Your old friend joe can boost more than your mood. It can also boost your metabolism, thanks to a healthy dose of the antioxidant chlorogenic acid (CGA), which increases your body’s use of fat for energy, Bowden says. Research has also shown that the chemical compound can slow the release of glucose into the bloodstream after a meal while lowering insulin resistance to prevent weight gain. Opt for the strong stuff: Several recent studies have found that caffeine in small doses before exercise can improve performance and help your muscles recover in record time.
The moment protein passes your lips, it starts fighting fat. Your body has to work harder to break down protein and use it for energy, which means you burn more calories as you digest it, Gidus says. It also takes more time to leave your stomach, literally keeping your belly fuller for longer. In one study published in the journal Nutrition Metabolism, dieters who increased their protein intake to 30% of their total diet ate about 450 fewer calories a day. Over 12 weeks, that equals 11 pounds lost—without doing anything else!