Tired of dieting? Try these unconventional ways of losing kilos

  • Susan Jose, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Oct 27, 2015 17:36 IST
The National Health Portal of India lists October 26 as World Obesity Day. (Shutterstock)

Obesity is known to damage self-confidence, and is the root cause of many serious ailments such as diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders, heart disease, and cancer . According to WHO, in 2014, about 13% of the world’s adult population were obese. If you, too, are struggling with obesity, the following methods can help you lose weight.

Remain stress-free

High level of cortisol, stress causing hormone, result in accumulation of fat. (Shutterstock)

If you are not stressed, your body has a lower tendency to put on weight. “The hormone cortisol is responsible for this. Cortisol is produced in excess when a person is stressed. Chronic stress also exposes the body to high levels of cortisol, making you eat more. Hence, being stress-free helps you stay slimmer,” says Dr Mufazzal Lakdawala, founder, Centre for Obesity and Digestive Surgery, Gamdevi.

Listen to soft music

Soft tunes have a calming effect on our minds. (Shutterstock)

Doing this prompts our brain to eat at a leisurely pace; thus, making us feel fuller, sooner. “Soft tunes have a calming effect on our minds. Similarly, they help us eat slowly, thus preventing us from overeating. However, this method may not work if we put on soft music, and sit down to eat a burger with extra-large fries and a cola,” says Dr Lakdawala.

Skip breakfast

Skipping breakfast and eating well throughout the day can help you lose weight. (Shutterstock)

While traditionally, it is believed that having a heavy breakfast and a light dinner helps you lose weight, many modernists of late have been suggesting skipping breakfast as a means to shed those kilos.

“There is a programme, which says that skipping breakfast and eating well throughout the day can help you lose weight. The theory is that the liver and muscle glycogen stores get utilised to provide you energy [when you skip breakfast], which will burn body fat. But, it is important to find out if the technique suits your body type,” says Pallavi Srivastava, fitness nutritionist and proprietor, Q-Slim Fitness Studio, Andheri (W).

Sleep well

Less sleep affects your metabolism and contributes to weight gain. (Shutterstock)

Apparently, you need not always sweat it out to lose weight; you can also sleep it out if you want. “When people are starved of sleep, late-night snacking increases, and they are more likely to choose high-carb snacks. This leads to a cortisol spike. Sleeping more will not make you lose weight, but less sleep definitely affects your metabolism, and contributes to weight gain,” says Dr Manisha Jadhav, holistic wellness specialist, NewAge Aesthetics, Andheri (W).

Mirror effect

Eating in front of a mirror reduces your appetite . (ISTOCK)

According to a study conducted by King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and University of Khartoum, Sudan, eating in front of a mirror reduces your appetite and cuts down the portion that you eat.

“The mirror enhances self-awareness, and can modify food consumption. The participants of the study spent more time modifying their eating behaviour. Self-awareness seems to be crucial in instigating a change in eating behaviour,” says Dr Jadhav.

Dim the lights

Dimming the lights may cause people to eat less. (ISTOCK)

Visiting restaurants with low-lighting or dimming the lights in your dining room is apparently a great way to cut calories. “Dimming the lights may cause people to eat less. In fact, a study showed that weight-watchers consumed 18% fewer calories when the mood was set to be more relaxing,” says Patwardhan.

Smell vanilla

Smell of vanilla is the best scent to reduce food cravings. (ISTOCK)

A research conducted by St George’s Hospital in London, UK, revealed that obese people, who wore vanilla scent patches, lost more weight than those who didn’t. “The natural smell of vanilla is the best scent to reduce food cravings, and reduce the temptation for chocolates and sweets. Vanilla stimulates the release of the chemical serotonin in our brain, which boosts one’s mood, and promotes feelings of satisfaction and happiness,” says Kanchan Patwardhan, clinical nutritionist consultant, Arogya Hospital, Thane.

Blue therapy

Candy and cupcakes for a little boys first birthday party. (ISTOCK)

The colour blue functions as an appetite suppressant. Hence, adding elements such as blue walls or blue cutlery to your home can help you consume less food. “Researchers have found out that there are a few colours that tickle our taste buds, making us relish and crave more food, and there are others that make the food look dull and unappetising. Blue comes across as a dull colour and prevents food cravings,” says Srivastava.

— With inputs from Dr Sanjay Borude, obesity surgeon, Breach Candy Hospital.

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