Alternative Weight Loss Methods

By Sakai Blue , last updated January 25, 2012

Everyone knows about the traditional methods of losing weight, like cutting calories and working out, but you may be searching for more alternative weight loss methods. Many unconventional methods of weight loss that were met with scorn from the medical community years ago have become more acceptable as time has passed. If you’re ready to throw away your calorie counter, check out the list below for some alternative weight loss methods.

The basic idea behind weight loss will always be the same: you need to expend more calories than you take in. In order to have a healthy body, you’ll need to exercise to make sure that you’re working out your muscles and keeping your heart healthy and happy. Unconventional weight loss methods address the way you make these things happen.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is the branch of traditional Chinese medicine that works by removing obstacles that are blocking your life force, or “qi.” This is done by small, narrow needles that are inserted through the skin over different parts of your body. The idea is that by cleaning out your qi, your spiritual, physical and emotional health will be straightened out and re-aligned. Because acupuncture helps you relax, it may help you manage diet killers like stress eating or eating because you're depressed. Because acupuncture is also used in treating depression, it could help you feel happier and more motivated to succeed with your diet and exercise plan. Acupuncture usually costs anywhere from $50 to $85. While on the subject of acupuncture, you may wish to consider acupressure, which uses similar techniques to acupuncture, with the difference being that the practitioner uses his or her fingers to target pressure points on the body.

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)

Also called “tapping,” EFT taps on the acupressure points on your body responsible for carrying emotion so that it can rid itself of negative thoughts or suppressed memories that are holding it back. The belief is that many of the physical and emotional diseases that humans suffer can be traced to negative thoughts and emotions. By tapping at different pressure points, you are thought to be relieving yourself of these emotional binds and healing what ails you. With so many weight issues being tied to emotional issues, the thinking is that you will get rid of those issues, relieve stress, and start to lose weight. British singer Lily Allen attributes part of her weight loss to this method.

Ayurveda

Practitioners of the Indian traditional medicine Ayurveda believe that it can help with weight loss. With Ayurveda, the goal is to strike balance and harmony between the spirit, mind and body. Your aim is to develop the three areas of your “dosha,” or life force. How your dosha is balanced is based on your diet, how you think and feel, your lifestyle, and your medical health. The practitioner’s goal with ayurvedic weight loss is to restructure your dosha’s balance by changing what you eat. If you choose this alternative method of weight loss, choose a highly recommended practitioner who makes you feel comfortable like you would with any medical professional. If you’re prescribed any supplements, let your own medical doctor know so that there aren’t any contraindications.

Hypnosis

Hypnosis has been used to treat anything from smoking to depression to post traumatic stress, so it’s understandable that people would seek it out as a weight loss remedy. With hypnosis, you learn to focus on a particular issue by entering an almost trance-like state where you’re open to changing old thinking patterns. Adding in other mental exercises like visualization and positive affirmations can help you re-train your brain into making better food and exercise choices. You don’t need to lie on a hypnotist’s sofa, but instead can learn how to practice hypnosis on yourself. In order for it to be effective, you have to be in the right frame of mind and trust that it’s going to be effective for you. People learn to do self-hypnosis via books or classes, and it may take several months of twice a day practice before they start to see results. Some people prefer to go to a hypnotist in the beginning before taking over the reins for themselves.

Mindfulness

With mindfulness, you’re taught to focus on nothing but the moment at hand. When applied to weight loss, mindfulness is used to do things like only eat when you’re hungry vs. eating when you’re used to eating. You have to pay attention to your body’s cues in the present tense so that you can be clear that you’re not just eating out of habit. You’re supposed to have an intimate connection with the food you eat, chewing slowly and using all of your senses to enjoy the food. You have to take note of your feelings, and determine if you’re sad, happy, depressed, etc. If you can get to the right state of mindfulness, you may notice that you’re often not hungry when you think you are.

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