It’s easier to lose weight and shed extra pounds if you know a few tricks.

Step 1: Get the blues

Change the light bulb in your refrigerator to a blue one. It will make everything in the fridge look unappetizing, because we unconsciously associate blue with moldy food.

Yellow, red, and orange stimulate the appetite.

Step 2: Spoil your dinner

Eat an apple, a small, low-cal salad, or a cup of soup before lunch and dinner, especially if you’re having a fattening entree. Studies show you’ll consume fewer total calories because you’ll be less hungry for the main meal.

Step 3: Limit your choices

Limit the number of different tastes at each meal. Research has shown that if we are experiencing just one taste, like a casserole, we’ll stop eating when we’re full. But if we allow our taste buds to jump around from sweet, to salty, to savory, and back again, we tend to eat past the point of fullness.

Variety is a main reason we eat an extra 1,500 to 5,000 calories at Thanksgiving dinner alone.

Step 4: Cut down on sugar

Cut down on added sugar — sugar that doesn’t occur naturally in food. The average American consumes 30 teaspoons — 450 calories — of added sugar per day; think about that before you pour sugar into beverages and onto foods. And avoid foods that list sugar as one of the first three ingredients, or that contain several types of sugar.

Fructose, corn syrup, fruit-juice concentrate, malt syrup, sucrose, molasses, dextrose, and glucose are all sugars.

Step 5: Use smaller dishes

Eat off smaller plates. Studies show you’ll eat fewer calories without even missing them.

Did You Know?

Sugar-free gum isn’t calorie-free: One stick has 5 to 10 calories.