Working out on a regular basis is just one part of losing weight - but there are plenty of other ways which can help you blast that unwanted fat. Follow these tricks and watch your waistline disappear...
Keep cool, calm and collected
Stress can wreak havoc with your hormones, which will not only affect sleep patterns but can also promote fat stores.
Stress can also be a major trigger when it comes to visceral fat - body fat that is stored within the abdominal cavity and is therefore stored around a number of important internal organs such as the liver, pancreas and intestines.
This is the fat associated with increased risks of a number of health problems, including type 2 diabetes.
Taking time out to relax will help shift this fat while a good night’s sleep is also essential.
Grab an early night
If we don’t get enough shuteye then our metabolism slows down to conserve energy.
The slowdown then triggers the release of the hormone cortisol, which increases appetite and ultimately increases your calorie intake.
A study in Finland looked at sets of identical twins and discovered that in each set of siblings, the twin who slept less and was under more stress had more visceral fat.
Make time in the morning
We are always told breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it is when you are trying to get fit and stay fit. Eating breakfast kickstarts your metabolism and the heartier the meal the better.
Research shows that people who skip breakfast are four and a half times more likely to be obese.
A further study published by the American Journal of Epidemiology, found that volunteers who consumed 22 to 55 per cent of their total calories at breakfast gained only 1.7 pounds on average over 4 years. Those who consumed zero to 11 per cent gained nearly 3 pounds.
Grab that coffee
Caffeine not only wakes us up, it also acts a stimulant to the metabolism, boosting it by 5 to 8 per cent which can equate to burning between 98 and 174 calories.
But when we say coffee, we’re not talking about a calorie laden special from your local coffee shop; we’re talking a black or white single shot.
Researchers say eating organic foods can not only make you healthier but also live longer.
Fruit and artificial fertilisers have been shown to have significantly more key nutrients, including vitamin C, which can extend average lifespans typically by 25 days for men and 17 days for women.
Organic produce also has higher levels of compounds, which encourage the body to burn fat.
Canadian researchers found that dieters who ate regular fruit and vegetables had more pollutants from pesticides (organochlorines), which are stored in fat cells.
When they then dieted they experienced a greater-than-normal dip in their metabolism, making it harder to lose pounds.
Swap your three balanced meals for six smaller ones
By opting for six smaller meals instead of three main meals your body will be constantly supplied with all the nutrients it needs to look after itself and burn fat.
This means your resting metabolic rate increases and your body will be prevented from kicking into "starvation" mode. This is where your body starts burning muscle for energy, increasing your body-fat stores and slowing down your metabolism.
Stand up to fat
Periods of inactivity, of four hours or more, can cause a near shut- down of an enzyme that controls fat and cholesterol metabolism, according to Missouri University researchers.
So make sure you keep active, even while you work. It’s easy to get carried away working at your desk so set your alarm for regular intervals and even if you just walk around the office, or stand up and walk on the spot while talking on the phone, this will stop you going into standby mode.
Spice things up
Capsicum, the compound that gives chillies their heat, is great for firing up your metabolism, so make sure you keep a pack or even a jar of ready chopped chilli to hand so you can add to just about everything you cook.
Don’t get stuck in a rut
It’s easy to get stuck in a food routine, especially when dieting. You are so focussed on calorie intake that your body can start interfering too.
If you stick to the same number of calories on a daily basis your body will adjust by lowering its metabolic rate to prevent you from burning off too much body fat.
By varying your calorie intake every few days you will keep the starvation mechanism in check and continue to burn fat.