Brush teeth to blast belly fat - and nine other expert-approved weight loss tips

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Brushing your teeth or chewing some gum can stop those pesky food cravings (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Brushing your teeth or chewing some gum can stop those pesky food cravings (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

It’s bikini season, which means Brits will do almost anything to shed those pesky pounds - including weight loss drugs.

Many people are turning to slimming jab Wegovy after Hollywood elites branded the medication a “skinny shot”. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence ( NICE ) have labelled the prescription drug, which is also known as Semaglutide, as safe, effective and affordable.

The jab is only available through weight-loss services in hospitals, but it is expected to be rolled out by GPs in England to NHS patients with at least one weight-related condition and a body mass index (BMI) score of over 35. These conditions include type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, dyslipidaemia, prediabetes, obstructive sleep apnoea and heart disease.

Guidance recommends people take the jabs for a maximum of two years, but scientists have recently stated that patients should be prepared to be on them indefinitely - as you would with statins for high cholesterol. There have been reports of uncomfortable side effects, including stomach and kidney problems, sickness, dizziness, fatigue, memory loss and bruising.

Blasting unwanted weight can be difficult, especially with the abundance of information on fad diets and ‘tricks’ to burn fat fast. But there are a number of tried-and-tested methods that can help you shed the pounds - without the need for slimming jabs. Here’s some surprising tips that could help you reach your weight-loss goals...

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Brush teeth to blast belly fat - and nine other expert-approved weight loss tipsMany people are turning to weight-loss drugs as a way to shed pounds (AFP via Getty Images)

Cool your carbs

Instead of eating your meal steaming hot, wait for them to cool down first. This is because cold carbs have a lower glycemic index which can help you lose weight.

Personal trainer Nick Mitchell, the founder of Ultimate Performance, said: “Foods with a lower glycemic index can help you lose weight because they make you feel full for longer.

“They can also stop the sharp rise and fall of blood sugar levels that result in hunger pangs, which can lead to raiding the cupboard, binge eating and weight gain.”

Sleep naked

Instead of reaching for those fluffy pyjamas, strip down to the nude before you go to bed. According to research from the US National Institute of Health, sleeping naked helps to cool your body temperature down, which allows your metabolism to speed up - and in turn burns calories quicker.

Remember to eat

Nick warned that skipping meals, or eating small portions, won’t help with your weight loss goals.

“If I let myself go hungry, which can frequently happen if you’ve got a very demanding job, then the idea of eating some beef and broccoli isn’t half as appealing as the baked beans on toast I can rustle up in two minutes,” he explained

“So many of us make poor food choices when we allow ourselves to go hungry. And poor food choices lead to weight gain.

“My rule for weight loss is don’t put yourself in harm’s way and ensure that you eat something nutritious every three to four hours.”

Brush teeth to blast belly fat - and nine other expert-approved weight loss tipsSleeping naked can help to speed your metabolism up (Getty Images/Westend61)

Avoid the smell of food

Do you ever find yourself craving food after walking past a delicious bakery? That’s because the smell of food can stimulate your appetite and increase hunger, highlights Abbas Kanani, from Chemist Click Online Pharmacy.

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The health expert added: “When we encounter pleasant food aromas, it triggers the release of saliva and digestive enzymes in anticipation of eating. The aroma can also activate the brain’s reward centres, making us more interested in consuming the food and may lead to weight gain.”

If you’re looking to blast weight, it’s best to walk away or deliberately avoid a tasty food-smelling scenario.

Brush your teeth

Once you have reached into the biscuit cupboard or opened that tantalising packet of crisps, it can be difficult to stop the unhealthy snacking.

But brushing your teeth or chewing some gum can halt those pesky cravings in their tracks. Nick explained: “Mint is great at suppressing cravings and your brain may also associate the taste of mint with the end-of-the-day brushing of your teeth, thus quelling your desire to eat.”

Eat slowly

When hunger kicks in, it’s very easy to consume your meal quickly as a way to fill the hole. But it actually takes around 20 minutes for your brain to receive signals from your stomach that you’ve had enough to eat.

Abbas said: “By eating slowly, you allow these signals to reach your brain, which can help prevent overeating. Chewing slowly also breaks down food into smaller pieces, making it easier for your body to digest and absorb nutrients.” Eating slowly and staying present during mealtimes is a great way to connect with your body’s hunger and fullness cues.

Brush teeth to blast belly fat - and nine other expert-approved weight loss tipsBy eating slowly, you allow the signals to reach your brain (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Vanilla scent

Researchers from St George’s Hospital in London found that the scent of vanilla can reduce a person’s appetite for sweet-tasting food and drinks.

This may come as a surprise as vanilla is often found in ice cream and sugary snacks. So next time you’re tempted to break into that chocolate bar, spritz a vanilla-based room spray or light a vanilla-scented candle at home.

Swap hands

Holding your cutlery with the opposite hand can help to slow down the speed that you’re eating.

According to sports nutritionist Jess Hillard, from Warrior, using your non-dominant hand means you will naturally register it moving more, making you aware of what you’re doing. This can help stop you from mindless grazing.

Trick your brain

Colour tricks can help to tackle those annoying cravings. Studies have suggested that the colour blue can act as an appetite suppressant.

This can include using blue plates, blue cutlery or even blue dinner mats. Nutritionist Daniel Herman from Bio-Synergy says you can also use smaller plates to fool your brain into feeling full. “This can make your portions appear larger, helping you consume fewer calories,” he said.

Jess added: “Consumers pour 9.9 per cent more soup into larger bowls and 8.2 per cent less into smaller ones. This is the same with plate sizes and differing foods."

Lacking nutrients

Nutritionist Rob Hobson has highlighted that the body craves particular foods when it is lacking in certain nutrients. He recommends taking multivitamins to help bridge any gaps in nutritional deficiencies

Rob explains: “Ensuring your body is getting the minerals and nutrients it needs can help to stop pesky cravings. For example, a craving for red meat might mean you are lacking in iron.”

Freya Hodgson

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