Non-Traditional Weight Loss Methods that Actually Work

Experts weigh in on lesser-known strategies for effective weight loss

If you want to lose weight, most experts will offer two simple pieces of advice: exercise more and eat less.

Of course, because many other factors, like sleep and stress, affect the way our bodies burn and store fat, it’s not always that simple.

Or, like in some situations, during the initial stages of a weight loss journey, achieving results is as simple as increasing your activity and reducing your food intake, but as you get closer to your goal, this strategy is no longer effective and a new approach is needed.

No matter what your situation may be, what’s true for everyone is that weight loss definitely isn’t easy and there are no “quick fixes” or one-size-fits-all solutions.

This means that just because a strategy works for one person, doesn’t mean that it will be right for you. It also means that you may have to engage in a little bit of trial and error before you find a weight loss method that not only effectively helps you to lose weight, but allows you to maintain the loss long-term.

Just remember, results take time; so when implementing a new plan make sure you stick with it long enough to figure out whether or not it’s actually working. Don’t give it up and move on to the next thing just because you aren’t seeing immediate changes.

That said, if you need an outside-of-the-box method to switch-up your weight loss strategy, consider one of the following non-traditional approaches—all of which should be considered as part of plan that includes regular exercise and a diet consisting of mostly nutrient-rich, whole foods.

Intermittent Fasting

Research behind this method of “dieting” is still in its early stages, but some studies have shown that it may be an effective way to improve health and fitness, and many who implement intermittent fasting (IF) into their lifestyle find it to be an effective fat loss and muscle-building strategy. And although it’s frequently referred to as the IF “diet,” really, it’s less about reducing calories and more about optimizing the timing of your meals. There are several different ways to follow IF, but the most common method (popularized by Martin Berkhan on his website Lean Gains) follows a daily cycle that calls for 16 hours of fasting followed by an 8-hour “feeding” period. Ultimately, the purpose of IF is to teach the body to use fuel more efficiently.


At first, this might seem like a wacky approach to weight loss, but if you think about it, most people know what they need to do to lose weight; the most difficult part is overcoming the mental roadblocks that prevent successful implementation of new healthy habits. “Hypnosis can successfully ‘turn off’ cravings, end emotional eating, end self-sabotage, and help a person find motivation to stay on track,” says Holly Stokes, a certified Hypnotherapist and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Practitioner and author of A Lighter You! Train Your Brain to Slim Your Body. She says there are different types of hypnosis, but in her practice she uses NLP hypnosis to help shift the mind's focus. “It’s about helping the unconscious mind learn new strategies and switch its focus to healthy foods,” she said. For the best effect, try incorporating hypnosis as part of a weight loss plan that also includes a smart approach to healthy eating and exercise.

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