13/06/2016 08:03 BST | Updated 11/06/2017 06:12 BST

Easy Life Hacks to Think Your Way Slim

So, we've officially dived-in to the bikini and flip-flops season.

And like many of us, you might be trying to convince yourself that a punishing new gym regime is the way forward if you're going to squeeze into your swimsuit or beach shorts.

But there's more than one way to make 'skinny' your fat.

And before you do anything drastic - or potentially expensive - there are plenty of simple psychology related tricks you can employ to think your way to a better body.

Of course, everyone has different ideals and no one needs to be stick thin to be beautiful.

But we do all need to make sure that we are healthy and, more importantly, happy.

Meanwhile if a few little changes give you the confidence to strut your stuff by the holiday pool, whatever your shape, then all the better.

Leave something on your plate... "This goes against everything that was drilled in to you as a child but it's good to give your subconscious the message that it's OK to not finish your food. Most of us have been conditioned, bullied and cajoled by our parents into clearing our plates simply because that's what you're 'supposed' to do. But un-learning this can help reduce you portion sizes."


Eat with your less dominant hand... "A study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin showed that research participants who  snacked with their less dominant hand they ate 30% less than snacking with their dominant hand. When you are using your less dominant hand you are forcing yourself to pay more attention to what you are doing. And suddenly the act of snacking becomes less mindless."

Make your meals more interesting to avoid snacking... "Everyone has some issues with food. A common problem is that we are bored of it by the time we've sat down to eat it. Try and keep interested in your meals by cooking different things, new meals with exciting flavours, and the chances are you might not reach for that bar of chocolate later on."

Try not to get stressed... "Stress and weight are inextricably linked. The more energy you use up worrying about weight loss, the hungrier you will get, and the more you will eat - it's a vicious circle!

Small changes make a big difference... "Even something like cutting out margarine can help. The problem with spreadable 'butters' or butter substitutes is that they are marketed as healthy but really they are full of trans-fats, also known as 'damaged' fats. Damaged fats are something that we really should stay away from - it's 'sticky' and likely to clung to our arteries and cause internal damage.'

Enjoy time in the bedroom... "I know it's easier said than done, but sleep is essential if you want to lose weight. Sleeping seven to nine hours a night is a healthy sleep level, so you need to make sure you meet these requirements if you want to stay trim. If you're sleep deprived it causes the levels of hormone ghrelin to rise. Ghrelin makes you feel hungry, so the sleepier you are the hungrier you are. In turn, if you're sleepy, you're less likely to put your trainers on and go on a brisk walk."

Recognise that you ARE overweight, sooner rather than later... "A recent study by Slimming World found that it takes, on average, around five years for people to admit they're fat. If everyone around you is also slowly expanding then our expansion can go by unremarked and largely unnoticed until it reaches the point of being a genuine health concern."

Start challenging yourself whenever you can... "It's scary doing something new, and the fear is real. But challenging yourself to try new experiences will give your self-esteem a boost, fill your body with adrenaline, and that feel good factor could help you realise you CAN achieve your weight loss goals."

Ditch the car... "Walking is proven to lower spikes in blood sugar levels, even if you eat the same foods each day. So taking a few more steps here or there can greatly reduce your chances of becoming ill, even if you already eat well. After all, we're meant to walk: human beings are made to a stroll at a regular 4mph. It'll also help you feel happier.'

Drink water with your meal... "Yes, some nutritionists might complain and say you're 'diluting your stomach acids', but that's not true, drinking water while you eat actually aids digestion.

Put your cutlery down and let go of it between each and every mouthful... "This both slows down your eating and encourages you to chew your food properly. Slowing down is important: it gives your body time to realise it's being fed before you've gone and over-eaten."