16 Alternative Ways I Lost Weight When It Felt Impossible

alternative weight loss

As a meditation teacher it’s no surprise that I lost weight with meditation.

But actually, meditation was just one step I took.

I dropped 40 pounds. Not thanks to pills. Not thanks to diet fads. Thanks to some pretty awesome alternative weight loss strategies.

You can do the same thing.

You can get the perfect body even if you have been unsuccessful with popular weight loss techniques. 

 

Have you tried losing weight the normal ways

I’m going to guess that you’ve tried the typical weight loss techniques. You’ve tried dieting. You’ve tried exercising. You’ve maybe even gone on Weight Watchers. But those techniques weren’t quite right for you. And maybe you’re feeling a little disappointed because of that.

If you cannot lose the pounds, and you feel stressed when you step on the scales, relax. I used to be just like you.

When I wanted to lose weight I started dieting.  I did the Atkins diet. I hit the gym. I tried all the different exercise techniques. But it just wasn’t working out for me personally, you know? So I made a decision. I decided that I would forget about all those traditional weight loss techniques. I would try something different.

And you know what? My alternative weight loss techniques ended up working for me.

So let me share them with you.

 

 

My Top Ten Alternative Ways of Losing Weight Easily and Quickly

1: Mindful weight loss: 

Mindfulness is all about focusing your mind on the present moment.

Simple, right? But powerful. And honestly, mindfulness helps with weight loss like you wouldn’t believe.

When you practice mindfulness of food you are more aware of what you’re eating and you dont give in to cravings easily.

To practice mindfulness, simply make a promise to yourself: when you eat you will only eat. In other words, stop eating while working, stop eating while watching TV. If you’re eating, focus on what you’re eating. This will make you feel more satisfied and leave you needing less food.

If this sounds like something you’d be interesting in, I highly recommend Thich Nhat Hanh’s Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life [AMAZON]

 

2: Self Love:

Now, you remember that these are alternative weight loss techniques, right?  Because this one may sound a little crazy to begin with. But a lot of scientific research has proven that self love is important for weight loss.

When you have a positive relationship with yourself you will start to eat healthily and to lose weight because you will naturally want to look after yourself a lot more than you might right now. Self love is one of the best forms of motivation.

Scientific research actually proved that it is impossible to lose weight unless you forgive yourself and have a positive relationship with yourself. It’s impossible because if you are angry at yourself you will intentionally sabotage your diet as a way to punish yourself. This also means you absolutely must forgive yourself for having put on weight in the first place.

Self love is vital after weight loss too, especially if you’re one of the million of people who get depression after getting in shape.

 

 

3. Use Colour Psychology: Blue For Weight Loss

Here’s a crazy way of losing weight: colour your walls blue.

Why are fast food restaurants never decorated blue? Why do Pizza Hut, KFC, and McDonald’s all use red as their main colour?

It all comes down to the science of colour psychology.

Scientific researchers and proponents of chromology have proven that colours are capable of influencing our feelings. Colours can even change our appetite.

A scientific study titled Color in Marketing [1] revealed that 90% of snap second judgments are based on colour alone. Snap second decision? The last time I stuffed my hand in the cookie jar was a snap second decision. And my cookie jar happens to be red. We know from a scientific study called Exciting Red And Competent Blue, that the colour red makes us act more impulsively. Time to change that cookie jar.

infographic showing the psychology of colours in colour therapy

There’s a reason why restaurants use the colours they use…

If you’re surrounded by red items you’re more likely to act impulsively, picking up a hamburger just because we feel like it.

Red walls and red items will make you give in to food cravings faster. Blue suppresses appetite.

That’s why McDonald’s will never be blue, because when people see blue they feel calm and actually stop and think.

So, surround yourself with blues and greens, colours that make you feel relaxed and calm and less likely to pick up a doughnut just because you fancy one.

A TV show called Crowd Control [2] recently aired on the National Geographic Channel. On the show, researchers investigated the effect of colour psychology on weight loss. the researchers went to a buffet at a New Jersey truck stop and took out all the restaurants large plates. They replaced them with smaller ones and changed the colour of the decorations  to include a lot more blue in the colour scheme. The results showed that dining in a room decorated in blue will make you eat less.

