Photography by Ted Cavanaugh
Struggling to shed the winter muffin top? Try approaching your weight loss fun-fair style… Step right up to slim right down…
1. Pick a motivating prize
Keeping your eyes on a reward (you will win that teddy, dammit!) works for shedding kilos too: University of Arizona research showed that the prospect of a prize led people to choose smaller food portions over larger ones with no bonus. Potential prizes activate the same brain region that lights up at the thought of a heaping plate of grub, so make a list of rewards (say, concert tickets) for sticking with your eating plan and keep the feel-good cycle going.
Read More: How To Lose Weight According To Your Body Type
2. Use mirrors to shift your perspective
Fun-house mirrors distort the truth, but regular ones can offer a helpful reality check. In a study from the University of Central Florida, people found chocolate cake less delish when downing it in front of a mirror, since the objective view may have made them uncomfortable with their unhealthy food choice. On the flip side, fruit salad tasted just as good in front of the glass. Any reflective surface can work, so try a window seat when you dine out.
Read More: 7 Worst Late-Night Snacks For Your Waistline
3. Flex your willpower muscle
A study in the Journal of Consumer Research found that people who clenched the muscles in their biceps while making food decisions were better able to resist junky stuff than those who kept their muscles limber. Your brain may associate firm muscles with self-control, so try flexing your biceps next time you’re faced with a heavy-versus-healthy decision.
Struggling to lose your winter weight? We’ve got you covered with an expert-approved diet and fitness plan. Simply sign up for Women’s Health’s Lean Body Blitz and take the first step towards your 12-week transformation!