These quick-hit strategies can boost your efforts to drop fat and hone a leaner physique.
Nate Millado 1 / 8
Find a New Go-To Snack
Remove anything super processed and/or loaded with fat and sugar. "Instead of ice cream or leftovers, try a whole-grain, higher-fiber cereal with low-fat milk or baked chips with super spicy salsa," says Kristin McGee, a New York City-based trainer and Pilates instructor.
Your body can misread thirst for hunger; so if you're dehydrated, that can fool your body into feeling hungry. Drinking water (especially before a meal) fills up your stomach, so you're likely to eat less. Need some flavor in that H2O? Switch to unsweetened green tea, which contains EGCC, an antioxidant that helps the body burn fat faster.
Chew on some sugar-free mint gum or brush your teeth with mint-flavored toothpaste. The mint flavors send signals to your brain that it's time to stop eating. It also tweaks your taste buds, so second helpings and dessert aren't quite so tasty.
Bang out some pushups fresh out of bed. "It'll help you start the day with a feeling of success, and it gets in some additional upper-body training," says McGee. Try to increase the number you do every day. When you hit a plateau, switch to a harder style of pushup.
Yes, they're varied, and there's a lot of debate about their effectiveness—but Fred DeVito of Exhale Spa is a fan. "I like to do one at least once a year," he says. "It can jump-start your weight loss and helps the body process nutrients more efficiently. It also 'resets' your taste buds so you are better able to appreciate real, nonprocessed foods."
Yoga and any activity that lowers stress is a good idea. "The lower your stress, the lower your cortisol levels," says DeVito. That means your body will store fewer calories as fat. Acupuncture and massages also lower levels of inflammation in the body—another known contributor to weight gain.
Don't eat in front of the television or computer where you're most prone to snacking. Eat at the dining room table or in the kitchen only, says McGee, and you're much less likely to overeat or grab seconds.