The Dukan diet, which hails from France, involves three phases. It starts with a phase of all protein, followed by certain vegetables on certain days, then comes the phase in which you get to add some foods such as cheese and bread. In the final phase, you more or less maintain that third phase, except you revert to an only-protein day one day of the week.

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Adding interval training — bursts of high-intensity moves — to your workout is a great metabolism booster. "Studies have shown that people who do interval training twice a week [in addition to cardio] lose twice as much weight as those who do just a regular cardio workout," says obesity specialist Aronne. You can easily incorporate interval training into your workout by inserting a 30-second sprint into your jog every five minutes or by adding a one-minute incline walk to your treadmill workout. "Since your body is working harder, it's a more intense workout -- and you therefore burn more calories," says Westcott. On other days, shake up your routine with 40 minutes of cross-training. Ideally, aim for two 20-to-40-minute interval-training sessions and two 20-to-40-minute cross-training sessions a week.


19. You’re eating too many ready meals – it’s so easy to get home from a busy day at work and pop a ready meal in the microwave. Trouble is, this won’t help you lose weight. Why? Because a/ processed foods are mostly made with vegetable oils that turn in to trans fats in the manufacturing process (trans fats encourage weight gain) and b/ the nutrient value is likely to be much lower than a meal cooked with food from scratch (see no. 12).

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"The kind of physical activity that people are choosing to do in their 40s is nowhere near as intense as it's supposed to be. So to get over that metabolic speed bump we ask for an increase in intensity on the part of these happy campers. What does that mean? Instead of walking on the flat, throw in some hills. Ramp up the resistance on your resistance training, or for that matter the resistance on a cross-trainer. It's all the same."

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Weight loss doesn’t get easier than this: Simply drinking more water may increase the rate at which healthy people burn calories, according to a study in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. After drinking approximately 17 ounces of water (about 2 tall glasses), participants’ metabolic rates increased by 30 percent. The researchers estimate that increasing water intake by 1.5 liters a day (about 6 cups) would burn an extra 17,400 calories over the course of the year—a weight loss of approximately five pounds!

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Speaking of social media, it’s time to take a cue from those iPhone-crazy millennials because it might just be the weight loss boost you want! Here’s what’s up: Holding onto that food memory may help you eat less at breakfast. And lunch, and dinner. An analysis on a number of “attentive eating” studies printed in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that if people recall their last meal as being filling and satisfying, they tend to eat less during their next meal. Researchers found techniques like writing down or drawing meals (and even keeping food wrappers and receipts!) to be particularly beneficial.

Green tea has long been heralded for its antioxidant polyphenols. But new evidence shows the active ingredient, catechin, may crank up metabolism. Researchers conducted a series of studies in dieters and found that those who went green lost more weight than those who didn't, suggesting that catechins may improve fat oxidation and thermogenesis, your body's production of energy, or heat, from digestion. But how much do you have to drink? According to one study, if you drink five eight-ounce cups of green tea a day, you can increase your energy expenditure by 90 calories a day. Sounds like a lot of tea, but it's not hard to do if you also drink it iced.
It isn’t so much the metabolism slowing in my 50’s as it is the bad habits associated with youth. A box of Mac and Cheese was not a bad choice when competitive and highly active, I needed the carbs. But the mindset that a full box is a single sized serving remains despite the slow down in activity and metabolism. That’s where the real challenge lies. Too many years of eating rabbit food only after it was processed into a rabbit (or steer preferrably) with potato or corn as the only acceptable vegetable.

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