Make Weight

Top 10 ways to torch the fat

If you aren’t getting the results you want and need to boost your body’s fat-burning potential, follow some of these tips that require very little effort.

De-Stress Stress can actually slow your metabolism due to a stress hormone called cortisol. When these hormone levels are too high, it can make it hard for your body to burn fat. “We are less driven to stress eating when we are calm and well cared for,” says Dr. Kathleen Davis, outpatient dietician at Cook Children’s Medical Center. “Studies show that kids who are stressed by their environment are also more likely to overeat and to be at an unhealthy weight.” Take a few extra minutes during the day to breathe deeply or hit a yoga class on your way home. Your body and family will thank you.

Cardio is Key Two or three vigorous workouts per week for 45 minutes can make all the difference. Research has shown that after an intense 45-minute workout, people lose nearly 200 calories above their resting metabolic rate for up to 14 hours after their workout. “Cardio workouts are great for the heart and for creating a caloric deficit,” says Amy Goodson, sports dietician at Ben Hogan Sports Medicine.

Build Muscle “Weight training builds muscles, which boost your metabolism in the long run,” explains Dr. Clark Meador, a specialist in family medicine at Baylor All Saints Medical Center at Fort Worth. “Muscles burn calories at a high rate, at a much higher rate than fat, and they do this even at rest.”

Sip Green Tea Drinking four cups of green tea a day can help you shed pounds more quickly. The refreshing drink contains catechins, an antioxidant that raises resting metabolism by 4 percent or an average of 80 calories a day. “The caffeine in green tea, when drank on a consistent basis, can help with releasing free fatty acids into the blood to be used an metabolized for energy,” says Goodson. Meador cautions that while imbibing green tea boosts metabolism, your best bet is to adopt a healthier lifestyle complete with regular exercise and healthy eating.

Drink More H2O This is an age-old tip, but your body needs water to process those calories. “Drinking water is essential for hydration, especially in the summer months,” says Goodson. While drinking water does not raise metabolism, it can help you feel fuller longer. Aim for at least eight glasses a day.

Ditch the Cocktails Everything in moderation. The day after a late night of drinking, there is a significant drop in metabolic rate. Giving in to those hangover cravings means double trouble.

Consistent ZZZ’s Get at least eight hours of sleep every night for a healthy metabolism. Lack of sleep can affect your body’s ability to burn calories, as can excess sleep. Going to bed and waking up at the same time is the healthiest option.

Mindful Munching Eat often and eat well. “In our busy lives and in our culture a lot of people eat three meals a day with one and often times two being very large high calorie meals,” says Meador. It’s recommended that individuals eat every three hours. The idea behind this is that each time you eat, your metabolism is stimulated. It’s a way of reassuring your body that you aren’t going to starve. That doesn’t mean taking a Cheetos hour each day either. Be mindful about the foods you choose to snack on. Meador suggests a high protein snack of around 200 calories in between meals. Eat several servings of vegetables per day and choose healthy sources of protein like eggs, chicken, nuts and fish. And whatever you do, don’t skip breakfast.

Drink Milk Calcium-rich snacks like low-fat yogurt or a tall glass of ice-cold milk in the middle of the afternoon can help you body metabolize fat more efficiently. It increases the rate at which your body gets rid of fat as waste. Think about switching it out instead of that afternoon diet soda.