So far in our summer program we've looked at two different workouts - one for fat-loss and one for adding muscle. Of course, it's not much use following the right program and putting the hours in at the gym if you aren't paying closer attention to what you're eating at the same time. We've once more enlisted the expert advice of trainer ( www.petefraser.com) to lay down some golden rules on how to use your diet to boost your metabolism and burn more fat:
1 Don't diet
That's right, following a diet plan which restricts food groups or limits how often you eat is a bad idea. Simply put, it will kill your metabolism by putting your body into starvation mode. "What's worse," says Fraser, "if the crash diet continues, you'll begin burning muscle tissue which just gives your main enemy - visceral fat - a greater advantage." Instead aim for four to five small meals a day. It takes planning (and a fair quantity of tupperware) but is well worth the effort.
2 Ditch the white carbs
Carbohydrates shouldn't be seen as the source of all evil when it comes to healthy eating, but white carbohydrates probably should. If you're serious about getting results, this is the biggest change you should be looking at making right now, so swap the white bread, rice and sugar for brown rice, brown bread, fruit and vegetables.
3 Up your protein
You need protein to maintain lean muscle, it makes you feel fuller for longer and it has been shown to boost post-eating calorie burn by as much as 35 per cent. Add a serving to each meal eg 3 ounces of lean meat, 2 tablespons of nuts or 8 ounces of low-fat yoghurt.
4 Start the day right
"Eating breakfast jumpstarts your metabolism and keeps energy high all day," says Fraser. "It's no accident that those who skip this meal are 4.5 times more likely to be obese." Given you have the full day ahead for burning calories, this should be the heartiest meal of your day. Your daily caffeine hit also has a part to play here - it can boost your metabolism by 5 to 8 per cent.
5 Fight fat with fibre
Often-overlooked when looking at fat-loss but research shows that those who eat the most fibre gain the least amount of weight over time and it can bolster your metabolism by as much as 30 per cent - aim for 25g a day, the equivalent found in 3 servings of fruit and veg.