Smash your dinner plates.
And buy smaller ones. That way, even if you fill your plate to capacity, you're ultimately eating less than what you would likely pile on your existing platters.
Yes, you've heard it a zillion times. The reason: It works. In just one of many recent studies, a Journal of Nutrition report found that men who reduced their carb intake to just 8% of their daily calories lost seven pounds of fat and gained two pounds of muscle in six weeks.
Lift first, then run.
By doing cardio after you've lifted—when you're already tired—the same speed or intensity will have a greater effect than had you done it beforehand, says McGarr.
Try this interval-training trick on the elliptical trainer: Ride for 30 seconds as fast as you can, then immediately reverse your direction and ride for 30 additional seconds just as fast in the opposite direction. Rest 60 seconds and repeat. The force of stopping your momentum, as well as going from a dead stop to full speed twice in the same interval, will give your fat-burning efforts a massive boost, says MF training adviser Alwyn Cosgrove, C.S.C.S.
Fill up on high-fiber foods.
Consider them "good carbs." Their bulk takes up space in your stomach, helping you feel full and eat less. The top fiber food: beans, which contain 8 grams per 1/2 cup. Research shows that guys who added 12 grams of fiber a day to their diet lost a quarter of an inch from their love handles, without otherwise modifying their diet.
Top your salad with vinaigrette dressing.
Studies show that acidic foods such as vinegar and lemon juice work like lighter fluid in your body's fat incinerator, increasing carb combustion 20%-40%. Researchers believe the acids blunt insulin spikes and slow the rate at which food empties from your stomach. Fermented foods like pickles and yogurt are also good sour options.
Don't skip meals.
Not eating for long periods of time puts your body into a catabolic state, meaning it starts to break down muscle tissue fo energy—and conserves fat.
Try the VersaClimber.
The more vertical you are when doing cardio, the more calories you burn.
Don't be a couch potato.
If you're a TV junkie, add up the number of hours you watch right now, and cut out all reruns—even if there's an episode of Seinfeld on you've never seen. Spend the time you save on your feet: outdoors or in the gym.
Hit the weights.
If you're lazy, it's not as bad as you think—just 10 minutes a day of lifting, three days a week, will help. Harvard research shows that 30 minutes of weight training per week has a greater reduction on waist size than almost any other variable.
Pass on the potatoes.
In any form—mashed and baked, as well as French fries and potato chips. They raise levels of insulin in the blood, triggering your body to stop burning—and start storing—fat. (Sweet potatoes are acceptable; they have more nutrients and fiber.)
Eat your biggest meal of the day after you lift.
It takes calories to digest food. And researchers at the University of Nevada found that it takes 73% more calories to process that food after a weight-training session than if you hadn't worked out at all.