1. Have a clear goal. It should be one that anyone in the world can measure and understand.
2. Drink tea. Research suggests that those who drink tea—black, green, or white, as long as it’s from real tea versus herbal tea—have lower BMIs and less body fat than those who don’t consume tea.
3. Eat cayenne pepper. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that when compared to placebo, capsaicin—the active ingredient in cayenne—increased fat burning.
4. Decrease/eliminate processed carbs. They do nothing for you outside of creating a favorable environment for gaining fat.
5. Eat more veggies. They fill you up, without providing many calories. Just avoid the high-calorie dressings.
6. Eat more fruit. No one ever gained weight from eating more fruit. And that includes the so-called “high sugar” fruits like bananas and melons.
7. Lift weights. Heavy weights. Build more muscle, burn more calories.
8. Cut down rest time between sets. This will keep your heart rate elevated causing an increase in calories burned.
9. Do intervals. Study after study after study continues to show intervals are more effective and time efficient than longer activity performed at a lower intensity.
10. Eat more protein. Replacing refined carbohydrates with lean protein will not only help satiate you, but will also increase your metabolism—through something called the thermic effect of food.
11. Eat protein more frequently. It’s important to also time your intake so you’re eating protein regularly throughout the day—not just in one lump sum, like most do at dinner. Every meal and snack should include some protein.
12. Supplement with fish oil. A study published in Lipidsfed mice diets enhanced EPA and DHA – a.k.a. fish oil. The researchers learned that the mice fed diets higher in omega-3 fats had significantly less accumulation of body fat. Other studies have shown similar results.
13. Do full body exercises. Think: squats, deadlifts, chinups, and pushups. You’ll get more bang for your buck out of each workout.
14. Cycle your carb intake based on your activity level. Sure, carbs are important. But on the days you don’t work out, you simply don’t need as many compared to the days you exercise hard. Rule of thumb: The more active you are, the more carbs you can eat, and vice versa.
15. Start your meals with a salad. Salad will provide some bulk to help fill you up – so that you eat less calories overall.
16. Don’t forget the fiber. Think of fiber like a sponge; it absorbs water and makes you feel full.
17. Drink water. Professor Dr. Brenda Davy and her Team from Virginia Tech University found that giving people 2 cups of water before each meal resulted in greater weight loss after 12 weeks. The reason? It helps fill you up.
18. Add beans to your salads. It’s a nice way to add some additional fiber, protein, and healthy carbs.
19. Replace one meal a day with a large salad and lean protein. This is a simple way to instantly improve your diet.
20. Keep a food journal. There’s no better way to track what you’re putting in your mouth.
21. Watch your portions. Avoid the buffet line and never supersize. Instead make sure you’re following what the nutrition label recommends for a serving.
22. Switch to calorie-free drinks. All calories count, whether they’re liquid or solid. So unless it’s low-fat milk, opt for tea or water. Or something I was introduced to in the Netherlands—large bunches of mint, lemon and hot water.
23. Weigh yourself. Studies show daily weigh-ins help enhance weight loss efforts. Don’t live and die by the number. And of course a scale doesn’t decipher between fat and lean body mass, but it can still be of benefit to keep things “in check.”
24. Eat whole eggs. Daily. One study showed that those who ate whole eggs versus a bagel for breakfast ate less at the next meal. A similar study showed eating whole eggs increases HDL (good) cholesterol.
25. Eat breakfast. A review published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that those who eat breakfast are more successful with long-term weight maintenance. Other research has shown the same for weight loss. Grab hardboiled eggs, scrambled eggs, Greek yogurt, a piece of fruit and handful of nuts, or make a smoothie. It doesn’t have to be fancy.