Perfect day of weight loss

Find out the best times to exercise and eat to maximize weight loss results. You'll boost metabolism, burn calories, and torch belly fat for 24 hours with these healthy eating tips and workout advice.

The Real Life Way to Lose Weight

7 a.m.

Wake up and do 2 minutes of jumping jacks, high-knee skips, pushups, or crunches.

7:15 a.m.

Have two scrambled eggs and a slice of Canadian bacon. A 2009 Purdue University study found that a high-protein breakfast makes people feel fuller throughout the day, so they're less likely to overeat.

7:45 a.m.

Hit the gym, and lower weights slowly. Taking 3 seconds to lower weights during full-body resistance training can rev your metabolism for up to 3 days, according to a Wayne State University study. (Study participants used a challenging weight for 5 sets of 6 repetitions for each exercise.)

9 a.m.

Drink some milk. A diet with plenty of calcium-rich dairy can enhance weight loss, according to a 2007 study of overweight people.

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10 a.m.

Grab a protein-rich snack, like half a turkey sandwich on whole-grain bread with Swiss cheese. In a Georgia State University study, athletes who ate three 250-calorie snacks a day were more likely to lose body fat and have more energy than those who didn't.

11 a.m.

Walk briskly around the office/neighborhood/mall during your break. A recent Mayo Clinic study found that lean people walk an average of 3 ½ miles more per day than obese people do.

1 p.m.

For lunch, eat a spinach salad with grilled halibut and sliced almonds. All contain magnesium, a metabolism-friendly mineral.

2 p.m.

If your work meeting is with just one or two people, walk the halls as you talk.

4 p.m.

Down a glass of iced green tea. According to a study in the Journal of Nutrition, the catechins in green tea decrease body fat.

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5 p.m.

Have a handful of wasabi peas or some other fiery snack. According to a 2006 study review, spicy foods help burn fat and calories.

7 p.m.

Take a short walk before dinner.

7:30 p.m.

Eat dinner. If you ate lightly today, don't worry about having a heavier meal now: "It doesn't matter when you fuel up; it's how many gallons you put in the tank," says Gary Foster, director of Temple University's Center for Obesity Research and Education.

9:30 p.m.

Grab a good book or magazine, turn on some tunes, and relax. Stress jacks up your level of cortisol, a chemical that boosts abdominal fat.

10:30 p.m.

Draw your shades so the sun won't rouse you early. According to a 2008 review, losing sleep affects the hormones that turn your appetite on and off, making you feel hungrier.

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Excerpted from The Lean Belly Prescription by Dr. Travis Stork and Peter Moore, editor of Men's Health.