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Weight Loss & Diet Plans

8 Ways to Burn Calories and Fight Fat

These healthy habits may help give your body a calorie-burning boost.
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4. Eat Smaller, More Frequent Meals

Every time you eat a meal or snack, your gastrointestinal tract turns on, so to speak, and starts digesting food and absorbing nutrients. It costs calories to fire up the human digestion machine, so it makes sense that the more small meals or snacks you eat through the day, the more calories you'd burn.

There isn't much solid evidence for this effect, McCrory notes in an email interview. But many experts believe that, compared to eating one or two very large meals, this is a more healthful way of eating anyway. And if it leads to even a few extra calories being burned, even better!

5. Don't Skip Breakfast

Evidence supporting a link between skipping breakfast and increased body weight is growing, according to a recent editorial in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Some research has shown that when people skip breakfast, they tend to eat more calories by the end of the day. Other studies have suggested that skipping breakfast is associated with a higher body mass index in teens.

While we could use more research in this area, eating a healthy breakfast certainly makes sense as a lifestyle habit.

6. Eat Low-Fat Dairy

The calcium from low-fat dairy doesn't specifically help burn more calories, but it may do a couple of things to help discourage body fat. Results from a recent Danish study suggest that we might absorb fewer fat calories from a meal when we consume calcium from low-fat dairy.

In another recent study, eating more calcium-rich foods -- including low-fat dairy products -- appeared to be linked to lower amounts of belly fat, particularly in young adult white males.

7. Drink 8 Cups of Water a Day

"Just about everything you call on your body to do burns calories, including absorbing and utilizing water while maintaining fluid balance (sometimes by excreting excess)," says Pope.

Drinking almost eight cups of water (2 liters) may help burn nearly 100 extra calories a day, according to findings of a small study from Germany, notes Pope.

That may not sound like much, but it could add up to 700 calories a week or 2,800 calories a month. And that's by doing something we should do anyway to keep our intestines and kidneys happy, and to help keep us from confusing thirst with hunger. (Pope does add a caution not to overdo it; it is possible to drink dangerous amounts of water.)

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