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5 ways to lose weight that you really won’t know about

weight loss_ahead_sign_31_05_12Eat less, exercise more. you all know the drill, but we reveal some secrets you may not be aware of that could be the key to a slimmer, new you.

Most of you think of your metabolic rate as something you’re born with and that’s fixed, but it’s simply not the case. There are ways you can boost your metabolism to make it work harder. Metabolism is a collection of chemical reactions that take place in the body’s cells to convert the fuel that’s in the food you eat into the energy needed to power everything you do. It not only gives you the energy to do a four-mile run, for example, but it also provides the energy required for everything from moving to thinking and growing.

Burn, baby burn

Most of your body’s energy is used for essential functions such as excreting waste or keeping the heart beating. This is what is called your resting or basal metabolic rate (BMR). It is the amount of calories you expend at rest just to keep your body going, or maintain itself, and it accounts for a surprisingly high 50-80% of your total energy use.

Your BMR has a big impact on the total calories you burn each day – our total metabolic rate. If you want a faster metabolism, the only way you can achieve it is to somehow raise your BMR.

Shed weight

When you want to lose weight – and let’s face it, most of us do at some point in our lives – you tend to cut down on your calorie intake and increase the amount of exercise you do. This way, you are moving more, burning fat and ultimately shedding inches and pounds.

But the fascinating thing about metabolism is that everyone seems to have a different rate. We all know that annoying person who can consume doughnuts and burgers on a daily basis, do no exercise and yet still manage to stay super-slim. Well, that is down to their metabolic rate working faster and more efficiently than that of the person who needs merely to inhale a whiff of a cream bun to pile on the pounds.

A lot of people are obsessed with the slim ideal you are bombarded with from all avenues, blame their ‘metabolism’ when they can’t shift the weight. Increasing your metabolism means your body burns calories at a higher rate. So if your metabolism is high, it’s burning calories even when you aren’t working hard at the gym.

A sluggish metabolism may cause you to gain weight, because you will be consuming more calories than your body is burning.

Here are five ways to rev up your metabolism and shift those pounds…

1. Move it

Exercising regularly is a sure-fire way to increase your muscle ratio which, in turn, will speed up your metabolism, according to nutritionist Juliette Kellow, who advises people to ‘do a mixture of aerobic and resistance training for best results.’

Resting muscle uses five times as many calories per kilogram a day as fat does. In an 18-week study from the University of Limburg in Holland, average daily metabolic rate increased by 9.5% and energy expenditure by 10% as a result of twice-weekly strength training.

You need to make sure, though, that you don’t get stuck in a rut. The trick is to keep increasing the weights you work with and to vary the type of exercise in order to increase your fitness levels.

A study at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota found that one of the biggest determinants of who is overweight and who is skinny is their level of non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), better known as fidgeting.

Obese patients burned 350 calories a day less than leaner ones simply because they didn’t move so much. While the skinnies stood, walked and constantly changed position, the overweight people sat more and fidgeted less.

2. Choose wisely

Protein-rich foods are a good way to boost your metabolism. In fact, research shows that around 25% of calories in a protein-rich meal may be burnt off. But to ensure that the diet is also healthy, you should choose low-fat proteins such as lean meat, skinless chicken and low-fat dairy products. Add some spice to that and the metabolic rewards will be even greater.

‘Spice up meals – it’s not an old wive’s tale after all,’ says Juliette. ‘Foods such as chillis are thought to raise the metabolism by as much as 50% for up to three hours after eating. This is the result of the spices increasing the heart rate.’

Be careful, though, not to load meals with too much fat – this means staying away from those creamy sauces.

3. Eat wisely

Your metabolic rate is highest first thing in the morning and gradually tapers off as the day goes on. Despite the old adage: ‘Breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen and dine like a pauper,’ most of you eat lightly or not at all in the morning and increase your intake as the day goes on, having your largest meal in the evening.

A study in the American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition has revealed that starting the day with a meal boosted resting metabolic rate by 10%, while other research shows that people who skip breakfast or lunch and consume most of their calories at their evening meal have lower metabolisms than people who eat big breakfasts.

4. Ice it up

When you drink a glass of ice cold water, your body will expend energy bringing it up to the same temperature as the rest of your body (36.8C). The difference between the temperature of iced water and body temperature means that you’ll burn 36.8 calories simply ‘warming up’ a litre of iced water.

Supping two litres, therefore, is enough to burn off half a KitKat. Your body also needs water to efficiently metabolise the food you eat – another reason to keep those levels topped up. However, don’t go drinking gallons of icy water in the hope that it will negate that piece of chocolate gateau you’ve just scoffed – there is such a thing as too much water.

5. Don’t dismiss dairy products

Believe it or not, increasing your intake of low-fat dairy – which means anything from milk to yogurt and even cheese – can speed up your metabolism and encourage weight loss. According to a study by Michael Zemel, director of the Nutrition Institute at the University of Tennessee, the calcium found in dairy tells your body to burn excess fat much faster than usual.

Furthermore, in another study, this time by the American Journal of Nutrition, it was found that women who consumed three to four servings of low-fat dairy products a day lost 70% more body fat than those who didn’t eat dairy.

A calcium-rich diet typically contains between 1,100-1,800mgs of daily calcium and it is at this level that increased excretion of fat is encouraged. Although calcium is the active ingredient in these dairy products, the same effects were not seen with other calcium-fortified foods such as orange juice or broccoli; it is thought that it is the combination of calcium and other substances within dairy that can effect the metabolic rate.

Bear in mind, though, that the idea is not to overload on dairy but, instead, to substitute your usual afternoon chocolate bar or packet of crisps for a yogurt, for example – even if they have the same or similar number of calories.

The natural way

Turboslim Chronoactiv is a natural supplement that works with your biological rhythms to help you shift stubborn pounds.

France has been harbouring this secret for years, a natural supplement called Turboslim Chronoactiv that works alongside your biological rhythm helping you shift those stubborn last pounds.

‘Extensive research was carried out in the 50s in France and the US to find out how the digestive system works with the liver and kidneys, and what would be needed to boost the metabolic system,’ says Dr Rougier, founder of Forté Pharma Laboratories.

‘It was discovered that it is possible to boost the digestive process by combining key ingredients. With Turboslim Chronoactov, you take a pill once in the morning and once before you eat at night.

‘During the day, Turboslim works alongside the body’s biological rhythm helping to boost your metabolism and provide active ingredients at different times of the day to maximise or inhibit the way the body naturally processes food.

‘The day supplement helps the body eliminate all undesirable substances through the action of green tea. This plant is naturally rich in polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants with protective properties. Furthermore, the main components found in green tea, help fat burning by enzymatic stimulation. Chromium, a trace element essential to human health, is also added to help regulate and stabilise blood sugar levels which help control hunger cravings.

‘Taken with an evening meal, the night supplement reduces fat storage by limiting the entry of glucose into the bloodstream.’

Turboslim Chronoactiv is available from Boots,, Superdrug,, The Nutri Centre and at £29.95 for the single pack (two week treatment) and £44.95 for the double pack (four week treatment). Visit

This article was first published in at home with Lorraine Kelly in April 2012. [Read the digital edition here]

Photograph: Shutterstock

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