Researchers believe that blue suppresses the appetite because it is a calming colour. One of the diners who were interviewed said that the colour blue made him feel a lot more relaxed than he usually felt and that this made him slow down and pay more attention to what he was eating. Because he was then more aware of what he was eating he was satisfied quicker. This in turn led him to needing to eat less.

Scientists also suggest that because blue is an unnatural colour which is not found in many foods it subconsciously suggests to the individual that they should stop eating. So, the simple result of this scientific experiment is that if you paint your house (or dining room) blue you will eat less and lose weight without even thinking about it.

The colours of the room you eat in affect the way you eat.

When you’re in a red room you’re more likely to act impulsively, indulging in snacks. When you’re in a blue room you’re more likely to slow down and to eat healthily.

Colour also affects the way you feel about the food you eat. In 2006 scientists Wansink and Van Ittersum studied the affect of eating food of the same colour and on the same colour plate. They had half their participants eat green beans on a green plate, and the other half eat green beans on a yellow plate. The participants whose food and plates were the same colour ended up eating more. The researchers state that this is because the limited contrast between food and plate made them less aware and less mindful of what they were eating.

Similarly, it’s important to contrast colours in the food itself. Eating food of only one colour makes you less aware of what you’re eating and thereby more likely to eat more. A plate of contrasting colours will make you more aware of what you’re eating, and thereby less likely to overeat.

 

Here’s what you need to know to take advantage of this weight loss technique:

  1. Use blue plates
  2. Eat in a blue room
  3. Avoid red around food
  4. Include foods of all different colours.

This  will heighten your awareness and appreciation of the food you eat, leading you to eat less and lose weight. And that’s the lowdown for this fascinating new weight loss technique.

 

 

4: Exercise Burst:

It can be hard to commit to the gym or to long periods of exercise.

Scientific research has proven, however, that it’s just as good to do 10 minutes hardcore exercise as it is to spend an hour in the gym [3].

Here’s how:

  1. Plan a twenty minute slot in your day (schedule in your planner app or calendar). Or, better idea, do it right now
  2. Do two minutes of sit-ups
  3. Two minutes of push-ups
  4. Two minutes of squats
  5. Two minutes of burpees
  6. Two minutes of jumping-jacks

That’s all you need!

You do not need to go nuts and workout for hours on end. you don’t need to push yourself til you feel like you’re going to die. Just ten minutes. That’s all.

Leave this page open. Go run for ten minutes. Then come back and continue reading. And your exercise will be done!

 

5: NLP for weight loss

“NLP” stands for Neuro Linguistic Programming [4].

Basically it’s a way of training your brain to do specific things. For weight loss it can be used to train your brain to want a salad instead of a chocolate bar.

How does NLP help with weight loss?

Every time you think of eating a chocolate bar simply think of eating a salad instead and imagine enjoying the salad. This will train your brain to associate cravings with salad instead of fatty foods.

 

6:  Eat Honey And Lose Weight By Eating

Honey actually releases fat. And it tastes yummy! Eat a teaspoon of honey a day. And actually there are a veritable truck load of other health benefits from honey too [6]. Click that link. It will blow your mind. And remember to help save the bees!

 

7: Drink water to aid digestion:

Drinking water is the easiest way of losing weight.

Don’t drink pop. It’s just empty calories. Water is, obviously, a lot healthier and also helps your digestive system.

 

8: Watch weight loss movies

Here’s one for the Netflix-lovers. Watch weight loss movies.

Positive psychologists tell THE DAILY MEDITATION that movies can actually inspire us to change for the better. In the link above I’ve shared my favorite movies that inspire weight loss. Take a look. This is definitely one of the easiest alternative ways of losing weight.

 

9. Forgive Yourself

The University of Wisconsin recently researched the affects of self forgiveness on addictions [7]. They wanted to know whether forgiving yourself would help you to overcome addictions, including overeating. And they found some staggering results.

“We believe that the full recovery from substance abuse cannot be reached without fully forgiving of self and others,” the researchers report. “Forgiveness, by reducing levels of anger, resentment, depression,and anxiety, may prevent relapse, promote acceptation of self and strengthen relationships with others.”

