Remember your New Year’s Resolution? Yeah, us either. Still, you can start losing weight and burning fat right now with this simple guide to making the most of your three meals a day.
Pile up your breakfast.
That big breakfast you enjoyed is a tasty way to boost fat burn! New research out of Germany found that folks who savored a hearty morning meal followed by a lighter lunch and dinner burned twice as many calories as those who ate their heaviest meal later in the day-even though they consumed the same number of calories. Why? Your metabolism runs in high gear in the morning. This speeds the body’s ability to use fat for energy, says Michelle Schoffro Cook, Ph.D., DNM, author of 60 Seconds to Slim.
Lunch with the hits.
Go ahead and add some fun ambience to your midday meal. Harvard research suggests that tuning in to a favorite music station while you eat lunch automatically speeds your metabolism. Plus, it helps you eat nine fewer grams of fat and 122 fewer calories without even realizing it. Investigators explain that music, especially songs you love, quiets hunger pangs while also triggering a flood of the feel-good hormone oxytocin. “This significantly increases feelings of comfort,” explains Schoffro Cook, “making us less likely to turn to emotional eating or feel as hungry.”
Dinner at 6.
The trick to burning 200 percent more body fat: eating dinner at 6 pm. British scientists say folks who shifted their dinnertime to this earlier hour burned twice the fat of those who ate as many calories later in the day. Plus, earlier diners felt less hungry the next day. Shifting your mealtime up syncs your inner body clock, which suppresses the hunger hormone ghrelin and increases the satiety hormone leptin.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.