Believe it or not, some seemingly bizarre habits can actually help you shed extra weight with minimal effort.
Take a cold shower
If you have ever sprinted to the shower to use the last of the hot water, you might be doing your body a disservice. As it turns out, there are several health benefits to cool showers, not limited to metabolic stimulation. According to Medical Daily, spending time in cold water activates brown fat in the body, which acts as an internal calorie torcher.
Set a timer when you eat
A lot of people make the mistake of scarfing down their meals, especially if they need to be somewhere quickly. If you have the time, set a timer when you sit down to your meal. If you set a timer for 10-15 minutes, and put away all distractions, you will notice that your body becomes full faster, and in turn, you won't eat as much.
Have a mint
Not only does an after-dinner mint freshen your breath after French onion soup, it can also serve another purpose. Mint happens to have appetite suppressing properties, and even smelling the strong herb can help you feel fuller longer. Burn a mint-scented candle or sip some peppermint tea if you find yourself craving that leftover cheesecake in the fridge.
Crank the air conditioner
If freezing at night feels wrong, you don't want to be right. Studies show that a cool room (optimally 66 degrees Fahrenheit) can actually help you lose weight. According to The New York Times, "cooler bedrooms could subtly transform a person's stores of fat ... and consequently alter energy expenditure and metabolic health, even into daylight hours."
Add some Asian flair
For your weight-loss purposes, chopsticks are the way to go. Even if you don't consider yourself Mr. Miyagi with chopsticks, your inexperience can only help you. The Telegraph reported that eating with chopsticks slows you down, which in turn makes you eat less. Not to mention that chopsticks also make it more difficult to shovel in sauces, which are typically high in both fat and sodium.
Eat cake for breakfast
No kidding. If you are great at starting your day with a simple, low-carb and low-calorie breakfast, you could be doing yourself a disservice. According to a 2012 study from Tel Aviv University Medical Center, participants who ate a large breakfast, including a sweet treat (strawberry crepes, anyone?), lost more weight than those on an equal-calorie diet who ate a smaller, carb-conscious breakfast.
Stop watching commercials
The DVR was a novel invention for impatient television viewers everywhere, but your DVR might be even more powerful than you realized. Fast-forwarding through commercials can actually help you curb your appetite, since ads for high-calorie foods have been shown to stimulate the brain's appetite control center.
Get a coach
Losing weight can be a lonely process, but that doesn't mean you have to do it alone. A health coach can offer you direction, motivation and accountability - all of which are critical to your health journey.
(Credit: MyHealth Pass)