If you’re trying to lose weight, you’ve probably already wondered: are there some not-so-obvious measures I could be taking to make this process more efficient?

Turns out, there are all kinds of steps and tips you can follow to perfect your weight loss regimen. Some are more basic health tips that everyone should follow, and others are really surprising!

Here are some fat burning tips that are supported by scientific research.

Drink More Water

Woman drinking water in gym, eyes closed, close-up

Not only does staying hydrated make you healthier overall, it can also help you lose weight.

One study demonstrated that drinking water could boost your metabolism by 24 to 30% over a period of more than an hour, which could help you burn more calories, especially before exercise.

Another important time to drink water is right before your meals. While you may think this is because you’ll feel fuller, making you eat less food during the meal, that’s not the whole story.

A study showed that drinking water actually reduced the total number of calories the body absorbed during a meal, helping to lessen the load of caloric intake and encourage weight loss.

Don’t Drink Your Calories

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If you’re watching your weight, don’t just watch what you eat, watch what you drink as well.

You might think that fruit juice is better for you than a sugary snack, but think again. A study showed that sugar in liquid form is actually worse for the body than in solid form.

Another study showed that sugary beverages were linked to a 60% increased risk of childhood obesity for each daily serving.

Eat Smaller Portions

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If you’re calculating how many calories are in a food you’re about to eat, be mindful of what an average serving size should be.

Keeping track of your portions won’t only help you keep track of your total calorie intake, it can also help you lose weight by making you more aware of what you’re eating.

Another way to do this is by using smaller plates when you eat. I know it sounds crazy, but no matter what size the plate, if your eyes see it’s full it tricks your brain into feeling more satisfied, despite the fact you’ve eaten a smaller portion.

Do Lots of Cardio

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Cardio (aerobic exercise) is key to burning calories and improving your overall health. It’s probably the best method of exercise for getting rid of those annoying love handles and tummy fat that just doesn’t seem to leave.

Studies show that doing cardio exercises like brisk walking or light jogging is effective at reducing belly fat, also known as visceral fat.

Visceral fat is some of the worst fat because of the way it wraps around your organs. A lot of the time, we look at belly fat as though it’s just part of what happens when you age, but it’s now been linked to metabolic disturbances and increased risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

So seriously, do more cardio.

Eat Fewer Simple Carbs

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Sugars, as well as grains that have been stripped of their fibers – pastries, white bread, etc – are called simple carbs. They provide you with energy, but aren’t packaged with the same nutrients found in complex carbohydrates.

The body also processes simple carbs more quickly than it does complex carbs, meaning you’ll be heading to the bathroom sooner and absorbing fewer of those nutrients.

And thanks to their effect on spiking blood sugar, eating lots of simple carbs is strongly linked to obesity and diabetes.

Don’t Jump Up for Seconds

In addition to chewing more slowly, which adds extra time to your meal, you should also take time after you’ve eaten to simply relax.

It takes around 20 minutes for your brain to register that you’ve eaten a meal. So, before you evaluate your hunger levels and decide you could eat seconds immediately after taking the last bite on your plate, take a break. Go for a walk, talk to your dinner companions or, who am I kidding, stare at your phone for a while.

Then, when you get up, you can save the rest of the meal for later. Leftovers are awesome.

Eat Eggs for Breakfast

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If you’re looking to lose weight and be more effective in your daily exercise, eating eggs for breakfast instead of the grains you normally find in breakfast cuisine is a good choice.

Studies have shown that eating eggs for breakfast helps you feel less hungry for the next 36 hours, making you less inclined to consume as many calories as you would have. Doing this often will make you much more effective in losing weight and body fat.

If you aren’t an egg person, you should still find something high in protein that will have similar effects.

Drink Green Tea

Green tea has certainly been a more popular beverage as of late, and for great reason. While green tea only has small amounts of caffeine that won’t make it as effective as coffee for getting you energized in the morning, its overall health benefits are definitely worth it.

Green tea is packed with antioxidants called catchins, which are thought to work together with caffeine to make the body more effective at burning fat.

Get More Sleep

People seriously underestimate the benefits of a good night’s rest, especially when it comes to losing weight.

Studies have shown that poor sleep strongly increases the risk of obesity in both adults and children. Better sleep is associated with less weight gain, largely because of how it controls the metabolism of glucose.

As if you really needed another reason to get better rest. It’s undeniably better for your energy and mood and now you know it’s proven to be better for your weight.

Use More Spice in Your Food

Purdue University researchers found that people who consumed a half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper in their soup ate 60 fewer calories the next time they ate than those who ate their soup plain.

Capsaicin, the compound found in cayenne and other spicy foods, has been linked to a better metabolism. This means when you get that crazy burn in your mouth, you’re helping your body.

Eat More Fiber

If you go for more vegetables and other high fiber foods like legumes, you’ll stay fuller longer. Studies have also shown that people who eat more vegetables and fruits tend to weigh less.

While the science is still not completely certain about the effects of fiber on the gastrointestinal system, studies have shown its effects in helping to increase satiety and help to control weight over the long term.

Use a Whey Protein Supplement

As was mentioned before, protein is a seriously important part of your diet. If you aren’t getting enough protein, it might be wise to start taking a protein supplement like whey protein.

One study has shown that using whey protein while in concert with resistance exercise or as part of a weight loss or weight maintenance diet could lead to eight pounds of weight loss while boosting lean muscle mass.

Final Thoughts

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It’s pretty obvious now – scientific research is being done on all sorts of methods for helping people to lose weight.

And truth be told, that’s probably because losing weight is rarely the simplest of processes. After reading this you hopefully have a better idea of steps you can take in your daily life that will make burning that body fat easier for you.

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