Diet & Nutrition

Surprising things that help you lose weight

While exercise and reducing meal sizes are most people's go-to for dropping a dress size, not all weight loss secrets are obvious.
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Often when it comes to losing weight we’re told we need to avoid certain things if we want any chance of shifting those spare kilos. And sadly for us, those ‘things’ are usually our most favourite foods or alcohol – see ya later, pizza.

However, believe it or not, when it comes to weight loss, it’s not always about what you shouldn’t be eating. Some studies have actually found evidence linking these surprising foods, drinks and lifestyle choices to weight loss and it’s making us very excited.

Black tea

Pop the kettle on, pour yourself a cup and start the slim-down. Really, it’s that easy! According to research published in the European Journal of Nutrition, a cuppa a day can boost your metabolism, making it easier to shift unwanted weight.

But, there is a catch…you have to skip the milk and two sugars and opt for just plain black tea.

Scientists found that a brew a day over four weeks could see your weight drop at a similar rate to eating a low-fat diet.

“Our new findings suggest that black tea, through a specific mechanism through the gut microbiome, may also contribute to good health and weight loss in humans,” explains Dr Susanne Henning, who led the study.

Cheat Days

Recently, a study published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, found that allowing yourself a ‘cheat day’ while dieting (read: scoffing a margarita pizza on a Friday night) can actually help you stick to your diet in the long run.

According to study author Rita Coelho do Vale, Ph.D, occasional indulgence makes dieting more sustainable.

“The key is to plan ahead and designate a specific day for your rule-breaking,” Dr Vale told Men’s Health. “That’s because giving in to a spur-of-the-moment doughnut can make you feel like you blew your eating plan — and might as well abandon it completely.”

Even so, Dr. Vale notes that “cheat day” and “binge day” shouldn’t be synonymous with one another. Your greasy, calorie-filled treats should be consumed within reason. So, just one pizza.


If there is one plan we’re keen to get on board with it’s the ‘sleep diet’. Yes, that’s right, the sleep diet. And no, you don’t just sleep instead of eat.

A study published in The Lancet explained that sleep is crucially important for metabolic function and hormone stability. Not only does metabolism play a huge role in weight loss, it also can lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease.

While another study found that waking up and going to sleep at the same time every day was strongly linked to having lower body fat.

Water and watermelon

Numerous studies indicate that drinking water boosts your metabolism and gut health, but, really, it all comes down to drinking enough water to keep your body hydrated so your body and brain can function (and burn more kilojoules in the process).

Struggle chugging down more than a glass or two a day? Get your H2O intake up by eating water-loaded fruits like watermelon (it’s made up of 92 per cent water).


Although a relatively healthy vegetable, mushrooms are often served as a delicious, buttery side to a fried breakfast – yum!

However, this often underestimated vege has been found to be so packed with protein, that those in a study who ate a serving of mushies felt more satisfied and significantly less hungry than those who ate an equal amount of protein in the form of minced beef. Feeling fuller for longer generally means snacking less and consuming fewer calories.

“This new study adds to a growing body of evidence that suggests mushrooms may aid weight management and satiety, and thus contribute to overall wellness,” said Mary Jo Feeney, nutrition research coordinator to the Mushroom Council.

So, if your goal is to lose weight, swap animal meats for lower-fat, plant-based proteins like mushrooms.

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