By Noah Kaufman
Updated January 05, 2015
© ClassicStock / Alamy

In order to keep New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, many people will resort to old and new tricks purported to help shed pounds without the exertion of exercise and unpleasantness of calorie restriction. Here are just seven of the most unusual methods we’ve seen credited with helping desperate souls slim down. For the record, we’re going to stick with the elliptical and fewer doughnuts thing.

1. Ear Stapling

Yes, you read that correctly. People are putting real metal staples in their ears for one to two months at a time because of the belief that constant pressure on certain points in the ear will reduce craving—be it for food or cigarettes. For the $899 cost quoted in the above link, we'll staple you wherever your heart desires.

2. Brushing Your Teeth Before Having Seconds

Some doctors claim that brushing your teeth sends a signal to your brain that it’s time to stop eating. It also makes more food taste terrible.

3. Saying “I Don’t”

According to work published in the Journal of Consumer Research, the words you use to refuse food can make a difference in whether you eat it. Apparently saying the words “I don’t eat double bacon cheeseburgers” instead of “I can’t eat double bacon cheeseburgers” encourages us to actually not eat double bacon cheeseburgers.

4. Making a Fist

Yet another study from the Journal of Consumer Research (they’ve got a niche) says that if you try different ways to tighten your muscles, like clenching your fist, you will be able to better engage in self-control and therefore eat less.

5. Wearing Weight-Loss Belts

We didn’t know it either, but weight-loss belts are totally still a thing. However, they have gone from huge, noisy, unwieldy machines to more compact late-night infomercial finds.

6. Smelling Vanilla

For anyone looking for a weirder way to slim down than weight-loss belts, Aroma Patches could be the thing for you. The patches are covered with essential oils, which you smell after you put them on. Supposedly the best scent for you is vanilla, because according to some dieticians it curbs your desire for sweet food.

7. Using Chopsticks

The utensil set we use in America may be making us fat. At least that’s the thinking behind a book calledThe Chopsticks Diet, which claims that just using chopsticks will force us to eat less because we will take smaller bites.