See also: 7 diet myths that are keeping you fat
1. Hit the weights before you hit the pillow
Several studies have found a link between sleep deprivation and weight gain, and research suggests that not getting enough shut-eye can slow down your metabolism – as well as making you crave calorie-dense, comfort foods.
Experts say that, on average, we need around 7.5 hours of quality sleep per night. Having a 30-minute lie-in isn't going to help you lose 7 pounds, but if you regularly only get five hours of shut-eye, sleeping for seven hours a night will probably see you lose weight.
To rev up your metabolism before bed, Buzz 60 presenter Keleigh Nealon suggests lifting weights at night. "Hitting the gym in the evening can boost your metabolic rate for 16 hours."
2. Have a protein snack before bed
After your weights session, you might feel a bit peckish. Keleigh's advice is to drink a casein shake. "It's a slow-release protein that will keep your body burning energy through the night."
Researchers at Florida State University found that men who consumed a shake with 30 grams of protein before bed burned more calories overnight than those who went to bed hungry. Protein is also known to aid muscle repair – and the more muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn.
3. Turn down the thermostat
To burn more calories while you sleep, open a window. According to a study published in the journal Diabetes, people who slept in a room cooled to 66 degrees burnt 7% more calories than ones who sleep in a warmer room. The body has to work hard to raise the core temperature to 98.6 degrees - which burns calories. Over a 24-hour sleeping period, that adds up to an extra 100 calories.
While you're getting used to the idea of being cold, Keleigh suggests a freezing shower before bed. It will help to "activate your brown fat" which will see you burn even more calories.
4. Turn off the night light
You might want to invest in some blackout curtains, too. According to a study published in the Journal of Pineal Research, the body produces melatonin when in complete darkness. The hormone doesn't just make you feel sleepy, it can also aid in the production of calorie-burning brown fat.
While you're at it, switch off your phone and tablet. Researchers at Manchester University found that short-wavelength blue light, emitted by tablets and smartphones, disrupts the body's production of melatonin and, as a result, could disrupt metabolism.
Three products that may help you to lose weight:
Pro Fitness Non-Motorised Treadmill, £89.99
Alli hard capsules - 84 x 60mg, £34.95