Good Life: Mirror, mirror on the wall

Although healthy eating and exercise are the best ways to stay in good shape, sometimes we could all do with a helping hand.

If you're bored with conventional diet advice and fancy trying something new, check out these strange tricks that may help you to lose weight.

Eat in front of a mirror

Researchers at Arizona State University and Erasmus University, Rotterdam, found that watching ourselves eat can be a powerful trigger to consume less.

During their experiments, the researchers put a mirror in front of participants and found that those eating in front of it ate less.

The researchers believe that was because seeing ourselves eat makes us more aware of our bodies and that we do not want to watch ourselves overeat.

Choose male eating companions

If you want to cut down on your food consumption when dining out, research suggests that opting for male eating companions could help you to eat less.

Researchers from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and the University of Akron found that men and women consumed fewer kilojoules when dining with men than with women.

The researchers believe this is because we are more aware of our gender when around the opposite sex.

The result is that women restrict their eating to appear more feminine while men eat more around women to appear more masculine.

Pay with cash

A study by researchers at Cornell and Binghamton Universities indicates that your credit card could be making you fat.

Although it has been known for a while that we are more likely to splash out when we are paying by card rather than coin, paying with plastic can also have a disastrous effect on your waistline as people are more likely to buy junk food and fattening products - which tend to be impulse purchases - when paying by card.

To keep off the kilos and save yourself some money, draw out enough cash for the day and then leave your cards at home.

Sniff vanilla

If a craving for sugar is ruining your diet try lighting a vanilla candle or spritz on some vanilla-scented perfume - it may help to keep you slim.

A study at St George's hospital, London, found that putting vanilla-scented patches on the back of participants' hands reduced their appetite for sweet foods and drinks.

Never eat in your pyjamas

Though eating in your pyjamas will not necessarily make you fat - although late-night snacking can certainly be a diet-destroyer for many of us - wearing loose clothing such as baggy lounge pants and pyjamas can lead you to snack more. This is because baggy clothes give the illusion of being slimmer and make you think less about your figure.

While it is inadvisable to dress in uncomfortably restrictive clothes for your meals, wearing slightly more fitted clothes can help you to think more about your body and is also a better indicator of fat loss or gain than getting weighed on the scales.

Kit out your kitchen in blue

Blue is not only a perfect calming colour for your bedroom walls, it is also an ideal kitchen colour scheme for those trying to lose weight.

It is believed that green and blue shades act as an appetite suppressant (while yellow and red stimulate the appetite) so opt for blue dishes, tablecloths or walls in your dining area to help keep your hunger at bay.

Sign up to Facebook

Signing up to Facebook could help you to lose weight, according to researchers. With the threat of being tagged in an unflattering photo and our fat days being broadcast for all to see, social media sites have become a huge weight loss trigger for many.

A study by Fitbit identified unflattering Facebook photos as the No1 weight loss trigger for Brits, overtaking preparing for the beach.

For more lifestyle news see

- Hamilton News

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