To boost your metabolism and prime your body to lose all the excess fat, you’ve got to go beyond the basics.
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) Wait 20 minutes before getting seconds
Slow things down to avoid excessive food intake.
3) Use a blue dinner plate
Studies show the color has an appetite-suppressing effect (as opposed to red and yellow plates).
4) 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.
5) Eat peanuts from their shells
You’ll nosh on 50% fewer nuts in a sitting just trying to peel before eating.
6) Chew on sugar-free mint gum after a meal
Mint flavors send signals to your brain that it’s time to stop eating.
7) Snack on pistachios
The nuts are much healthier than chips and pretzels.
8) Replace your morning bagel
Ditch the bread for a bowl of oatmeal and protein-packed eggs.
9) Eat at the kitchen table
Don’t park on the couch when chowing down.
10) Drink more water
Being dehydrated can fool your body into feeling hungry.
11) Poach (don’t fry) your protein
Eggs, poultry, and fish are healthier when prepared this way.
12) Switch to skim milk for coffee
Ditch the cream and sugar and save 105 calories.
13) Eat more avocados
They’re loaded with the kind of healthy fats you need to keep your body burning fat.
14) Portion control potatoes and pasta
Servings of starches should never be bigger than a baseball.
15) Eat less sugar
Limit yourself to no more than 72 grams a day.
16) Snack the smart way
A small bag of air-popped popcorn instead of corn chips saves you 60 calories.
17) 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.
18) Order chicken fingers
They’ve got more protein and significantly less fat, sodium, and calories than wings.
19) Load up on fiber
Lentils, beans, edamame, and pears are all great sources.
20) Opt for dark chocolate
It contains less sugar and more energy-boosting antioxidants than milk chocolate.
21) Don’t drench your salad in fat
Balsamic vinegar saves you 300 calories over creamier dressings like ranch.
22) Hold the fries
Passing on the fries and the cheese from your burger will save 300 cals.
23) 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.
24) Craving something sweet
Eat a fat-free fudge bar instead of chocolate ice cream for dessert and save more than 200 calories.
25) Add heat to your dinner
Fiery spices (and hot peppers) speed up your metabolism and help you to eat slower.
26) Avoid processed foods
These foods contain trans fat, a manufactured fat that’s difficult for your body to break down.
27) 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.
28) Swap a side of rice
Try a low-cal veggie like broccoli. You’ll save 250 calories per serving.
29) Load up on low-fat cottage cheese
It’s a great source of calcium, and packs just 163 calories per cup.
30) 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.