When it comes to losing weight, we are always told to first improve our diets and exercise more. But there are countless other ways that can aid in our weight loss journeys that have nothing to do with what we eat or buying a gym membership. Here, we look at a number of these methods - from getting the right amount of sleep to perfecting your posture throughout the day.
Drink More Water
According to Sydney-based fitness guru and pilates professional, Vanessa Bartlett, increasing your water intake is one of the most important things you can do for weight loss and overall health.
‘We know that drinking water is essential to inner health, good digestion, and staying hydrated helps with our skin, hair and every organ on our body,’ she said on her blog.
‘You need to drink between 2 to 3 litres of water each day depending on your activity. Try spicing up your water with fresh lemon or lime, fresh mint leaves or even cucumber slices.
‘It’s always good start your day with warm water, lemon and even ginger in there to cleanse your system for the day and fire up your digestion. Herbal teas also contain no or minimal calories and can assist with boosting your metabolism for weight loss.’
Ms Barlett says the best herbal teas to aid weight loss are: white tea (not adding milk to your tea, the actual herbal white tea from the same plant as green tea!), green tea, rooibos tea, oolong tea, mate tea and ginger tea.
Live a More Healthy Lifestyle
An active exercise regime is not realistic for some people - but traditional exercise is not the only way to live an active lifestyle.
According to Better Health Victoria, slow improvements like walking to work, gardening, cycling and mowing the lawn all contribute to a reduction in body fat and a healthier lifestyle.
Other alternatives include getting off the train or bus one stop early and walking, playing outdoor games with the kids, walking the dog and taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
‘Choose activities you think are fun, rather than those you think are good for you,’ they suggest.
Sleep Enough But Not Too Much
Mastering the art of good sleep and regulating your body clock is crucial to losing weight and staying healthy.
But new research from the University of Glasgow has also found that sleeping too much can lead to weight gain - perhaps even more than not sleeping enough.
So what’s the ideal time? According to the study, any less than seven hours per night is not enough… but any more than nine hours is too much.
‘These data show that in people with high genetic risk for obesity, sleeping for too short or too long a time, napping during the day, and shift work appears to have a fairly substantial adverse influence on body weight,’ Dr Jason Gill, from the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, said.
On the topic of sleeping enough, Ms Bartlett explained that this is important because it reduces the production of cortisol hormone which inhibits fat loss.
‘Recommended sleep per night is 7 to 8 hours of deep sleep. Another great way to better manage stress is to meditate,’ she said.
Stress also increases cortisol levels and therefore inhibits fat loss.
‘Excess cortisol levels affect your hormones, metabolism, brain function, deplete immune system and inhibit fat loss,’ Ms Bartlett told Body and Soul.
‘Easy ways to alleviate everyday stress include meditation (even 10 minutes a day of deep breathing without distraction has been shown to help), yoga and Pilates, and other forms of exercise.
‘Also be mindful of your daily routine and take note of any triggers that are causing you to stress. Becoming more self-aware of your thoughts and actions will greatly affect your ability to cope with stress, and be healthier inside and out.’
Ditch Electronic Devices When You Eat
While many prefer to watch TV or scroll through Instagram while eating, this can lead to eating more.
This is due to people losing track of what they have eaten and potentially over-eating.
One study found that people who were distracted during their meal actually ate 10 per cent more at the time and ended up eating more calories later on in the day as well.
Get Enough Sun
Getting enough sun — safely — is also beneficial way to boost your weight loss success.
According to personal trainer Deborah King, light deprivation causes ‘depression’ which can then ‘lead to weight gain.’
‘We actually need a minimum of 20 minutes of sun on our bodies in the early morning or late afternoon at least five days a week all year to get enough Vitamin D to feel happy,’ she wrote on her blog.
‘If you live in a place where you get the winter blues, known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), your hypothalamus gland gets imbalanced and sad, irritable and tired. It also makes you crave more carbs.’
Repaint Your Dining Room
If an endless appetite is the problem, it could be due to the paint colours used in your home, experts suggest.
Interior decorator Palinski-Wade suggests removing all red and yellow tones from the dining room in order to reduce your appetite.
‘These two shades can trigger an increased, as well as an increased speed of eating,’ she told Reader’s Digest.
‘If you look at the color of most fast food chains, you will see that this works! Instead, dining in a blue-colored room will help you feel more relaxed and eat at a slower pace.’
This mindset was recently used by Kendall Jenner, who controversially painted her room a ‘scientific shade of pink’ to suppress her appetite.
Perfect Your Posture
It may sound simple, but sitting correctly can help with toning your belly throughout the day.
‘Straighten up and your figure will look better,’ trainer Kim Lyons told Good Housekeeping.
‘When your posture is good, you’re automatically engaging and toning your stomach muscles.’
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