Experts say the two easiest ways to lose weight are to eat less and exercise more. But here's a list of some other medically proven strategies to help you burn fat faster, and lose more weight:
- First: Get more iron. There's a reason Popeye always ate his spinach. Because it's loaded with iron, which our metabolism uses to deliver oxygen to every cell in our body. And when our iron levels are optimal, the faster our metabolism works - it's that simple. That's why nutrition experts recommend eating three daily servings of iron-rich foods - including spinach, chicken, and lean red meats.
- Also, load up on dairy. According to a new study in the journal Obesity, people who ate dairy products three times a day burned 70-percent more calories than people who rarely ate dairy. Experts say it's because calcium acts like a "switch," telling our body to burn fat faster. But the key is to choose low-fat dairy products - like low-fat Greek yogurt, or fat-free milk in our coffee.
- Another way to burn fat faster: Lift weights. A pound of muscle burns up to nine times the calories of a pound of fat. That's because our muscles keep burning calories even when we're not using them. So, adding a few bench presses at the gym will help you burn more fat even after your workout's finished.
- Another fat burning trick: Swap alcohol for green tea. As you probably know, alcohol is a depressant, which slows down every system in the body - from our reaction time behind the wheel to our metabolism. But research shows that people who drank green tea three times a day saw their metabolic rate increase enough to burn 60 extra calories a day. That's because green tea contains catechins [CAT-uh-kins], which are compounds proven to boost metabolism.
- One more way to burn fat faster: Get your thyroid checked. According to the book, Fight Fat After 40, by our friend Dr. Pamela Peeke, an estimated 1-in-4 women have an under-active thyroid. That's a problem because our thyroid gland controls our metabolism. And one of the first signs that it's not working is an inability to lose weight. In other words, millions of people may be able to lose weight just by talking to their doctor, and getting treatment for their thyroid condition.