By Guest Contributor Sally Symonds author of “50 Steps to Lose 50kg . . . And Keep It Off” – the inspirational story of how she halved her weight and doubled her life.
If you’re desperate to drop some kilos but can’t bear the idea of giving up doughnuts or breaking a sweat in order to do so, don’t worry—it turns out there are a whole raft of ways for you to lose weight without the penury of eating less or exercising more. See how you go trying out a few of these creative solutions…
Crazy but true—increasing your altitude can decrease your weight. In a recent pilot study, three out of four subjects lost weight after spending six weeks in an altitude tent that simulated elevations in excess of 3.2 kilometers above sea level. This was possibly due to a decrease in ghrelin, the hormone that triggers appetite. If that’s not enough of an incentive to increase your air travel, think of all those frequent flyer points you’d accrue…
9. Fall pregnant:
You may be surprised to learn that pregnancy is a great way to boost your metabolism and burn calories faster. Of course, you may experience some obvious and growing side effects as the months pass…but at least you’ll have an excuse to eat for two!
8. Freeze your butt off:
When you get too cold, you shiver, which causes your muscles to constantly contract and relax as they try to produce enough heat to keep up your body temperature. The result? You burn more energy. So when the weather’s chilly, forget the heating and long sleeves and prepare to shed some kilos instead!
7. Sweat it out on holidays
If cold weather isn’t your thing, don’t worry—warm temperatures can also increase how much energy your body burns. When you’re hot and begin to sweat, you use up more energy, which is partly why ‘hot yoga’ is renowned as an effective way to lose weight. Hit up your local sauna or book your next holiday somewhere tropical.
Sorry boys, this only works if you’re a woman. Ladies, it might be an extreme measure, but a sex change operation could help you lose weight—men naturally have a higher metabolism than women.
5. Spice up your diet:
Good news if you enjoy a curry: studies show that certain spicy foods, particularly chillies, can increase your metabolism by up to 50%, and keep it elevated for up to three hours after you’ve eaten. Some spices are thought to be thermogenic, meaning they accelerate your body’s fat-burning ability. Cayenne is actually a common ingredient in certain types of weight loss pills, but it’s probably a lot tastier in your dinner.
4. Fire up the percolator:
If you’re fond of a morning cuppa, why not up your intake? Research indicates that caffeine not only speeds up your metabolism, it also breaks down fat and helps keep your blood sugar levels stable for longer. Quickly, time for another latte
3. Get stressed:
If you’re regularly on the verge a nervous breakdown, the good news is that it might help you lose weight fast (although with all that stress in your life, you might not care). Stress has varying effects on the body, but it can cause loss of appetite or increased adrenalin levels, which can boost your metabolism.
2. Wrap yourself skinny:
Body wraps are a popular spa treatment: you’re swathed in mummy-like fabric in order to detoxify your skin and stimulate rapid weight loss. Yes, you’ll probably lose a few inches this way; unfortunately, it’s water weight, not fat. As soon as you eat or drink anything after your wrap, those inches will come straight back. Besides, who wants to sit around for hours wearing the ugliest sweat suit ever made in the name of fluid loss? Not me…
1. Lose a limb:
If you’re that desperate to lose weight without diet or exercise, consider amputating an arm or foot. The average human arm equals approximately 6.5% of your total body weight; if, like the average Australian woman, you weigh around 71 kg , that arm could be worth almost four kilos. That’s a whole dress size! And you’ll still have your other arm.
If you think the above steps run the gamut from the unrealistic to the ridiculous, that’s because they do—and the good news is that acknowledging their stupidity means you recognize what it really takes to lose weight. It’s tough but true: the only way to drop the kilos and keep them off is through good old-fashioned healthy eating and exercise. No, it’s not the quick fix, but it’s the lasting one—and that’s the one that counts.