SELF’s “Reach Your Goals” program helps you to shed 8 pounds in a month, that is a LOT of weight! As part of their program, they've shared some weird diet tricks that REALLY work! Who knew that talking to yourself, carrying more cash and eating in silence will actually help shed pounds!
Eat Cheetos off china
Use plates and utensils whenever you snack, and sit down to enjoy your nibble, even if it's for only 20 minutes.
WHY IT WORKS People were more likely to perceive food as a snack if they finished eating it in 10 minutes or ate while standing up, according to a study in the journal Appetite. On the other hand, sitting down for 30 minutes made people more likely to count the grub as a meal—which might have helped them feel more satisfied and turn down extra food later on. Break out the good tableware: Using ceramic plates and cloth napkins also made diners more likely to consider food a meal.
Carry more cash
Keep dollars and cents on hand when you head to Starbucks, happy hour or dinner out.
WHY IT WORKS People who pay for their food with cash make healthier purchases than people who pay with debit or credit cards, find researchers at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Consider paper money an easy willpower booster: "It appears that people who pay with cash give more thought to what they buy and are more conscientious of the nutritional value of their purchases," says Brian Wansink, Ph.D., author of Mindless Eating (Bantam). "So someone paying this way could be more likely to choose an apple than a cookie."
Do Downward Dog
Hit the mat at yoga class. Try Anusara, a style focused on alignment and concentration.
WHY IT WORKS People who did yoga regularly had a lower body-mass index than those who didn't, a study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association notes. But don't credit calorie burn: Yogis were more mindful when dining—which helped them feel satisfied without overeating. The practice teaches people to tune in to their body, researchers say, a key skill for sensing fullness. Sessions also can make you more tolerant of discomfort. Remind yourself that if you can stand to hold Pigeon pose for six minutes, you can resist those brownies, too.
Make like a monk
Eat one meal per week in complete silence. Turn off your iPod and the TV, and even tell your dining partner to pipe down.
WHY IT WORKS Research shows that a noisy environment leads diners to speed-eat, so that by the time they realize they're full, they've already taken in too much food. But slower tunes are not an antidote, because soft music can make you linger at the table longer, leading you to eat more, Wansink says. Dialing down loud distractions during meals also can enhance the flavors, smells and textures of each dish, so you actually enjoy every bite more. Peaceful eating!
Talk to yourself
If the opening notes of Saturday Night Live have you reaching for ice cream, announce to yourself and anyone else around, "I'm not hungry, but I am going to eat this anyway."
WHY IT WORKS Enjoy your favorite foods, because outlawing them can lead to a binge. But narrating your indulgence can make the difference between a small splurge and a sugar bender. "When you say out loud that you want a treat, you become aware of what you're eating and why," says Jean Kristeller, Ph.D., cofounder of The Center for Mindful Eating in Dover, New Hampshire. You still might opt for Chunky Monkey, but you'll be less likely to eat the entire carton.
Start with an orange
Peel one before sitting down to lunch on a crazed day.
WHY IT WORKS "The orange takes time and effort to peel, which forces you to slow down and helps stimulate the senses, so you're more aware of what you're eating automatically," says Susan Albers, Psy.D., author of Eat, Drink and Be Mindful (New Harbinger Publications). Plus, the water-rich fruit can help you feel fuller before you lift a fork. "Even mild dehydration can lead you to feel hungrier than you are," Albers says. To temper your tempo at other meals, mimic the pace you used to eat the orange, or sip water between bites.
Learn more about SELF's Reach Your Goals Program
All photos courtesy SELF magazine from Condé Nast Digital Studio