5 non-food tips for diet success

Updated Dec 30, 2014

Not everything in one’s weight loss plan is only about the food you eat. Sometimes, it’s about everything else.

TV dinnerAvoid eating while watching TV. Distracted eating can lead to weight gain.

Here are five things you can do to enhance your weight loss efforts, none of which has anything to with what you put in your mouth.

  1. Keep Healthy Foods Where You Can See Them. Researchers say folks are three times more likely to eat the first item we see in the kitchen than the fifth item seen. So keep the good stuff in plain view: clean and slice vegetables, put them in zip-top bags and keep them in the front of the fridge.
  2. Create A Designated Eating Zone. Whether it’s a table in the kitchen or the dining room, create a place where you sit and eat, and nothing else. Don’t stand in the kitchen or eat from a package or a pot over the sink. The process of putting food on a plate and sitting down at the table helps you focus on what you are eating, and more importantly, how much.
  3. If You’re Eating, You’re Not Watching TV. This can be a tough one to overcome, because you are often pressed for time so the tendency is to watch TV while you eat, and vice versa. But, watching the evening news or a replay of Walking Dead can distract you and cause you to eat more than you intended.
  4. Keep a Vanilla-Scented Candle Handy. Strange as it sounds, just the scent of vanilla can help you resist the desire for an after-meal sweet treat. A British study showed that the scent of vanilla could help reduce cravings for candy or sweet sodas. And, the house smells good. (Try a vanilla scented air freshener in the cab of your truck.)
  5. Play Hide & Seek With Treats. It’s not always possible to totally banish foods that may sabotage your weight loss efforts. So, if you have them in the house for others or the occasional reward, make them hard to get to. Keep them in a locked cupboard, have a family member stash them and not tell you where they are, or just stow them at the back of the pantry. Do anything that keeps grabbing a quick diet-killer from being easy.