8 Ways to Knock Out Fat

Mario Lopez, author of Knockout Fitness, answers readers' questions about shaping up and slimming down.
© Men's Health // © Men's Health
Q: Should I eat a huge meal after working out to capitalize on my super-charged metabolism?
A: Don't consider your workout's calorie torching after-effects a license to splurge. Consume a protein-and-carb shake as soon as possible after training and a small, nutritious meal an hour after that. But the idea is to replenish your muscles, not gorge until you lose the metabolism-boosting benefits of your workout. Your metabolism can stay revved up for anywhere from one to eight hours, allowing you to burn an extra 50 to 200 calories.

By Mario Lopez for Men's Health
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Q: What's the simplest way to curb my appetite?
A: Chew sugarless gum. British researchers did an experiment in which some subjects chomped on sugarless gum for 15 minutes per hour, and some didn't. The gum smackers consumed 36 fewer calories, on average, when working their way through a snack table three hours later. Chew gum at the stove, too. You'll be less likely to taste-test along the way.
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Q: I see "fat burners" in every convenience store. What are they, and can they help me lose weight?
A: Regardless of the marketing angle, most fat burners are slightly different variations on a formulation designed to rev your nervous system for short periods of time. That's not a particularly bad thing, per se, but it isn't for everyone, and the ingredients aren't always combined wisely or even safely. Most important, fat burning pills burn trivial amounts of fat compared with working out and eating right. Save your money.
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Q: Besides water, are there other beverages I should drink every day?
A: That one's easy. The closest thing we have to a fountain of youth is a steaming-hot cup of green tea (but keep in mind, green tea does contain caffeine). In a recent study, University of Minnesota scientists found that drinking just one cup a day slices your colon cancer risk in half. Better yet, drink two, three, or even five cups a day. According to Journal of the American Medical Association, five cups are good for a 22-percent reduction in heart disease risk.
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Q: I want lose 10 pounds for my high school reunion. How can I juggle my carb intake to maximize fat loss—stat?
A: Consume starchy carbs early in the day and water-rich carbs later. Your insulin sensitivity is greatest in the morning and falls off during the evening. So something like white rice will do more damage at dinner than it will at lunch. That's why you should eat those carbs that are absorbed more slowly by the body, like broccoli, later in the day.
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Q: I know what carbs I should avoid now: white bread, soda, sugary cereals, white rice, and so on. Name some healthy carb foods.
A: Sweet potatoes are my personal favorite, but the list is actually quite long: brown rice, oatmeal, and whole grains such as millet, quinoa, and wild rice all earn my seal of approval. And as a general rule, fruit provides good morning carbs, and vegetables provide good afternoon and evening carbs.
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Q: I enjoy drinking a glass of wine or two in the evening, especially after a hard day. Do I have to give up my vino?
A: As long as you don't abuse it, keep drinking wine, red especially. It contains few carbohydrates, so it's perfect for evening consumption. It's also loaded with plant chemicals that scientists claim are responsible for all sorts of health benefits, from reducing the risk of heart disease and obesity to lowering the chances you'll be diagnosed with cancer.
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Q: I've heard for years that eggs are okay for me, but only if I remove the yolks, because they contain cholesterol. Is this true?
A: Eggs are a nearly perfect food, yolk included. In fact, a recent study from the University of Connecticut found that adding extra yolk to a diet didn’t raise bad cholesterol. In another study, subjects having eggs for breakfast ate less food throughout the day than those given a higher-carbohydrate breakfast.
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