With all of the fad diets, books, websites, etc dedicated to selling people on dieting "secrets" or even selling them the food under the guise of some sort of metabolic trick to "kickstart" your metabolism. Low carb, Paleo, high protein, low fat, the list goes on and on. I wonder if there is any scientific proof that any of these 'tricks' actually work or are they simply masquerading as simple calorie deficit diets. The more I dig, the more I find that diets are like a religion to some people. None can provide me with evidence that a diet works better for health or weight loss across the board for most people. So I ask, is there any diet that is metabolically superior? Or is simply eating less still the only way?
Eat properly, exercise more. That's it.
Keep caloric intake at a level commensurate with your goals (less for weight loss, more for weight gain, even for maintenance). of course, it's hard doing that, so people will look for shortcuts, or magic pills. The effort they want to put into it normally doesn't equal the effort required.
Some basic educational/government links on the subject:
Anyone with common sense and google can find these. There are no "secrets" or "kickstarts" for dieting. If anything, dieting as a temporary behaviour has been shown generally not to work. It needs to be an overall behavioural modification. As I said earlier, it's not something that is easy to do. The effort required is generally much more than the effort folks are willing to put into it.
Apart from the correct answers that eating less and exercising more is the only real way to loose fat, some minor effects have been documented in different studies:
But the effects are relatively small. Substances that increase the metabolism much more exist Levothyroxine is an example, and stimulants often either boost the metabolism or reduce the appetitet (eg adderall and methylphenidate; illegal drugs like Cocaine and speed probably have similar effects). Different studies prove that other substances may increase the metabolism a little bit. But think about it in this way: if they would have strong effects, they would have strong side effects, and would be only available on prescription. A different way to look at it is: if it was easy to loose weight (eg take one pill everyday), why are there so many obese people?
Anyway, common substances include caffeine and green tea. With caffeine the most effective one (but also with many side effects). Read more about them here: http://www.ergo-log.com/caffeinemosteffective.html and http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v63/n1/abs/1602901a.html