In other words, not only is it hard to give up addictions if you’re angry at yourself or others, but it may be outright impossible. If you are addicted to eating, you must forgive yourself and others in order to beat that addiction.

I know it’s hard to forgive yourself for putting on weight.

When I was 25 I was extremely fit. I was proud of my physique. Seriously proud. Then I  emigrated and my whole life changed. I put on 70 lbs. And for a while, I hated myself for it. Self loathing made me put on even more weight. And it became a vicious cycle. I could not lose weight until I forgave myself. Forgiveness is vital. That’s why I wrote a guide to self forgiveness. Read that for some seriously hug advice.

 

10. Get the Weight Loss Mindset

One of the absolute best alternative weight loss techniques is to focus on your mind instead of your body.

Millions of people have successfully gotten their ideal body by getting the weight loss mindset

With the right mindset you will be able to stop cravings, find motivation to exercise, and start to feel good about losing weight.

 

 

11. Get your friends and your dieting partners, and feed each other positivity

Yup. Go ahead. Grab your friends. Tell them that health is about self love and forgiveness. Then go ahead and lavish each other with compliments. Seriously, I’m not joking. Feed each other positivity. This will breed self love, and self love will make you shed the pounds faster than any diet pill ever could.

And speaking of feeding each other positivity, let’s do it right now.

Share a comment below. A positive comment, please. Then other people will read your comment and feel more positive about dieting. Come on, let’s do this. Let’s feel good about ourselves. Because when we truly love ourselves, we will lose weight and become thin and healthy, and then we’ll look in the mirror and just feel absolutely wonderful about what we’ve accomplished.

 

 

12: Have veggies ready:

Get bowls and put them in various places around the house. Fill them with cut vegetables. That way, anytime you want a quick bite you can just go ahead and have a carrot. Making the healthy option easy is the easiest way to lose weight!

So, there we are, ten excellent alternative ways to lose weight quickly and easily. Try all ten and watch the weight strip right off you.

 

13: Precommittment (lose weight without willpower)

Precommitment is essentially the idea of keeping yourself away from all temptation. If you think you do not have enough motivation to lose weight, use precommittment. Get rid of all the temptations, then you wont need to be so on-point with your motivation, because even if you want to eat there wont be any food around.

How to lose weight with precommittment:

  1. Remove all temptations and all associations to fatty food.
  2. Throw out all junk food.
  3. Refill your fridge with healthy, life sustaining fruit and veggie goodness
  4. . Promise yourself you will never walk past a fast food restaurant.
  5. Throw out the leaflets and flyers the Chinese, Italian and other restaurants.

 

14. Exercise Less

Here’s an alternative weight loss technique for people who hate exercise: sweat less. Hurray!

According to a new Danish study, people who exercise for half an hour a day lose more weight than those who exercise for an hours a day.

Weird, no?

Scientists believe that by exercising a little less people on weight loss plans leave themselves with enough energy to continue to live a healthy lifestyle for the rest of the day after the workout is finished. Comparatively, those who exercise for an hour are so tired they lose willpower and, after their workout, adopt less healthy habits.

“The people in the study who exercised less found they had the energy to stay motivated to their weight loss plans,” said University of Copenhagen scientist Dr. Astrid Jesperson. “They’ll take the dog for a walk or take the stairs. In comparison, the people who exercised more felt exhausted afterwards and were demotivated.”

The subject studied 60 people for 13 weeks, with half the group doing 30 minutes of cycling, jogging or cross training and the other half exercising for an hour.  The men who exercised for 30 minutes lost 3.6 kg after 3 months, where the others lost 2.7 kg.

No real surprise here.

Probably the most important part of any weight loss program is motivation and willpower. If you exhaust yourself you’re not going to feel motivated to carry on. Conversely, 30 minutes of exercise gets your body working but also leave you feeling positive about your weight loss program.

But it just goes to show, if you’ve been asking “how much exercise do I need to lose weight” the answer might be less than you think.  

