Last updated: Mar 02, 2016

It all sounds good on paper, but can the right home tweaks really make pounds melt off? Writer Julie Taylor put it to the test.

5 p.m.—I go in through the front door instead of the side door, which means I dont grab a snack-size bag of potato chips (150 calories) or a chocolate bar with almonds (210 calories) like usual. But Im hungry!

5:10 p.m.—OK, so I caved and went to the kitchen and immediately ate a chocolate bar with almonds. (Add: 210 calories.) But all is not lost! Instead of sinking into my couch as I normally would, I hit my fit kit and jump rope for 15 minutes (which burns roughly 170 calories).

5:30 p.m.—I turn on the news, sink into the couch and think about all the snacks Id like to have right now. Dont I deserve them? I distract myself with another dip into the Fit Kit, turning off the news and switching on my sons Wii instead. I play Wii Boxing for 30 minutes, burning 180 calories!

6:30 p.m.—I use an ice cream scoop to help me portion out the turkey burgers before throwing them on the grill. They look about 40% smaller than the patties I usually make—which means Ill save 60 calories. Thats good, but will this be enough food for me?

7:15 p.m.—At dinner, I use a salad plate rather than a platter, and the burgers look a lot more satisfying. I actually eat about half what I usually do. This saves 250 calories.

9 p.m.—Im bored, which means its normally time to snack. I take a bubble bath instead and get nice and sleepy.

10 p.m.—Bed time. I spritz lavender on my pillow, have a drink of cucumber water, then hit the sheets and Im out.

Calories saved: 810