While it's a little oversimplified, weight loss basically boils down to calories in and calories out. What most people don't think about is how efficiently their bodies burn those calories. If you learn some of the secrets to making your body burn more calories 24 hours a day, you make losing weight that much easier.

Your body really wants to be a fat-burning machine, you just need to make sure you put it in the right place to do so! All you need is a little knowledge and dedication and the extra weight that's been dragging you down will be gone in no time. Most people don't have to make drastic changes. Here are eight simple ways you can see results:

1. Pump a little iron. Lean muscle mass is the cornerstone to a healthy metabolism. Women need to dispel the myth that lifting weights will make them look like a male bodybuilder. It's nearly impossible, without the introduction of hormonal supplementation to do so. What you will get though is sleek muscles that increase your resting calorie burning.

2. Cardio is key. When you perform cardiovascular exercise, your body produces enzymes that break down fat and enable it to use that fat as an energy resource. People who have a high capacity for cardio can burn fat easily because their bodies are efficient at delivering oxygen to muscle cells.

4. Don't overdo calorie-cutting. Most of us ingest more calories than we expel, which leaves us overweight. However, if you restrict your calorie intake too drastically, it's a good way to hold on to the very weight you are trying to lose. While that sounds a bit strange, what your body is doing is going into survival mode. If you suddenly drop a bunch of calories from your diet, your resting metabolic rate will drop as well. Your body assumes you are starving.

Most experts recommend one to two pounds of weight loss each week. Sometimes it's a little more at the beginning of your efforts. An easy way to figure out your caloric needs is to multiply your current weight by 11. So, if you are 150 pounds, try to get about 1,650 calories each day. Try not to let your daily calories go below 1,200. Research shows that women who consume less than that see their resting metabolic rate plummet by as much as 45 percent!

5. Don't skip breakfast. Maybe you don't have an appetite in the morning, but that's often because you are used to not eating on a regular schedule. While time is often an issue, there's nothing more deserving of your time than your health! In fact, breakfast may be the most important meal of the day. Your metabolism slows when you sleep and it doesn't rev back up until you eat again. That means if you skip breakfast, you're looking at 18-20 hours since your last meal!

6. Space your meals out appropriately. If you find you get frequent snack attacks, it may be due to a sugar imbalance, which is often brought on by long breaks between meals and eating too much at one sitting. You can rev up your metabolism and curb cravings by dividing your meals into five or six small meals each day. Your body will expend more energy to digest the food and your metabolic rate go up.

7. Get enough sleep. Studies show that insufficient sleep can increase hunger and affect the body's metabolism, which makes it more difficult to lose weight. People who don't get enough sleep may continue to feel hungry despite getting enough calories because sleep loss has been shown to affect the secretion of cortisol, a hormone that regulates appetite. Most people should get about eight hours of sleep every night.

8. Drink water. Weight loss studies have found that drinking water may increase the rate that you burn calories. In a German study, the participants' metabolic rates increased by 30 percent after consuming approximately 17 ounces of water. In order to burn energy your body needs water to make your metabolosm work effectively. As an added bonus, water fills you up and curbs your appetite, flushes your system and rids the body of toxins. Drink at least eight to 10 glasses per day, more if you are active.

9. Skip or minimize alcohol. If you like to have a drink or two with your meals or just to relax, it can have residual effects to your health. Several studies have shown that having a drink before a meal makes people eat about 200 more calories. It's not so good to drink with your meal either. Additional research found that the body burns off alcohol first, meaning the calories in the rest of your meal are more likely to be stored as fat.

Some people have more difficulty losing weight, in part, because our metabolisms vary from person to person. Genetic unfairness aside, if you follow most of these tips, you should be well on your way to seeing an improvement in your fat-burning efforts.

Author's Bio: 

Jason Knapfel manages content for WeightWise Bariatric Program in Edmund, OK.