There are people who try time and time again to lose weight but, somehow, always seem to fall short of their goal. Not in an extreme, Atkins sort of way, but having a little protein at every meal fires up your metabolism. "Your metabolism slows as you sleep, and the process of digesting food revs it up again," explains Heller. Aim for a 300- to 400-calorie breakfast, such as a high-fiber cereal with skim milk and fruit. A new German study found that when you drink 17 ounces of water within a certain time frame, your metabolic rate shoots up by about 30 percent.
To satisfy hunger between meals, eat unlimited quantities of celery, lettuce, mushrooms, green or red peppers, asparagus, cauliflower, cucumber, and broccoli. Use unsaturated fats, such as vegetable oils, rather than saturated fats such as butter, shortening, and lard. Eat five or more fresh fruits and vegetables each day.