MOST of us kick off the new year promising ourselves this will be the time for us to get trim.
But the vast majority of diets tend to end up with us giving up and piling back on the pounds.
But this year, it doesn't have to be that way.
There are some super simple life hacks you can use to up your calorie burn and make healthier choices stick.
Here, nutritionist Susie Burrell shares five of her top tips for cutting back on calories and burning fat…
1. Drink ice cold water
It really is time to embrace the cold – because it can help you to burn more fat.
Previously, we revealed that being cold (be that taking cold showers, sleeping in the cold or exercising outdoors) can help you to produce more brown fat.
It can help your body to utilise energy more effectively, meaning that you burn calories at a higher rate and making you slimmer in the process.
And Susie says that downing very cold water can also have a similar effect.
"Just as the body burns more energy keeping the body temperature stable in cold conditions, so too does it have to work harder when we expose it to cold liquids and foods," she tells News.com.au.
"One study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that participants who consumed six to eight glasses of ice-cold water each day resulted in study participants burning up to 100 extra calories.
"While this was a one-off study, it does suggest that there is a calorie-burning benefit when we drink cold beverages — and when it comes to boosting our daily calorie burn, every little bit helps."
2. Up your protein intake at each meal
Ever had breakfast only to find that you're starving hungry moments later?
That's usually because breakfasts tend to be really heavy on the carbs and we don't concentrate on adding protein to our meals.
Protein keeps us fuller for longer because it takes longer for the body to digest.
And unlike carbs, it doesn't just get processed into sugar.
"Compared to high fat and high carbohydrate foods, foods high in protein such as lean meat, eggs, fish and dairy foods require more calories to digest per equal volume of food," Susie explains.
"This means that you will burn more calories eating a piece of chicken breast and salad than you would a ham and cheese toasted sandwich.
"For this reason basing each of your meals and snacks around whole, protein-rich foods will contribute to an estimated extra calorie burn of 20-30 calories per meal or up to 100-120 extra calories per day in total."
3. Switch to walking catch-ups
Swap a pub or cafe catch-up for a chat on the go.
Susie says: "It may be a regular meeting that you take at work, or swapping your coffee date with a friend to a walk and coffee date, but scheduling active catch-ups is an easy way to factor more movement into your regular day minus the stress of adding in extra exercise.
"Just a 20-minute walk will boost your calorie burn by at least 100 calories.
"If walking meetings are not your thing, committing to getting out each lunchtime and moving for at least 20 minutes is a good starting point."
4. Get a standing desk
If you do have a desk job, just think of all the hours you spend sitting down.
All those office treats aren't being burnt off because you're not moving for nine hours.
It's worth saying that not all employers are going to be willing to get you a standing desk (they're not exactly cheap), but you could do you life admin standing at your kitchen sideboard rather than sitting on the sofa.
And if you do sit down all day, why not set regular alarms to remind you to get up and moving?
5. Boost heart rate first thing
It may be hard but it really is worth getting up early to do exercise, Susie says.
"Exercising at high intensity is one of the easiest ways to give your metabolic rate, or the number of calories the body burns each day, a boost.
"You may have noticed that when you hit the gym early, you are much hungrier for the remainder of the day.
"This is a sign that your metabolism has been given a boost.
"As such, starting each day with a short burst of high-intensity activity is an easy way to boost your daily calorie burning potential.
"Think 10-15 minutes of skipping, a few stair runs or a 20-30 interval run/walking session at the local gym or park to kickstart your day."
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