Are you trying to shed off some of that excess weight? If you are, then you probably are already avoiding high-calorie foods and trying to squeeze in workouts in your daily routine. Avoiding high-calorie foods and exercising helps a lot, but it often seems like there is nothing pain-free about losing weight. However, losing weight shouldn’t always be a painful process. It should be about making small sacrifices combined with smart weight loss techniques that fit your lifestyle. Here are some surprising, fun and inspiring tips on losing weight fast you probably haven’t tried, but absolutely should.

1. Eat a big breakfast.

Forget diet denial. Add food to your a.m. meals instead of subtracting them. Eating a big, balanced breakfast can help keep your blood-sugar levels steady and the hunger pangs away. Hunger pangs expose you to risk of overeating come lunch time, which is a big no-no. That’s according to a study published in the journal Obesity that found bigger breakfasts improved some measures of metabolic syndrome like blood sugar control. However, maintain a low calorie, no-quick-sugar fix. The most important factor for losing weight is still how much calories you intake per day.

2. Share a meal when you go out.

Split that midday sandwich or pint of beer with someone else to cut out on indulgence, such as a friend or spouse. This simple act of sharing your meal when you go out can subtract a few hundred calories from your diet fast, which ultimately translates to less flab. The best thing about sharing a meal is that your body won’t notice the difference and you won’t feel stuffed. You might even save some money by doing so.

3. Satisfy your cravings—with healthy grub.

Grazing between meals was once considered among the best weight-loss techniques, but nutritionists now know it is better to satisfy your cravings with healthy grub than ignore it. Ignoring your cravings only puts you at risk of a junk-food binge later. Switch from high-calorie favorites to low calorie options, such as diet sodas. If you hate low-cal drinks, mix your preferred drink with a splash of the low-cal option and gradually increase the ratio as your taste buds get used to the new and healthy alternative.

4. Down some water before a meal.

You probably already know you need to drink plenty of water every day to stay well hydrated. But, did you know drinking a glass of water before a meal can help you watch what you eat? When you drink some water before a meal, you won’t just gobble everything because you are not so hungry. This is an especially handy tip for the compulsive snacker. It makes it harder for you to hog the buffet and also less tempting to sip endless cocktails at a party.

5. Remove distractions during meals.

Distracting activities like texting, driving and watching the television during meals can result in you eating more than is necessary. One study actually found that viewing the TV during a meal can make you take in 40% more calories than usual. Another study found a direct link between eating patterns and depressing news on TV. Switch off the TV, stop munching as you work at your desk and eliminate all other distractions during meals. This will allow you to pay 100% attention to what you eat.

6. Forget about ‘exercise.’

For many of us the mere mention of the word ‘exercise’ inspires resistance and creative avoidance for workout. A trick you can use to not dread exercise and actually start enjoying working out may be as simple as never calling it ‘exercise’ or ‘work out.’ Instead, start calling exercise for what it really is: riding a bike, taking a stroll, grass skiing, playing Frisbee, or having a walking meeting out of the office building. A rose by any other name is still a rose. You will still reap the many benefits of exercise in this way.

7. Drink coffee an hour before working out.

Drinking coffee an hour before working out has a similar effect as drinking coffee in the morning to make your day at work more productive. Go ahead. Enjoy a pre-exercise cup of black coffee or cup of java with a splash of skimmed milk to energize your workout. You will burn more calories on the treadmill without even realizing you are pushing yourself harder.

8. Have regular ‘you-on-top’ sex.

Sex can not only make you feel closer to your partner, but also help you burn anywhere from 85 to 250 calories, depending on the length and vigor of the session. That’s according to a 2010 study published in The American Journal of Cardiology that compared a good romp to a modest workout on a treadmill. Break a sweat in bed regularly to sculpt your abs and workout your major muscles, including back, butt and thigh muscles. Get on top in reverse-cowgirl position facing away from your man. This position is a fat burner!  The more active you are, the more you work your muscles and burn the calories.

9. Sleep 30 minutes more per night.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to nine hours of sleep per night for your body and brain to rest and function optimally. However, getting that extra half an hour of sleep per night (whether you sleep four hours or eight) can guarantee you are well rested and less prone to snacking out of stress or fatigue. You won’t feel lethargic when you wake and likely to skip the gym. Besides, a restful sleep equals better muscle tone since the body builds muscle while you snooze.

10. Spend more time with slim people.

This is not to say that you should ditch your chubby friends. But, according to a study from Liverpool University, when you are around overweight people all the time, you are likely to start thinking excess weight is normal and stop putting in the effort to lose it. Hang out with slim, fit people. It can give you the nudge and motivation you need to lose some pounds and achieve your weight goal. If you don’t have any slim friends to hang out with, head over to the gym or sports center and spend more time there. Be sure to make friends, exercise and tone up your muscles while at the gym.