We all know that to lose weight you need to exercise more and eat less – but the question is, how?
Research suggests there are dozens of tricks when it comes to shedding the pounds.
From acupuncture helping you to lose an extra 10lb in three months, to why carrot juice should be part of any slimmer’s daily diet, try some of these tips to get you back in shape in time for summer…
1. Take a calcium supplement. You’ll lose 2.6% more fat than people who don’t.
Calcium provides small increases in the body’s core temperature. This boosts metabolism, prompting our bodies to burn more fat.
2. Red meat can help you lose weight. It contains a lot of proteins that help you maintain muscle mass – and muscle burns four times as many calories as fat.
3. People who have acupuncture once a week lose an extra 4.5 kg (10lb) in three months.
Applying needles at pressure points is thought to trigger electrical pulses that suppress appetite.
4. Sprinkle cinnamon into a yoghurt each day to burn fat. The spice is a powerful metabolism-raiser. Half a teaspoon a day is enough to burn an extra kilo a month.
5. Take lunch breaks away from your desk. You’ll consume 250 fewer calories in a day than those people who eat as they work.
6. Have a laugh. A good strong laugh for 10-15 minutes a day increases weekly energy consumption by up to 280 calories.
7. To work out just how many calories you can eat daily, multiply your ideal body weight in pounds by 14.
8. A glass of carrot juice a day will help you lose 4lb over 12 weeks. The juice is high in fibre and nutrients that help burn blubber.
9. To burn more calories, listen to music that builds in tempo during your workout. It’ll help guard against fatigue.
10. Don’t exercise alone. Train with friends and you’ll lose a third more weight than if you go on your own.
You’ll maintain motivation by exercising socially, and benefit from mutual encouragement.
11. Eat red peppers. They contain capsaicin, the chemical that gives them their distinctive taste. It also boosts your resting metabolic rate by 25%.
12. Controlled breathing for two minutes, focusing on your diaphragm, will dampen hunger pangs.
13. Exercising first thing in the morning helps you to burn fat faster. It is more effective than any other time because your body will be forced to tap into your fat reserves for energy.
14. Eat three 250-calorie protein-rich snacks a day between meals – for example a sliced chicken breast, or a 185g tin of tuna in spring water with low-fat mayo on crisp bread. Those who do so are 30% more likely to lose weight.
15. Turn off your television while you eat meals. The distraction of the telly postpones the point at which you stop eating. In a year, dumping this habit can lose you half a stone.
16. Drizzle on some soy sauce to shed the pounds. Research shows soy proteins interact with receptors in our brains that tell us we’re full.
17. Slice your food up thinly to consume 20% fewer calories. It’s effective because it’s a trick of the eye – people rate sliced servings as 27% larger than equal amounts of whole veg and so pile less on to their plates.
18. Hit the treadmill. The running machine is the best tool in the gym for burning the most calories in the shortest time.
19. Eat vitamin-filled melon followed by protein-rich egg for the perfect fat-fighting breakfast. The eggs even break down the melon’s carbs.
20. A daily glass of red wine can stop you putting on fat, especially around your belly. Resveratrol which is found in the grapes inhibits the development of fat cells that develop around your waist.
21. Tune in to Classic FM. By listening to relaxing music while you eat, you’ll consume less because you’ll chew at a more leisurely pace and be more in tune with your body. It’s because of this you’re likely to stop eating when you’re full.
22. Chew sugar-free gum for 15 minutes after eating, and again two hours later, to cut snack cravings.
23 . Have more sex. As well as burning 150 calories every 20 minutes, it boosts a hormone that increases your metabolism and lean muscle growth.
24. Eat pomegranates. Their seed oil reduces the body’s ability to store fat, and they’re so sweet they’ll curb your desire for sugary snacks.
25. Fire up the BBQ to burn off the calories in your meat. Barbecuing meat lets extra fat escape while it cooks.
26. Sip green tea. It contains a compound that reacts with caffeine to boost fat oxidation and resting metabolism by about 20%.
27. Eat chilli con carne once a week. An enzyme in kidney beans tells the body to break down stored fat instead of carbohydrates for energy, while mince boosts your metabolism.
28. Choose spinach ahead of other greens. It packs double the fibre, which helps the body process the fats that you eat
29. Swap regular cheese for goat’s cheese. It’s 40% lower in calories than cheese made from cow’s milk.
30. Add lentils to each meal to lose more than 15lb in 10 weeks. The pulses are packed with the amino acid leucine, which burns off fat fast.
31. Eat “good” fats. Eggs, walnuts and rapeseed oil are good for this, and help cut the risk of heart disease.
32. Drink juice with “bits” in. The extra fibre helps make you feel fuller for longer.
33. Eat breakfast. Those who fail to kick-start their metabolism with a meal first thing typically eat 100 more calories a day.
34. Take a daily borage seed oil capsule – pressed from seeds of the starflower – to stay slim. A study found 80% of people said it helped them keep weight down.
35. Eat an apple 15 minutes before a meal. You will consume an average of 187 fewer calories if you do.
36. Drizzle a little olive oil on salads. Its “good” fatty acids trigger a protein that tells your body it’s full, to prevent you from overeating.
37. Putting tomatoes in your sandwiches will keep you feeling fuller for longer. The fruit suppresses the hormone ghrelin, which is responsible for hunger pangs.
38. Leave a maximum of three hours between meals. This ensures your metabolic rate doesn’t fluctuate.
39. Eat pineapple. It’s not only a great snack to spark your metabolism, it contains bromelain which helps break down protein.
40. Eat bread with lupin seeds. They’re particularly high in fibre, so will keep you feeling fuller for longer.
41. Add paprika to meals. It contains six times the vitamin C of tomatoes, crucial for helping your body to turn fat into energy.
42. Vinegar-based food dressings contain acetic acid, which speeds up the rate at which your body burns fat.
Add a few glugs of vinaigrette or vinegar daily to salads and sauces.
43. Sit down at a table to eat. You’ll consume a third less than when munching on the move.
44. Eat blue corn tortilla chips. They have half the fat of standard crisps and also release sugar more slowly into the bloodstream, which controls insulin levels and slows down weight gain.
45. Eat with others. Research shows people tend to match their food intake to their dining partner. Eating with a friend should mean 35% fewer calories.
46. If it didn’t grow, walk or swim, don’t eat it. Processed foods can be loaded with unhealthy fats and artificial sweeteners.
47. Walk around after exercise to keep your fat-fighting enzymes working. Sitting for too long deactivates them.
48. Take conjugated linoleic acid capsules every day. These acids, which are found in red meat and dairy products, help to slow the growth of fat cells, so you lose 9% more fat in a year.
49. Avoid energy drinks. Their energy is released too quickly.
50. Swap full-fat milk for skimmed in tea and with cereal.
Not only does skimmed milk have half the calories, it actually has more calcium and phosphorous, which increases fat breakdown in cells.
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