6 Shortcuts to Speed Your Fat Burn

Most things worth achieving—getting a college degree, finding your perfect mate, building a career, raising a family—take time and effort. But that doesn’t mean we don’t want to take a few shortcuts when it comes to achieving the body of our dreams. Fortunately, you can hit fast-forward on your better-body goals with these simple, science-backed tricks for speeding your fat burn. No, you won’t transform overnight, but you could start to see results within a week, and even the world’s biggest brainiac can’t earn a bachelor’s degree that fast!

Join the Breakfast Club

People with a lifelong habit of eating early have a waistline about 2 inches smaller than that of breakfast skippers, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals. An A.M. meal may boost metabolism; plus, it helps your body make less of an enzyme that raises cholesterol. Rise and dine—within 90 minutes of waking up.

Snack Regularly

Going too long without food (five hours or more) slows your metabolism, causing your body to burn less fat than normal, says Debra R. Keast, Ph.D., president of Food & Nutrition Database Research in Okemos, Michigan. It can also lead to blood sugar dips, cravings and hunger that make it harder to control your choices at the next meal or snack. The fix: Have a healthful snack about three hours after breakfast and another three hours after lunch, suggests Lauren Slayton, R.D., founder of Foodtrainers in New York City. Try a 6-ounce nonfat plain Greek yogurt with 1 cup of sliced strawberries, or 2 Wasa light rye crackers topped with ¼ cup part-skim ricotta cheese and a drizzle of honey. These 100-to-200-calorie snacks will help keep your blood sugar and insulin levels steady and your energy level humming along.

Spin Off

People who cycled 6 miles a week for only six months lowered their insulin level by 19 percent, but walkers who covered the same ground saw no change, a study from the Karolinska Institute finds. (High insulin is tied to weight gain.) Biking works more muscles, amping up fat-burning metabolism, which can keep insulin in check. Pedal the pounds away!

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