The lesson here is that yes, you should exercise, but not to such a point that you feel exhausted afterwards.

Do enough exercise to get your body working and to give your weight loss a lift, but don’t do more than that. If you lose 30 minutes of exercise you lose 30 minutes of exercise, if you lose motivation your weight loss plan may be dead and buried.

So, the best kind of weight loss exercise to do is whichever you feel comfortable with.

Recently, I started exercising again myself. I wasn’t actually overweight but I was far from fit. Knowing that if I did too much I’d end up exhausted and completely demotivated, I started just gradually. I started by walking half an hour a day. That’s not much, right? It’s pretty easy.

So for the first few weeks I was just walking once a day for thirty minutes. Then I started running at scout’s pace (which is running then walking then running and so on). This meant I was starting to burn more calories but again I wasn’t going nuts. I was starting off gradual so I could keep going.

After running at scouts pace I felt I was ready to start running. So I started running for half an hour a day. Again, I wasn’t pushing myself, I was just doing what I could do. Then I upped my amount of running. Im now running about four miles a day, and I’ve added an extra workout later in the evening, usually something fun like dance or Tai Chi, something not too strenuous.

But here’s the real point. Had I started running from day 1 I would have been exhausted and in pain. That would have demotivated me. I would have stopped exercise altogether.

Instead, I started gradually, working with my body, being honest with what my body was and was not ready to do. And because of this smooth approach, I’m now continuing my exercise routine and am getting back the body that I want; but I’m only here because I was kind to myself.

Be kind to yourself.  Next time you ask yourself “how much exercise do i need for weight loss” remember to be gentle to yourself. Go at the pace you can go at. Dont force it. Dont push yourself too hard. 

 

15. Keep failing diets? Eat more fish

If you’re great at keeping to a diet, thank your brain structure. New research shows that the structure of your brain determines whether you can self-regulate a healthy body or not.

One in three people are obese. That’s what we’re hearing from NIH, the national institute for Diabetes and kidney and digestive diseases. [7.] That means that you almost certainly know someone who is obese. A friend. A family member. We all know one obese person.

The world is fighting to overcome this obesity pandemic. Around 60% of people will go on a diet this year, including 90% of teenagers and 50% of all women. Great. But diets have a 95% fail rate. While we all try to lose weight, I’m sorry to say that the vast majority of us fail.

The average person knows what it feels like to fail a diet. You’re constantly fighting cravings in your mind. You go a week, a month, a few months, maybe even a year, on your diet. It’s hard work. You see some results. But still, you look in the mirror and you don’t see that model body you’re dreaming of. You see a chubby gut instead.

At 15 I was a pudgy teenager eating chicken nuggets and fries most days. Some nights I would cry myself to sleep because I wanted to be healthy and fit. So I’d start dieting. I’d go our for run, sweating after a hundred metres. And I’d force myself to pick an apple over candy at lunchtime. But failure was inevitable. Either I would be bullied, called “sleepy fatso” because of the bags under my eyes and my big gut. Or my father would get drunk and… well, we don’t need to go there.

Every time I dieted, something would go wrong in life and I’d go back to comfort eating.

 

There is a reason why some people cannot stick to diets.

Scientists took thirty chronic dieters with an average body fat of 26%. They showed them pictures of various foods and looked at how their brains reacted. What they found was that people who fail diets have more extreme reactions to images of food. Fit and healthy people, on the other hand, have less extreme reactions to images of food.

Overweight people have less white matter around the executive control and reward centres in their brains. This lack of white matter makes them more susceptible to temptation. “Individuals with reduced integrity may have difficulty in overriding rewarding temptations, leading to a greater chance of becoming obese than those with higher structural integrity,” the authors told us.

So how does that help us with this list of alternative weight loss techniques? It’s not like we can change brains.

If you want to succeed in a diet, you need to increase the white matter in your brain. Eeek. How on Earth do you do that?

Sadly, there are few known ways to increase white matter. In fact, many studies suggest it is impossible to increase white matter in the brain.

But you can restructure the way white matter is distributed.

Like the energy that powers the city, white matter is not distributed evenly. Some parts of the brain have more white matter than others.

