Editors Note: This is a contribution from Sergeant Michael Volkin, best-selling author of military books and inventor of Strength Stack 52 bodyweight fitness cards.
When I was 19, I could eat whatever I wanted and not worry about the intake of calories. Fast-forward a couple of decades and those “glory days” are long over. However, losing weight isn’t as difficult as it may seem. Even common household items you have in your house now can help you burn calories and lose weight without ever hearing the dreaded word “diet”. Below are a few of my favorite household items that can help you consume fewer calories.
Aromas can influence your thought patterns. That’s not an opinion, it’s a scientific fact. The smell of vanilla can quell the cravings of needless calories from mindless snacking. Try lighting a vanilla-scented candle when you sense a snack craving approaching. Smelling a bottle of vanilla extract or wearing vanilla-scented lotion will also work to quell your cravings the next time you want to snack on something sweet.
Peppermint toothpaste is proven to suppress appetites. Brushing your teeth right after dinner sends a signal to your brain that you’re done eating and discourages you from eating that calorie packing bedtime snack. While you’re at it, don’t forget to floss!
Your TV Remote
The average person spends five hours a day in front of the television. Imagine how many calories you could burn turning off your TV for just 30 minutes and flipping 10 Strength Stack 52 bodyweight exercise cards. Flip 10 cards for a quick solo workout or play a fitness game with your family or friends in the room. This burns so many more calories than lying lifeless in front of the TV.
Eat off Smaller Plates
Countless studies have concluded that the larger your plates and bowls, the more food you serve yourself. Serve yourself food from a smaller plate and you will feel just as full and satisfied compared to a normal sized plate.
Log into Facebook and announce you’re going to lose X amount of weight. Now, you’re accountable to others and motivated by the ones who care about you. Studies have proven that while trying to lose weight, being accountable to someone other than yourself increases your chances dramatically that you will reach your weight loss goals.
The Lights Switch
A Cornell University study concluded the secret to eating less and feeling more satisfied about what you eat could be to simply turn down the lights. Researchers found people who ate a meal under soft lighting consumed 175 fewer calories than those who ate in a brightly lit room. The participants who dined under mood lighting ate 18% less food and rated their food “more enjoyable” than those eating under bright lights. Scientists theorize that’s because the bright fluorescent lights commonly found in fast food restaurants may create a psychological need to rush through meals and eat more. So do your belly a favor; get romantic and light a candle at dinner.