Shed fat and show off your chiseled physique this summer with these tips

by Dr. Darren Burke, Ph.D.

Eat more frequently throughout the day. Ideally, you want to eat four to six meals every day. This can include your three main meals plus two or three snacks. By eating more frequently you increase your metabolic rate and burn more calories throughout the day.

Try to have a good source of protein at every meal or snack. Eating protein has a greater thermogenic (calorie-burning) effect than eating carbohydrates or fat. Therefore, by eating more protein you can give your metabolic rate a significant boost. Some good sources of protein include chicken breast, beef, salmon, cottage cheese, yogurt, and whey protein powder.

Eat vegetables with at least three of your meals each day. Veggies are not calorie dense, but do contain a lot of important vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Veggies will fill you up and help stop you from overindulging on the "bad" foods.

Have some 'healthy' essential fats with each meal. Yes, eat fat to burn fat. Certain fats can actually help enhance fat loss. More specifically it's polyunsaturated (which are essential fatty acids) and monounsaturated fats that have a host of health benefits and can also support fat loss. Some excellent sources of polyunsaturated fats include fish, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts. Almonds, pecans, olive oil, and avocados are great sources of monounsaturated fats.

Drink lots of water! Just like food, water can also have a thermogenic (calorie-burning) effect on the body. Drinking cold water has actually been shown to significantly increase metabolism. Simply put, a more hydrated body is more metabolically active.

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