Easier Ways to Lose Weight in the New Year

Date: January 3, 2017      Publication: Bottom Line's Household Magic      Source:  Joan Wilen & Lydia Wilen      Print:

Another year, another diet! Instead of drastic changes and starvation tactics, try adopting a few user-friendly habits that’ll curb your appetite and cravings so that you’ll lose the weight (somewhat) effortlessly. Here are a few of our favorite pound-dropping tips…

 Herbal teas can help quell your cravings and flush out the fat cells. Just remember that persistence brings success…

  • Fennel seeds, which can be easily brewed into a tea, are natural appetite-suppressants. To prepare, add one teaspoon of the dried seeds to a cup of just-boiled water. Cover and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain and drink one cup about a half-hour before each meal and one cup at bedtime. It has a refreshing, mild licorice-like flavor. Fennel helps to boost metabolism, while it helps to aid digestion. It’s also rich in vitamin A (which means that it’s wonderful for the eyes).
  • For something a little more exotic, brew up a cup of hawthorn berry tea. If you use tea bags (available online or in health-food stores), steep one in a cup of just-boiled water for seven minutes. If you are using actual dried berries (which you can purchase online from retail herbalists), simmer a teaspoon in a small pot of water (one cup) for 15 minutes and strain. Drink two cups a day—one cup between breakfast and lunch…and one cup between lunch and dinner. Hawthorn berry stimulates the adrenal glands and improves thyroid function for better metabolism.

Thanks to for help with this tip.


Please note: These teas are not “magic bullets” that melt away fat. Sip them in conjunction with a sensible eating and exercise plan to slim down for better health. And please check with your doctor before using any herbs or supplements for weight loss.

Acupressure craving-stopper: Massage your philtrum (the indentation between your upper lip and the bottom of your nose) by drawing tiny circles with your index finger. After about 10 seconds, your energy channel that links the brain, pancreas and spleen will have balance restored, and your craving for sweets will be repressed. It might also relax you!

Eat less tip: At home or in restaurants (where the serving sizes are often huge), eat the amount of food that’s right for you, then place your eating utensils (probably a knife and fork) crisscrossed to form an X on top of the remaining food. As the plate sits there in front of you, the X will signal NO MORE. And if the big X is not enough to stop you from mindlessly munching on the rest of the food, you’ll think twice about picking up soiled silverware.

Exercise more tip: You’ve heard it plenty of times—walking is good exercise and easy to do. But treadmills are boring and it’s winter outside. Wait a second. Don’t let the cold stop you! If you walk on a chilly day, you can boost your metabolic rate by up to four times, due to your muscles tensing when you shiver. That means you’re burning off extra calories. You’ll also probably walk faster to get out of the cold! (Just be sure to look out for icy patches, please.)


Joan Wilen and Lydia Wilen are folk-remedy experts and home tipsters based in New York City. They have spent decades collecting "cures from the cupboard” and are authors of several books, including Bottom Line's Treasury of Home Remedies & Natural Cures and Bottom Line's Household Magic.

  • Rebecca Priebe

    You burn more calories when you walk in the cold more so from developing brown fat and from the increase metabolic need related to maintaining temperature homeostasis. The act of exercising in the cold should negate the need to shiver.