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25 Surprising Ways to Lose Weight

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serve-over-stove

Serve from the stove

"Leave serving dishes on the stove instead of at the dining table and you'll eat nearly 10 percent less. [And] pack snacks into single-serving bags. Eating out of a large container ups consumption by 61 percent."

Brian Wansink, PhD, director of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University

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pancakes-for-breakfast

Sweeten up your morning

Embrace "breakfast dessert." In a 2012 study, researchers at Tel Aviv University Medical Center found that dieters who ate a large breakfast that included a sweet treat lost 37 pounds more over eight months than those on an equal-calorie diet with a smaller, low-carb breakfast.

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hang-dress-motivation

Aim for a size

"Buy an outfit in your healthiest size and hang it on your bedroom door as a reminder of your goal."

Charles D'Angelo, author of Think and Grow Thin

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skip-commercial

Skip the ads

Fast-forward through commercials on your DVR. A University of California study found that images of high-cal foods stimulate the brain's appetite control center, triggering hunger.

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unwanted-candy

Feed your family

"If you live with people who like to indulge, buy treats for them that you don't like yourself."

Jamie Goldberg, 51, interior designer in Bonita, California, who lost 97 pounds

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hand-fist

Flex

Clench your fists when you have a food craving. A series of studies published in the Journal of Consumer Research in 2011 found that people were better able to control their impulses when they tightened a muscle for at least 30 seconds.

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slice-of-turkey

Go for cold turkey

"After a sweet treat, eat half a slice of deli turkey to keep you from wanting more."

Jennifer McDaniel, RD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

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lose-pounds-diet

Reframe your goals

"Change your goal from 'lose 20 pounds' to 'lose 1 pound 20 times,' and give yourself credit for each one."

Anne Parker, Miraval Arizona Resort and Spa

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diet-eat-vegetables

Mix it up (sometimes)

"Variety stokes your appetite. Limit the variety of treats you buy so you'll eat less of them; and do the opposite with vegetables so you'll eat more of them."

Jennifer McDaniel, RD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

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plate-sizes-diet

Downsize your plate

"Eat what your family eats, but put your serving on a kid-size plate."

Angie Vinez, 33, stay-at-home mom who lost 40 pounds

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weight-loss-vegetable-soup

Soup it up

Have a bowl of vegetable soup before lunch; you'll eat 20 percent fewer calories at the meal, suggests research by Barbara Rolls, PhD, a professor of nutritional sciences at Pennsylvania State University.

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calories-almond-butter

Don't overdo healthy foods

"Many people have a 'healthy' food, like almond butter, that they tend to overeat—at which point it stops being healthy. Know yours, and keep it out of the house."

JJ Virgin author of The Virgin Diet

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olive-oil-bread

Oil your bread

Can't give up the bread basket? Use olive oil instead of butter: You'll eat 23 percent less bread and 16 percent fewer calories, according to a 2003 study in the International Journal of Obesity.

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music-playlist

Pick up the tempo

Fill your playlist with upbeat tunes. Research shows you'll naturally quicken your pace if you work out with songs that have 180 beats per minute. Go to mixmeister.com or jog.fm to analyze your list or choose new songs.

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think-of-dress

Visualize your new body

"Think of an image of yourself fit. When a craving occurs, picture the image. With repetition, your brain will replace the craving with the image."

Robert Maurer, PhD, California Health & Longevity Institute

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diet-morning-exercise

Get active early

Work out in the morning. In a 2012 study, Brigham Young University researchers found that 45 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise in the morning reduces your motivation for food.

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salad-protein-chicken

Cut back on meat

"Eat at least 80 percent things that grow and no more than 20 percent things that walk."

Lisa McRee, former Good Morning America co-host who lost 30 pounds

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eat-apple-skin

Don't peel

When you eat apples or use them for cooking, don't chuck the skins. A substance in apple peel increases muscle and healthy, calorie-torching brown fat, according to a study from University of Iowa researchers published in the journal PLoS ONE in 2012.

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chocolate-stash

Hide the chocolate

"If you maintain a chocolate stash, keep it out of reach; you'll eat nearly 60 percent less of it if you do."

Brian Wansink, PhD, director of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University

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paint-nails

Distract yourself

Food cravings usually pass within 10 minutes. Distract yourself by calling a friend, walking, meditating, having sex, Facebooking, or painting your nails.

Coral Arvon, PhD, director of behavioral health and wellness at the Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa, in Miami, Fla.

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diet-chop-sticks

Slow down

Eat slowly by using chopsticks or your non-dominant hand.

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salmon-protein-fiber

Balance your meals

Eat fiber and protein at meals. They help keep sugar levels balanced so you won't give in to cravings, says Tanya Zuckerbrot, RD, author of The Miracle Carb Diet.

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take-deep-breath

Breathe

"Counter stress-eating with the 4-7-8 Breath: Inhale through your nose to a count of four, hold for a count of seven, then let go and exhale through your mouth with a whoosh for a count of eight. Repeat four times."

Jim Nicolai, MD, Miraval Arizona Resort and Spa

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diet-vinegar-salad

Use more vinegar

"Vinegar before meals may increase fullness. Have salad with 1–2 TBSP vinegar before lunch/dinner!"

Joy Bauer, RD, via Twitter

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blog-diet

Find an audience

"Blog your goal: It's harder to quit in front of an audience."

Charles D'Angelo, author of Think and Grow Thin

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