To stoke your metabolism and prime your body to drop fat, you’ve got to go beyond the basics.
Here are 100 tried-and-true methods to help you lose weight fast.
1) Eat six small meals a day
Stoking your body with food every three to four hours can rev your metabolism to the max. Not every one needs to be a sit-down affair.
2) Run 10 100-yard sprints
Sprinting can burn up to 500 calories.
3) Wait 20 minutes before getting seconds
Slow things down to avoid excessive food intake.
4) Use a smaller dinner plate
The smaller plate will limit how much you can pile on. Check out these other mind tricks for healthier eating.
5) Use a blue dinner plate
Studies show the color has an appetite-suppressing effect (as opposed to red and yellow plates).
6) Sub in nonfat Greek yogurt for mayo and sour cream
You’ll save 700 cals and 100 cals per half cup, respectively. See what other food swaps you can make to cut 500 calories a day.
7) Eat peanuts from their shells
You’ll nosh on 50% fewer nuts in a sitting just trying to peel before eating.
8) Chew on sugar-free mint gum after a meal
Mint flavors send signals to your brain that it’s time to stop eating.
9) Snack on pistachios
The nuts are much healthier than chips and pretzels.
10) Take up power yoga
You can burn up to 344 calories a class.
11) Train fasted once a week
Fasted workouts may help keep adrenaline high and blood sugar low.
12) Run intervals to burn it up
Turn your body into a fat-fighting furnace by alternating sprints with jogs. Here are 8 you can do on the treadmill.
13) Replace your morning bagel
Ditch the bread for a bowl of oatmeal and protein-packed eggs.
14) Work out with your partner
Couples who train together are 34% more likely to stick to their workouts.
15) Eat at the kitchen table
Don’t park on the couch when chowing down.
16) Drink more water
Being dehydrated can fool your body into feeling hungry.
17) Poach (don’t fry) your protein
Eggs, poultry, and fish are healthier when prepared this way.
18) Hit the pool
Swim laps or run in the water, if you can touch the bottom safely.
19) Take a real “before” photo
You’ll be more motivated knowing what you look like and where you want to go.
20) Switch to skim milk for coffee
Ditch the cream and sugar and save 105 calories. Try these other healthy add-ins, too.
21) Bike to work
Get pedaling to burn 500 calories an hour.
22) Choose ellipticals with handles
You’ll recruit muscles in your arms and burn more calories overall.
23) Download a great app
Add a fast-food calorie counter or a digital workout log—onto your smartphone.
24) Crust proteins with panko crumbs
They’ll stick to pork chops and skinless chicken breasts without the need for higher-calorie breads made of eggs and flour.
25) Eat more avocados
They’re loaded with the kind of healthy fats you need to keep your body burning fat.
26) Portion control potatoes and pasta
Servings of starches should never be bigger than a baseball.
27) Look for these key words on menus
Grilled, baked, sautéed, steamed, oven-fried, roasted, marinara, and primavera are all good options.
28) Drink tea
It’s loaded with fat-burning antioxidants.
29) Keep your body guessing
Swap out your old program for a new one every four to six weeks.
30) Size up your proteins
A 3- to 5-ounce serving should be about as big as a smartphone.
31) Throw a towel over the treadmill display console
Just concentrate on pushing yourself harder.
32) Squat heavy
The more muscles you can recruit with proper form, the stronger you’ll get, and the more fat you’ll burn.
33) Train abs heavy
Instead of regular situps, try doing a couple of sets with the heaviest weights you can hold.
34) Eat less sugar
Limit yourself to no more than 72 grams a day.
35) Snack the smart way
A small bag of air-popped popcorn instead of corn chips saves you 60 calories. Here’s a month’s worth of healthy low-calorie ideas.
36) Go rock climbing
Even if you just hit an indoor rock wall, you’ll torch more than 700 calories an hour.
37) Find your rock-bottom moment
Draw from the point in your life when you knew you had to make a change.
38) Get a dog
Taking Fido for a walk 20 minutes a day can help you shed 14 pounds a year. These breeds are the most active.
39) Eat beans
This high-fiber, protein-packed staple will help your body incinerate fat. Purée them for stews or toss with oil and vinegar and serve as a side dish.
40) Combine cardio and weights
Try jumping rope between sets, or string together some exercises into the circuits.
41) Get off the couch
Do quick sets of pushups, situps, or jumping jacks during the commercial breaks of your favorite TV shows.
42) Clean out your kitchen
Remove temptation at home and you’re much more likely to stick to your plan.
43) Plan cheat meals
If you’re strict all week, one pig-out will get your body primed for more weight loss. Here’s the right way to do it.
44) Order chicken fingers
They’ve got more protein and significantly less fat, sodium, and calories than wings.
45) Jump rope just 10 minutes
You’ll burn the same number of calories as you would when you jog for 15 minutes.
46) Don’t quit cold turkey on fav foods
You’ll be more apt to fall off the wagon.
47) Jot short-terms goals on index cards
Once they’re met, add ’em to a pile. Having a stack of accomplishments will boost your confidence.
48) Use the back of a teaspoon when tasting
Every time you taste something, you’ll take in far fewer calories.
49) Load up on fiber
Lentils, beans, edamame, and pears are all great sources.
50) Opt for dark chocolate
It contains less sugar and more energy-boosting antioxidants than milk chocolate.
51) Don’t undo your training
Eating a slice of whole-wheat bread with peanut butter can keep you from pigging out after a hard workout.
