10 weird weight loss tips that experts say really work

Half of Americans say they’re trying to lose weight. Shedding unwanted pounds isn’t always easy, but experts have some weird tricks that might actually lead to weight loss success.

  • Mirror mirror: Hang a mirror where you eat. One study found dining in front of mirrors cut the amount people ate by nearly one-third. A taste test study, published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, 185 undergraduate students chose between a chocolate cake and a fruit salad and then evaluated its taste in a room with a mirror or with no mirrors around. Those who selected the chocolate cake evaluated it less tasty in the room with a mirror compared to those with no mirrors around. Interestingly, too, the presence of a mirror did not change the taste of the fruit salad.
  • Vanilla scent: Light a vanilla-scented candle after dinner. In a study, participants who wore vanilla-scented patches lost an average of 4.5 pounds. According to Reader’s Digest, the scent will help you avoid dessert.
  • Stop and smell the food: Try sniffing your food before eating it. One experiment that included 3,000 volunteers showed the more people sniff, the less hungry they were and the more weight they lost.
  • Buddy up: Try dieting with a buddy research shows partnering with someone else can increase your chances of weight-loss success.
  • Morning boost: That morning cup of coffee may also help you shed the pounds. Scientists say coffee may suppress appetite and trigger thermogenesis a process that speeds up metabolism. Beyond weight control, coffee shows to reduce the risk of diabetes.
  • Lights off: Make sure you sleep with your lights off. A recent study found people who sleep with a light or television on have a 22% increased risk for being overweight.
  • Eat soup before a meal: Consuming soup before a meal can cut caloric intake by 20 percent according to a study conducted by Penn State University. The study further encourages choosing soups wisely by picking a low-calorie, broth-based soup, about 100 to 150 calories per serving, as higher calorie and cream-based soups could increase the total calories consumed.
  • Cheat right: If you’re going to splurge on candy, stick to wrapped candy. A Swiss study found people ate 30 percent less candy when they had to unwrap it first.
  • Eat off multi-colored plate: Research published in the Journal of Consumer Research found contrast between the plate and food served can influence the serving by randomly giving participants a white or red plate and allowing them to serve themselves pasta with Alfredo or tomato sauce. The Food and Brand Lab said participants in a study served themselves 30 percent more pasta than participants with high contrast between their food and the plate they served themselves on (i.e. pasta with tomato sauce on a white plate or pasta with Alfredo sauce on a red plate). Ultimately, eating food on the same colored plate may increase the serving size, sparking the recommendation to eat salad greens on a green plate to increase veggie intake.
  • Chew gum:  Popping a piece of gum in your mouth can assist in weight loss efforts, mostly when dealing with a craving and anticipating a food binge. So, if feeling tempted to binge on junk food, distract the mind and satisfy the taste buds by chewing on gum.

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