Burn Fat Faster: 5 Efficient Ways

17 Sep
 Posted by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA  4 Comments

 

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Our bodies tend to naturally burn fat as a fuel source, but have you ever wondered if you can train your body to burn fat more efficiently? Today, I’m going to give you a few tips on how you can better train your body to burn fat!

Today, I want to share some great ways you can help your body become a better fat burning machine! So often in our busy lives, we want to hear about the quick fixes or shortcuts to achieving our health and fitness goals. But sometimes, taking a little extra time and planning your fitness routine in advance can get you better results and help you burn fat faster.

RELATED ARTICLE: Body Fat and Heart Health: A Reflection of Your Lifestyle

As a speed-based athlete, I was never a fan of any type of endurance style training. The idea of walking or running for more than 60 minutes sounded like torture. After having my children, however, I realized that the occasional extended workout had great benefits. It was not only great for my waistline, it was also great for my mind, too. Now I can honestly say that I look forward to my longer training days. I have my music playlist ready and I truly enjoy my alone time running on the long trails. My cardiovascular fitness level has dramatically improved since I’ve started my endurance training and I feel the benefits in my shorter sessions, too.

There are so many ways that you can burn fat, lose weight and tone up. It just takes the willingness to break out of your comfort zone and add a few of my tips into your week!

Make Time for Endurance Training

Try to make time for long cardio workout sessions at least once a week. Running, walking or cycling at a comfortable pace for an extended period of time is a great way to ensure that your body is burning fat. Your body uses fat as its fuel source for the majority of your long workouts. Once you start pushing yourself and increase your intensity level, your body will tend to burn stored carbohydrate for energy. Try to stay at about a 6/10 intensity level. I believe that spending 60-90 minutes focusing on yourself each week is also healthy for your emotional well-being.

Do Some Interval Training

I am a huge fan of interval training because of the post-workout fat burning effects. During a high-intensity interval workout, your body is using carbohydrate as a fuel source, but the recovery process will burn fat. Interval style training takes less time than steady state training and you can get incredible fat burning results from doing just a 30-minute workout. Try to train in this style two days per week.

Strength Training

Building lean muscle mass will help you burn more calories even while resting. It takes more calories for your body to sustain lean muscle mass than it does to sustain fat, which means building muscle makes you a better fat burner long term. A strength-based workout also pushes your body to recover; therefore you get double the benefits, and will burn fat long after you leave the gym!

Replenish Well

The fuel that you choose has a direct effect on the results you will get from your body. Focus on ensuring you have a good balance of carbohydrates, healthy fats, and protein every day. Pay special attention to consuming protein within 30 minutes of your workout, especially on your long workout day. Also, be sure that you have a small amount of carbohydrate after your workout to help restore your body’s muscle glycogen.

Get Some Rest

During rest, your body adapts to the demands that you place on it. If you’re working hard five days a week, using two days to allow your body to recover and regenerate is a good idea.

There are so many ways that you can push your body to adapt and improve. I feel that being balanced with your exercise routine and your personal nutrition is the perfect plan to become a more efficient calorie and fat burner long term. Consistency is one of the keys to success, so dedicate five days of the week to being active and exercising. If five days a week isn’t possible because you have a busy schedule or you’re new to fitness, remember my favorite saying: “Doing something will always get you better results than doing nothing at all!”

Written by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA. Samantha is Director of Fitness Education at Herbalife.

How to beat diet boredom

11 Sep
 Posted by Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD, FAND  3 Comments

 

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Practical advice to help you stop diet boredom | Herbalife Nutrition

If you’re bored with your diet, you probably won’t stick with it.  Here are six practical tips to help you beat diet boredom.

Bored with your diet?  That could be good news…but it might also be bad news.  The good news is this: if you’re bored with your diet, it probably means that you’ve been sticking pretty solidly to your meal plan – at least for the moment – and it’s likely you’re seeing some results. When you eat the same foods day in and day out, you do tend to eat less overall1.  But the bad news is this: the reason you’re eating less is because you’re simply bored with your diet – and that can spell trouble.  When your diet gets boring, you’re more easily tempted – and you’re more likely to stray off your plan.

Why You Get Bored On A Diet

I think there are a couple of reasons people get into ruts with dieting – and they’re legitimate reasons.  For one thing, if you stick to a plan and you’re getting results, you might be worried that if you eat anything else your progress will slow down.  And, if you eat the same thing every day – as boring as it may be – it just makes it easier…you don’t have to do much planning since you know exactly what you’re going to eat at every meal and snack.

