As summer looms, more and more of us will be thinking about shedding those stubborn extra pounds.
But while we all know what to do – eat less and exercise more – for many of us, following a healthy regime is easier said than done.
Here, experts share some of their weirdest weightloss tricks with FEMAIL – and some of them will surprise you.
From Instagramming your meal to practising Pilates at your desk, we reveal the surprisingly easy ways to slim down this summer.
- Embrace your inner domestic goddess
Finding it hard to burn calories when you there are so many chores to do around the house?
Why not combine the two? Housework can be a great workout; if you clean windows in a circular motion you can expect to sweat off around 125 calories an hour, according to Muscle Food.
- Sneak some moves in at your desk
The workplace isn’t the most obvious place to exercise, but doing a few minutes of Pilates at your desk every day can be very beneficial, according to Lynne Robinson, author of Pilates For Life.
‘To keep yourself feeling fit and healthy, why not set yourself the goal of doing five minutes Pilates at your desk whenever you get a break?’ says Lynne. ‘If you’ve time for coffee, you’ve time for Pilates.
‘Even though you are only doing 5 minutes, you need to focus, and do the exercises mindfully. Then try to retain what you’ve learnt with you as you move around the office.’
- Check yourself out while you’re eating
Hang a mirror up opposite you when you’re eating and you’ll be surprised by how much less you will eat.
According to a 2015 study from the University of Central Florida, the presence of a mirror makes unhealthy foods less palatable by increasing the eater’s self-awareness.
- Give up guilt
No need to give up on your favourite foods entirely – give up guilt instead!
As psychologist Corinne Sweet explains: ‘People talk about themselves in terms of being “good” or “bad” according to how habitually they eat or drink things, or whether they snack.
‘”I’ve been bad today,” might mean someone has had a chocolate bar or muffin with their coffee. Or “I’ve been good” can mean they have abstained from the biscuit round in the tearoom.’
This attitude can often create stress and complex feelings, which can actually accentuate and increase the behaviour rather than curb it, she warns,
‘It can also have a negative impact on your children, making them feel “bad” for having an ice cream and “good” for eating broccoli.’
- Drink tomato juice
Can’t decide which cold beverage you fancy? According to a 2015 report, tomato juice can help trim your waistline.
The study, conducted by scientists at the China Medical University in Taiwan, asked 25 women to drink a glass of the juice every day, without making any changes to their lifestyle.
The women who drank the juice for two months lost almost an inch off their waistline and their cholesterol levels also dropped.
- Instagram your meal
Snapping away at the dinner table is not just about making others envious of your food; research shows that it may also benefit your waistline.
As nutritionist Dr Marilyn Glenville, author of Natural Alternatives to Sugar explains: ‘Researchers suggest that taking a photograph of food just before you eat concentrates the mind to eat not only healthier foods but also less of it.
‘The photographs seem to deter binges.’
- Have a warm soak
Don’t fancy slogging it out on the treadmill today? Mix up your calorie burning techniques by having a soak in a hot bath.
Research by Loughborough-based researcher Dr Steve Faulkner suggests that relaxing in a tub increases energy expenditure levels by 80 percent, which can burn 126 calories per hour.
Who knew that burning calories could be so relaxing?
- Treat yourself
If you can’t resist the odd cheat meal, such as a burger, don’t deprive yourself completely on every occasion.
Instead, where possible, give it a healthier boost. As Shona Wilkinson, nutritionist at SuperfoodUK.com explains: ‘Add a simple green salad as a side dish for a tasty yet healthier meal.
‘I wouldn’t order a burger that contained too much cheese and mayo, as these can up the calories. Always ask for any sauces to be served on the side so you have control over the amount you use.’
If you can’t resist fries, she suggests opting for the sweet potato fries, which don’t affect your blood sugar levels as much.
‘This will help avoid that energy slump some people feel after a meal,’ she says.
- Eat with a man
Got a date lined up this week? Researchers from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and the University of Akron found that women tend to purchase fewer calories when eating with a male compared to when they’re with women.
As Marci Cottingham, a co-author of the study, explained in an interview with abcnews: ‘The theory is you’re more aware of gender when you’re with the opposite gender and may want to prove your gender more.’