Kickstart your morning—and your metabolism—with this warming spice. Cinnamon contains powerful antioxidants called polyphenols that are proven to alter body composition and improve insulin sensitivity (which means it keeps blood sugar stable, preventing hunger-inducing spikes and crashes). Japanese researchers found that mice who ate a daily helping of cinnamaldehyde (the ingredient that gives cinnamon its flavor) lost belly fat, while those who skipped the spice did not. Add it to your overnight oats or sprinkle some in your coffee to reap the benefits.
There are tons of supplements available, but not all of them keep your overall happiness and health as a top priority. Some fat burners may be effective at burning fat, but they may make you hungry all the time. When this happens, you may either feel like you are starving, or it will make you eat more and gain the weight right back. Other supplements may make you feel weak and energy deprived. This makes it hard to function throughout the day and can make exercise much less effective.
Don't let extra hours lounging in bed stand between you and a flatter stomach. While getting enough sleep can help boost your metabolic rate, sleeping in may undo any benefit you'd enjoy from catching a few extra winks. One Obesity study reveals that late sleepers who snoozed past 10:45 in the morning ate nearly 250 more calories over the course of the day, despite eating half as many fruits and vegetables as their early bird counterparts. Even worse, they chowed down on more salty, sugary, and trans-fat-laden fast food than those who woke up earlier. If you happen to head out of the house early, you're in for an additional metabolic boost; researchers at Northwestern University have found that people exposed to just a short period of early morning sunlight had lower BMIs than their late-waking counterparts.
"Plenty of diets cut calories seriously low, at least at first, and they get results. But not forever," explains Susan Hewlings, Ph.D., RD, in Bodybuilding.com's Foundations of Fitness Nutrition course. "Past a certain point, restricting calories doesn't predictably lead to weight loss—and if it does, it's in ways that aren't healthy, and it definitely won't feel pleasant or sustainable for you."
So, what is a fat burner? As explained in the journal Obesity Reviews, the term "fat burner" is used to describe "nutrition supplements that are claimed to acutely increase fat metabolism or energy expenditure, impair fat absorption, increase weight loss, increase fat oxidation during exercise, or somehow cause long-term adaptations that promote fat metabolism." However, that's a wide range of functions, and in pill form especially, it can mean a lot of things! So, let's dig a little deeper.
A 2015 study from the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that for those who have a hard time following a strict diet, simplifying the weight loss approach by just increasing fiber intake can still lead to weight loss. Women should aim for at least 25 grams of fiber per day (based on a 2,000-calorie) diet, according to the most recent U.S. Dietary Guidelines. Start with our high-fiber diet plan.
Although their efficacy and safety are constantly scrutinized by the FDA and other organizations, manufacturers of thermogenic “diet pills” often claim that taking these supplements can help improve weight loss almost effortlessly by boosting your metabolism (the rate at which you burn calories). Some may also be at least somewhat helpful for decreasing your appetite, curbing cravings for junk foods and giving you more energy, which can be used for physical activity.
Looking to lose weight fast in a healthy way? It’s tempting to turn to quick fixes like taking weight loss pills marketed as natural “fat burners.” In fact, surveys show that approximately 15 percent of U.S. adults have now used weight-loss dietary supplements at some point in their lives, with more women (around 20 percent) reporting use compared to men. (1) But before experimenting with these products, consider the fact that most diet pills, drinks and formulas (even those labeled “natural”) are capable of causing a range of unexpected side effects and interactions.
Carbs are not the enemy. Not whole-grain carbs, that is. People who ate three or more daily servings of whole grains (such as oats) had 10 percent less belly fat than people who ate the same amount of calories from processed white carbs (bread, rice, pasta), according to a Tufts University study. It's theorized that this is due to whole grains' high fiber and slow-burn properties, which keep you satiated longer.