It is the new year and with it comes many resolutions. A number of people will be using the fresh start to work on themselves and lose the extra few pounds they put on over the festive period. If you're thinking about trying to lose weight, altering your diet or getting in more exercise there are things you can do to improve the results.

Taking steps so your body burns more calories every day will help you to lose weight faster but still in a healthy way. This will help you get rid of any Christmas weight and tone your body up much quicker. Seeing results faster is a great push to keep on going with the hard work.

Turn off the heating

It may still be cold outside but switching off your heating is a great way to get your metabolism running faster. Your body runs at a comfortable temperature of 37 degrees Celsius, which keeps your metabolism ticking along at its normal rate.

However, if you lower the ambient temperature of your environment, your body will work harder to maintain this internal temperature. This speeds up your metabolism and burns through fat much faster. This is the same when you are sleeping, so lowering the temperature of your bedroom will help you burn calories while resting.

You can also try drinking two litres of ice water a day to lower your internal temperature without having to sit in a cold room.

Drink green tea

Green tea has amazing number of properties, but the most important when it comes to increasing your metabolism is the fact that it contains an important antioxidant. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is found in green tea and can increase the rate at which your metabolism works for up to 24 hours. 

EGCG helps to increase the amount of energy you produce through digesting fats, so coupled with a low fat diet, it can help you burn off those extra pounds. However, it is best to use a high-quality green tea that doesn't have any additives as it will contain more EGCG. You should also aim to drink a few cups a day.

Hot things up a bit

Eating spicy foods has been linked to increasing the metabolism. Spices and chillies get that burning sensation from a compound called capsicum. This compound can help to increase the amount of heat your body produces, thus speeding up the amount of fat you burn off.

Regularly eating curries, chillies and other hot food - although aim to make healthy versions at home rather than opting for fattening takeaway varieties - can help you to speed your metabolism up. Just remember, the hot the spice, the bigger effect it will have.

Eat more lean protein

Protein is an important part of your diet and eating more of the right proteins can help your metabolism increase. Lean proteins, such as chicken, fish, eggs, beans and lentils, are the best choice when trying to lose weight.

Not only does protein fill you up for longer - meaning you are less likely to snack on unhealthy foods - but it also has a tonne of amino acids. These amino acids are vital to the body when it comes to produce muscle that burns calories and increases the metabolism.

Be Intense

Opting for shorter workout sessions at high intensity can help you burn more calories and boost your metabolism more than a traditional low-intensity workout. Making sure you get your muscles to work harder during daily workouts - or every other day - means they will have more repairing to do afterwards, which increases your metabolism. 

Adding weights to your workouts is the easiest way to get your muscles moving faster. If you don't want to try lifting, you can strap on arm and leg weights to make your usual workout more intensive.