If you struggle to diet, your executive control and reward centre needs more white matter. There are only two known ways to make that happen.

Firstly, you can change your diet. Of course, this is a catch 22. You need self control to change your diet. You need to change your diet to get self control. Er, what gives?

Thankfully, you can start to change your diet by actually eating more. Specifically, eating more fat.

Yes, you read that correctly. You should start by eating more fat. But not just any fat. You need a particular type of fat:  long-chain polyunsaturated fats. Those are part of the cell membranes and are crucial to the messenger system of the brain. These fats are called DHA and EPA. And they’re found in fish and algae-based supplements.

Certain fish have more DHA and EPA than others. According to Sea Food Health Facts [8], Herring, Mackerel, and Salmon are the best. Research shows that people who eat these fish have healthier brains.

This is not the only solution.

Remember, the key is to increase white matter in the executive control and reward centre of your brain.

There is another way to do this. Exercise those parts of your brain. When you exercise your executive control and reward centre you bulk-up those parts of your brain, just like you’re training a muscle at the gym. Just as you can train your brain using those brain-training software packages, you can train this one specific part of your brain to help you lose weight.

So how do you train your brain to help you lose weight? By saying “No”.

When you gradually cut down one something (food, smoking, alcohol) you train the executive control and reward centre of your brain. The more you exercise the stronger those brain regions will be. More white matter will flow to the area, strengthening it. Like your bicep it will grow stronger with exercise.

 

Recap

  1. If you cannot lose weight, it’s because your brain just need a little big of training and a little big of nutrition, just like your muscles do.
  2. Start by eating Herring, Mackerel, and Salmon, which contain DHE and EPA.
  3. Then start saying “No” to some of the foods you like.
  4. Saying no will make the regions of your brain called the “executive control” and “reward centre” stronger.
  5. When those brain regions are stronger you will be able to control what you eat much more effectively.
  6. And then you will succeed on your diet.

 

I created an infographic that you can share or print out you like. Feel free to use it on your own site using the code below. 

if you cant lose weight anymore....

 

 

16: Join a weight loss support group. Here’s how.

Step 1: Go Online

One of the best places to find weight loss and depression buddies is online. There are a great many forums for weight loss and depression, not to mention Faceboook and Twitter. Using these resources you can discuss weight loss and depression with people who are facing the same challenges. Most of these resources are free, so there really is no reason not to make use of them.

Step 2: Go to classes and groups

Most cities have both weight loss groups and depression groups. When you attend a group you will find people who are taking positive steps to overcome the challenges in their lives. These are the best people to get to know. When you meet people who are actively trying to overcome depression and to lose weight you form a strong group. Together you can find new ideas on how to lose weight and how to beat depression, you can do activities and exercises together and you can motivate each other to keep going.

Step 3: Make friends with them

Most people don’t like talking about weight loss and depression. These are sensitive subjects that we only feel comfortable talking about with close friends. That’s why it’s important to make friends with these people. Talk to them openly, offer support, exchange email and phone numbers and suggest some times to meet up.

Step 4: Schedule

It’s important to make time to meet with your new friends so that you can schedule a time to discuss any challenges you are facing, to offer each other support and to just chat. Make room for one meeting each week.

Step 5: Make Use of the Time

Make sure that you make the most of all the time that you are with your weight loss and depression friends. Come prepared to meetings. Be ready to discuss any challenges you have faced in the week. Discuss openly and remember to always offer support.

Step 6: Be Responsible for each other

If you’re going to make the most of your new friends then you need to be responsible for each other. You need to be there when your friends need help and you need to let them know that you are always happy to discuss problems and challenges with one another. Remember, when you are there for your friends they are there for you to. Always support one another.

Step 7: Encourage

Encouragement is the most important thing in both weight loss and in overcoming depression. Just a few kind words here and there can make a big difference. We all know what it is like to feel demotivated and to feel as though we cannot achieve what we need to achieve. At these times a few words of encouragement can make all the difference.

 

And there you are. Those are personal favorite alternative ways to lose weight. Try them over the course of the next week and see which ones work for you.

And I would love to know how you get on with your weight loss. So please leave a comment.

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