8. Lose 10 Percent of Your Excess Body Weight

We’re sure you have your reasons for wanting to rev up your metabolism or lose weight. But, one of them should be health. Did you know that by losing just 5 to 10 percent of your excess body weight, you can lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, insulin, and triglyceride levels? Losing weight shouldn’t be just about looking good. It should also be about staying healthy.

9. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Some foods are better for you than others. The key is to eat a diverse diet, with an emphasis on those foods that pack the heaviest nutritional punch. Fruits and vegetables are an important part of any health regimen because they are loaded with essential nutrients in their most natural and useful form—and the more fruits and vegetables you eat the more satiated you will feel and you will be able to avoid high-calorie foods and fat. The majority of Americans don’t consume nearly enough fruits and vegetables. Government health officials suggest a minimum of five servings of fruit and vegetables daily—twice the amount suggested for meat and dairy.

10. Eat to Live, Don’t Live to Eat

Food can be incredibly enjoyable—and addictive—but its main purpose is to keep you alive and kicking. If you want to live a long and healthy life, you need to eat foods that truly nourish your body. Plus, if you are putting in extra efforts to burn calories and lose or maintain your weight, why would you wipe out all that effort by consuming empty calories? Rather than eating whatever is in front you, focus on food choices that will nourish your body and keep your metabolic engine running at peak efficiency. To think thin and live thin, make an effort to schedule fun activities that don’t revolve around food. Instead of dinner plans, make plans to play sports, go dancing, or see a show.

11. Distinguish Between Hunger and Cravings

One important step in making sure you don’t overeat is to challenge yourself when you think you’re hungry. Are you hungry or are you having an emotional craving for food? One way of determining the difference is by having a glass of water. Often when you think you’re hungry, you’re actually thirsty. If the feeling doesn’t diminish or if you’re experiencing more serious signals such as headache, lack of concentration, or physical hunger pains, head to the kitchen and make a healthy snack.

12. Chew Gum

Gum chewing can help boost your metabolism in a couple of ways. First, if you’re having trouble with overeating, just the simple act of chewing gum can help you hold off on grabbing foods that aren’t metabolism boosting throughout the day. Second, a Mayo Clinic study concluded that gum chewing actually boosted metabolism by up to 20 percent and could help participants lose up to 10 pounds a year! That’s a lot of Double Bubble!

13. Follow the 90/10 Rule

People who focus on overall fitness know that eating healthy is not an all-or-nothing activity. They know that if they make the majority of their food choices great, they can indulge occasionally. Create a 90/10 rule of your own: If 90 percent of your meals are full of lean protein, produce, lean dairy, and whole grains, indulging in less-than-nutritious choices 10 percent of the time won’t slow down your metabolism.

14. Create and Adhere to Restaurant Rules

Eating in restaurants often leads to a downfall. Because it’s so tempting to let down your guard and eat all the things you’d normally limit when you’re eating out, set some ground rules to minimize caloric or fat overload. For example, never order meat that has been fried or sautéed; always request that it be cooked without oil or butter. Do the same for your veggies, although it’s great to eat them raw. Keep baskets of bread off the table; you don’t need that! Request all sauces and dressings on the side, and drizzle very small amounts on the dish. Stick with water for your beverage or the occasional glass of red wine. Make it a golden rule never to order dessert for one, and when sharing, take three small bites and put down your fork or spoon. End your meal with coffee or tea for a treat.

15. Use Visualization

Imagination is a wonderful thing—it allows us to visualize ourselves stronger, thinner, healthier, or whatever we desire. Many believe that visualization leads to manifestation, particularly if you practice daily. When you wake up, spend 5 to 10 minutes visualizing yourself as leaner and sexier: the picture of health. If you have trouble visualizing yourself that way, find a picture of someone in a magazine who has the body you desire, paste your head on it, and place it on your bathroom mirror or the refrigerator. What you focus on is what you manifest, so focus on being the healthiest you that you can be. Go for it!

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