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10 weird weight loss tips that experts say really work

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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.

About the Author:

Watch Rachel weekdays from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. on Virginia Today.