This trick requires nothing more than a stroll over to the thermostat. Turn the heater down a few degrees and you'll activate a type of body fat that actually burns calories. While adults have mostly white fat, as infants we had primarily brown fat. In recent years, researchers have come to realize that brown fat actually burns calories to help generate heat. A recent trial published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism reports that when we're exposed to cooler temperatures, some of our inert stores of white fat convert to a darker, beige color and begin burning calories. You don't have to live in a freezer, either: A British study from 2012 suggests that lowering the thermostat by just two to four degrees—aim for the mid to high 60s—can trigger the fat conversion.
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You may find acupuncture a little intimidating, but your nervous system seems to respond to one simple form—ear acupuncture—by suppressing your appetite. A recent study published in Acupuncture in Medicine suggests that when acupuncturists target five points on the ears that are linked to hunger and digestion, overweight people begin losing weight—without dieting or working out. Daniel Hsu, a licensed acupuncturist in New York City, points out that the stress-reducing benefits of acupuncture may also eliminate stress-related noshing.
MORE: 7 Things You Can Do In The Morning To Promote Weight Loss All Day Long
Write It Down
There's one never-fail weight-loss trick: Keep a food diary. Just tracking helps prevent you from overdoing it. And now it's easier than ever. Instead of having to meticulously write down everything you eat, you can snap a photo of your food with your phone—and a study published in the International Journal of Consumer Studies found that shooting photos of food actually worked better than the pen-and-paper method. Taking a photo ahead of time gives you a chance to improve on your choice, suggests a study from University of Wisconsin-Madison: When the participants looked at photographs of their food, they realized that maybe they could cut back on the serving size or skip the snack they were considering. As one of the study subjects reported, "Who wants to take a picture of a jumbo bag of M&Ms?"
Get up, Stand up
It's no surprise that sitting too much can add pounds. So think about setting up a standing desk for your computer, taking calls on your feet, and responding in person to emails and instant messages. The difference in calorie burn might shock you: Eight hours of standing while doing light office work burns nearly 500 more calories than performing the same chores seated. (Check out these 15 simple ways to squeeze in more exercise no matter how long you're stuck at your desk.)