NEW YORK (MainStreet) — While the tried and true method to lose weight is through diet and exercise, some studies have found offbeat ways to lower your calorie consumption. Here are some odd methods that those looking to shed some weight in the new year might consider trying out.
Journaling. A new study set to be published in the journal Psychological Science suggests that women can lose weight by writing down in a journal their most important values, like close relationships, music or religion, for 15 minutes a day. The trick, though, is to write about something you truly care about. The women in the study were asked at the onset to rank what was important to them, and those who wrote about lesser values actually gained an average of 2.76 pounds over the course of the four-month study. Comparatively, those journaling about their true passions lost an average of 3.41 pounds.
Visualization. According to researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, you don’t have to actually eat food to be satisfied – you can simply imagine you’re consuming it. The conclusion was based on the results of a study that found participants who mentally visualized eating M&M’s ultimately ingested fewer of the candies than their non-imaginative counterparts when presented with an actual bowl of them.
Sleep more. Research suggests that adding a few hours of sleep to your nightly repertoire could help curb your appetite. According a study from Columbia University, sleep-deprived individuals don’t only consume more calories, they also generally eat more junk food, which tends to contain saturated fats.
Ditch the distractions. Eating while distracted increases meal size and can contribute to obesity, say researchers from the University of Bristol in the U.K., who analyzed the effects of playing solitaire during a lunch break. The study revealed that those who engaged in the activity went on to consume twice as many cookies as those who actually paid attention to what they were eating, which researchers surmise is due to a link between appetite and memory. As such, you may want to eat your lunch away from your office computer.
Don’t eat potatoes. You may think that candy and cake are the biggest culprits for adding on pounds, but a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine in September found that potatoes are the food most likely to contribute to long-term weight gain. Harvard researchers discovered weight gain was significantly increased with the consumption of potato chips, French fries and potatoes, largely due an abundance of fat calories.
Which other foods aren’t good for those on a diet? Find out in MainStreet’s roundup of eight foods that make you eat more.