But here’s something to keep in mind.  When you say you’re ‘bored on your diet’ it suggests that at some time you’ll be ‘off your diet’…(and, therefore, ‘not bored’).  I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating – weight loss is simply practice for weight maintenance.  In general, the foods and meals you eat while you’re losing are pretty much the same as the ones you’ll be eating when you shift into maintenance mode.  If you’re bored with your diet now, it’s a safe bet that you won’t be able to keep eating this way indefinitely.  And before you know it, you’ll be slipping back into old habits and watching your weight creep back up.

Routine is good – but sometimes you can take things too far.  Just because your diet plan suggests grilled chicken and steamed spinach for dinner doesn’t mean you have to eat exactly those foods every single night.  There are plenty of things you can do that can keep things interesting and help keep you on your plan.

How to Avoid Diet Boredom

Try new fruits and vegetables.

Fruits and vegetables can be delicious healthy food choices – and they’re loaded with nutrients.  Learning to love a variety of fruits and vegetables helps to keep things interesting, and you’ll be offering your body a whole host of nutrients, too.  If you just can’t face a plate of spinach one more day, try spicy mustard greens, kale or Swiss chard instead.  Just because your meal plan calls for strawberries doesn’t mean you can’t swap in something more exotic like kiwifruit for a change.

Move meals and meal items around.

In general, meal plans are designed to distribute your foods over several meals and snacks throughout the day – partly to help you control hunger, but also to help you maintain your physical and mental energy.  But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t move things around a little bit.  Maybe your plan calls for a mid-morning protein snack, but you don’t feel the need (or the desire) to eat it – by all means, move that snack to later in the day if it works better for you.  If you prefer your larger meal midday – rather than the larger dinner meal that your plan calls for  – go ahead and swap.  The time of day that you eat your calories makes little difference as long as you don’t exceed your daily totals.  And, there’s no reason you can’t eat ‘breakfast food’ for dinner and have leftovers in the morning.

Add more seasonings to your food.

It seems to me that some people don’t even try to make their food interesting when they’re dieting.  It’s almost as if they’re trying to punish themselves – and that it would be ‘bad’ to actually enjoy a tasty plate of food. Eating should bring pleasure, not punishment – and you can add loads of flavor to foods with seasonings like herbs, spices, citrus juice and zest, garlic, onion or a splash of wine or vinegar.  And don’t forget almost-calorie-free condiments like mustard, salsa, steak sauce or soy sauce (but use them wisely as some may contain higher sodium content than you would expect).  Fresh steamed spinach tastes just fine – but it’s a whole lot better with a little red onion and a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar.

Give your favorite recipes a makeover.

Diet boredom can also set in when you aren’t eating your usual favorite meals because they’re not very diet friendly.  But with so many tips and tricks for revamping recipes, you might – with a little experimentation – be able to satisfy your craving for your favorite foods without breaking your diet.  Once you’ve mastered a recipe, share and swap with your friends – it’s amazing how quickly you can build a healthy recipe collection that way.

Find restaurant meals that work with your meal plan.

Dieting can be really boring if you’re convinced you can never enjoy a meal out.  But there’s no reason to avoid restaurants altogether when you’re in dieting mode – the trick is finding items that work with your diet, not against it. Certain cuisines – Asian and Mediterranean fare, for example – tend to offer diet-friendly vegetables and lean proteins, so that might be a good place to start.  And take advantage of online nutrition information – many restaurants post calorie counts – which can be a big help in pre-planning what you’ll order.

Bank some calories during the week.

Sometimes the diet boredom doesn’t set in until the weekend.  Most of us have our time pretty well scheduled during the week, so eating the same meals most days doesn’t seem to bother us that much. But when the weekend sets in, we want to mix it up a little bit.  Some people work around this by cutting back a little bit each day during the week, and loosening the reins somewhat on the weekend.  If you want to try this, be sure you have a good idea of how many calories you’ve saved up – and how many calories that splurge might cost you.  The “six days on and one day off” diet plan can be hard to pull off if you don’t plan ahead.

Binge eating is never a good idea. Make sure you plan to eat when you’re hungry and make wise choices regarding calories vs nutrients on every day of the week. That said, a small treat now and then shouldn’t derail an eating plan and allowing yourself a minor splurge may be the highlight you need to alleviate what could start to feel like a boring diet!

1Epstein LH et al. Am J Clin Nutr 94:371-376, 2011

Written by Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD, FAND. Susan is a paid consultant for Herbalife.