Are you ready to lose the extra weight? If you are, each one of these tips can help you shed 20 pounds:

  • Get more sleep. Harvard University researchers found that people who sleep less than 5 hours a night are 32% more likely to be overweight, compared to those who get at least 7 hours. Why? Because fatigue slows our metabolism, which means we burn fewer calories. And losing sleep interrupts the production of appetite-controlling hormones, which means, when we’re tired, we’re more likely to eat more.

  • Measure your food. Scientists at Cornell University say that people who eyeball serving sizes eat up to 40% more than people who measure exact servings. And that can add up to an extra 4 pounds a month!

  • Spend a half-hour each week lifting weights. Physiologist Dr. Erik Kirk says that pumping iron for just 11 minutes every other day can increase your metabolic rate by as much as 15%. That’s because lifting weights creates tiny tears in muscle tissue that require extra energy to repair.

  • Eat dessert. In one study, dieters who ate dessert four times a week lost three pounds a month more than dieters who didn’t. That’s because dessert-eaters were less likely to feel deprived, and didn’t end up pigging out when sweets were available. But you’ll get the best results if you avoid high-calorie desserts, like cheesecake, and pick ones low in refined sugar, like fruit and whipped cream. And make sure you limit sweets to 10% of your total calories because sweet stuff doesn’t keep you feeling full as long as other foods.