Drink More Water
When researchers measured people's metabolic rate before and after downing about 16 ounces of water, they found a rise in calorie-burning capability. The water had a lasting effect as well: Even after 30 minutes, drinkers were using 30% more calories than those who stayed dry.
Eat, Then Sweat
You must eat to get lean. Digesting food and absorbing and storing nutrients requires energy. Severely restricting calories dials back your metabolic rate. Plus, starving yourself eventually drives your body to break down muscle tissue to satisfy energy needs, further lowering calorie-burning. Boost the burn by working out just after eating a meal or substantial snacks.
And Eat Again
Divide daily calories into three meals and two snacks. Research suggests men who eat more frequently throughout the day are leaner than those who consume meals at irregular times.
Pack in the Protein
Protein keeps you fuller longer. Plus, your body uses more calories digesting protein than it does breaking down carbs or fat. High-quality protein from foods such as eggs, lean meat, poultry, seafood, and dairy also ups levels of the amino acid leucine in your body, which is essential for maintaining muscle and burning calories.
A Harvard study of more than 19,000 men found those who got 200 milligrams of caffeine a day (the amount in four cans of cola or eight ounces of coffee) were less likely to gain weight over a 12-year period than those who didn't. Caffeine helps stimulate fat use, especially during exercise.