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12 Weight Loss Secrets

One frustrating thing about trying to lose weight is the snail’s pace at which the pounds seem to drop off. The more weight you lose, the harder your body fights to hold on to the calories it gets and the fewer calories it burns. But what if you could turbo-change your weight loss efforts? You can by boosting your metabolism with these helpful tips.

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1. Try Interval Training

Walk for the same mount of time at the same intensity day in and day out and your body will get as bored with your workout as you do. Throw in some variety with interval training, which involves changing the intensity of your workout throughout your exercise session. Every 5 minutes of your walk, jog for 1 minute. Every 5 minutes of your bike ride, shift into a higher gear and pedal hard for a minute. If you swim, speed up every other length. You’ll burn more calories in the same amount of time.

2. Fidget

People who drum their fingers or bounce their knees burn at least 500kcal a day. That adds up to losing 1lb. (0.5kg) a week.

3. Use a Squeeze Ball

Keep a squeeze ball with you and use it frequently throughout the day. It’s one of the few exercises you can do at any time. You’ll build up the muscles in your hands – and muscle, wherever it is, burns a lot of calories.

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4. Don’t Starve Yourself

Cutting out too many calories can backfire in more ways than one. Try to subsist on morsels and your metabolism will slow down so much that you’ll not only stop losing weight, but you’ll be lucky if you can peel yourself off the couch.

5. Wear 5 Rubber Bands on Your Wrists

That’s how many half-litre bottles of water you should drink during the day to rev up your metabolism, helping to burn more calories. At least, that’s what German researchers found when they got 14 participants to drink about half a litre of water. The volunteer’s metabolic rate, or how quickly they burned calories, jumped a third within 10 minutes of drinking the water and remained high for another 30 or 40 minutes.

6. Eat Hot Peppers

Some studies show that very spicy foods can temporarily increase your metabolism. Specialist grocers often stock many different kinds of peppers. Buy one type a week and add some to various meals. Spice up your scrambled eggs with minced jalapeno, add a little fire to beef with a half Scotch bonnet pepper, or make a spicy soup with bird’s eye chilli.

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7. Exercise Outdoors

Maybe it’s the fresh air, maybe it’s the sunshine, but something about exercising out in the open makes you walk or run faster than doing the same exercise in the gym.

8. Eat 5 Small Meals a Day

You might think you should eat less often if you want to lose weight, but that’s just not the case. By eating every few hours, you keep your metabolism fired up and ensure it doesn’t slow down between meals in order to hang on to calories. A ‘meal’ can be as small as a cup of soup.

9. Sip a Few Cups of Coffee

Studies find that the caffeine in coffee can increase the rate at which your body burns calories. This does not mean, however, that you should order a fancy calorie-packed frappucino. And skip the espresso if it makes you toss and turn at night.

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10. Don’t Stress About Past Yo-Yo Diets

There’s a myth that if you’ve spent your life losing and gaining the same 10 to 20 pounds (4.5 to 9 kg), your metabolism gets out of kilter and ends up slowing right down. Don’t believe it. When researchers reviewed 43 studies on the topic they found no difference in metabolic rates of yo-yo dieters compared to those of everyone else.

11. Walk With Intent and Intensity

Burn more calories in the same amount of time by swinging your arms when you walk, wearing a weighted vest, walking on grass, sand or gravel, using walking poles or walking along the shoreline of a beach or pond. These will make your walk more intense thus burning more calories.

12. Increase Protein in Your Diet

There is some evidence that if you increase your protein intake to the upper end of the recommended range (roughly 20 per cent of your overall calories), the amount of energy you expend at rest will remain the same even while you’re losing weight. Normally, as you lose weight, your body adjusts and you burn fewer calories at rest.