52) Do burpees
They’re a compound exercise that works nearly every muscle in your body.
53) Get a physical
Dozens of our “Success Stories” were alerted to their poor health on a routine doctor’s visit.
54) Skip the elevator
Take the stairs and burn 100 cals every 10 minutes you climb.
55) Do pushups every morning
It’ll jump-start your day, and it gets in some additional upper-body training.
56) Don’t drench your salad in fat
Balsamic vinegar saves you 300 calories over creamier dressings like ranch.
57) Hold the fries
Passing on the fries and the cheese from your burger will save 300 cals.
58) Write down everything you eat
Trim 250 calories a day and you can shed up to two pounds a month.
59) Run resistance sprints
Strap on an elastic exercise band to make the sprints harder and burn more fat.
60) Don’t skip breakfast
A high-nutrient breakfast gets your body off to a good calorie-burning start. Shoot for 400 to 600 calories within an hour of waking up.
61) Eat out smarter
Ask your server to bring half your entrée to the table, and pack the other half to go.
62) Go out for lunch twice monthly
Instead of twice weekly, give this bi-monthly plan a try to better control your eating.
63) Stash sweets in out-of-sight places
Put them on high shelves or deep inside your cupboards.
64) Having a party
Bring the leftovers to the office instead of letting those extra chips, cookies, and cake pile up around your place. Let your co-workers finish them off instead.
65) Party clean
Snack on fruit before heading out to keep you from bingeing on chips later.
66) Challenge a buddy to a pick-up game of hoops
You’ll burn more than 500 calories without even realizing how hard you’re playing.
67) Craving something sweet
Eat a fat-free fudge bar instead of chocolate ice cream for dessert and save more than 200 calories.
68) Lose the takeout menu
Cook your own food, and you’ll always know exactly what you’re eating.
69) Get new sneakers
After about 500 miles, it’s time for a new pair. New shoes mean more motivation.
70) Buy a fitness tracker
Strive to get in at least 10,000 steps a day.
71) Get at least seven hours of rest
Sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on your metabolism.
72) Coat your skillet with cooking spray instead of butter
A second-long spritz contains only 10 calories and a gram of fat (versus 102 cals and 12g).
73) Do pullups
They work more muscles than lat pull-downs.
74) Buy individual-size portions
Try this approach when choosing your favorite snacks.
75) Manage your time wisely
Studies show that stress triggers the hormone cortisol to turn up your appetite
76) Be unconventional
Working with odd-shaped equipment like SandBells and truck tires helps your body recruit more muscle.
77) Add heat to your dinner
Fiery spices (and hot peppers) speed up your metabolism and help you to eat slower. Here are 10 insanely hot and healthy recipes.
78) Train with a buddy
A stronger buddy will push you to work harder.
79) Make peanut butter better
One tablespoon of PB packs about 100 calories. Cut back by mixing equal parts PB with cooked carrots or sweet potato in a food processor until smooth. Refrigerate until needed.
80) Train like a fighter
The cross-training of mixed martial artists is second to none. Add in plyometrics and put together some supersets, keeping your rest periods low to start.
81) Avoid processed foods
These foods contain trans fat, a manufactured fat that’s difficult for your body to break down.
82) Cut 200 calories out of your mac ’n’ cheese
Swap half a cup of puréed cauliflower and butternut squash for half a cup of shredded cheddar cheese in your recipe.
83) Take your kids to the park
You can do all your pullups and ab work with the kind of equipment you’ll find in a playground.
84) Chew slowly
Seriously. Studies show it’ll help you eat much less.
85) Know your numbers
Monitor everything from your calories to your weight to your body-fat percentage.
86) Start running
Sounds obvious, but just try running as far as you can. The next day, try and go for a minute longer. Within a few weeks, you’ll notice how much farther you can go than when you first started.
87) Do household chores
Burn calories while mowing the lawn (346 calories per hour), raking leaves (230), or washing your car (269).
88) Don’t wait in line for a treadmill
Do a few sets of box jumps or mountain climbers to get warmed up.
89) Try ostrich
It’s leaner than most ground beef you can find at your grocer.
90) Swap a side of rice
Try a low-cal veggie like broccoli. You’ll save 250 calories per serving.
91) Cut rest periods in half while lifting
Your muscles and cardiovascular system will have to work harder, burning more fat.
92) When eating out ask for sauces on the table
You’ll eat less—and save tons of calories.
93) Be wary of “zero-calorie” foods
If a product has less than five calories per serving, it can be labeled zero calories.
94) Brush your teeth before bed—shirtless
You’ll see your progress in the mirror and get psyched to work out the next morning.
95) Set a few simple goals every morning
Getting in 30 minutes of training; skipping your afternoon junk-food binge. Meet ’em and build off of them for even bigger accomplishments tomorrow.
96) Load up on low-fat cottage cheese
It’s a great source of calcium, and packs just 163 calories per cup.
97) Finish a crossword while watching TV
You’ll be less likely to eat if your fingers are busy.
98) Don’t hold on
The guys on the cardio machines who hold onto the frame are usually out of shape. That’s not an accident.
99) Train with elastic bands
They’re great training tools on days you can’t make it to the gym.
100) Drink Responsibly
Steer clear of mixed drinks. Stick with a light beer or glass of wine. Or at least something made with a low-cal mixer, like diet soda or tonic. These are the healthiest drinks you can order at the bar.
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