WPDFPSNQPLUWDDNKWWDRKEFIMY Kelly

      I started reading your article & seen Smell & Taste treatment/research & thought great,first step smell a apple, o.k., I can’t smell or taste anyhing

    • Katiemoomoo

      GReat tips. i want to be anorexic so these are great ideas.

      • rjc

        No, you don’t want to be anorexic! My daughter was anorexic and it nearly killed her. Believe me when I say there is nothing pretty about being anorexic. There are severe health concerns, both physical and mental, for a person who is or wants to be anorexic as well. Please reconsider.

        • kd

          I hope it was sarcasm. I recently finished an eating disorder program and the idea of photographing your food isn’t a bad idea. It may show what eating too much looks like but it would also so eating too much and missing meals. 

        • Julie

          I am anorexic…

      • Jjohn

        What an idiot!

        • Opie1313

          rjc, Jjohn,

          She was being s a r c a s t i c. 

      • Anonymous

        Please tell me you’re joking! My aunt was anorexic and she died because of it. Anorexia is a mental DISEASE!!! You don’t WANT to be anorexic. So please don’t ever even think that!