It seems like we all struggle with extra weight as we get older. Wouldn’t it be nice to shed those pounds and get back the body you had when you were younger? It can certainly be done, but contrary to many of the quick-fix claims out there, it takes time. But more than that, you must be disciplined, have a plan and commit yourself to reaching your goals. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to speed up the process and get better results from the work you put in. Below are seven ways you can make sure you are maximizing your fat-burning each time you go to the gym. Running, cycling and using the elliptical machine are all great ways to get your cardio workout in but it’s muscle that burns the most calories in our bodies. That’s why you need to include weight-training in your workouts.
The more lean muscle mass you have, the more your body will become a fat-burning machine and the more likely your chances of keeping the weight off in the long run. You can’t work out if your workout leaves you feeling like you got run over by a truck. Too many people jump right into the intense part of their workout without properly warming their body up. This can lead to injury or soreness, which in turn prevents them from continuing to work out. Once your workout momentum is disrupted, it can be very difficult to get it back. Try planning on 10-15 minutes at the beginning of your workout to warm up and 5-10 minutes at the end to cool down. This seems obvious but it’s worth mentioning. You can’t get the results you want on the outside of your body if you don’t take care of the inside of your body.
Diet and exercise go hand-in-hand when it comes to burning fat and losing weight. Instead of the traditional three big meals per day, start eating smaller meals every four hours or so. By spreading your meals throughout the day in smaller portions, you are forcing your body to continuously burn calories, which can lead to speeding up your metabolism. Without a proper workout plan, designed specifically for your body and goals, it will be very difficult to get the kind of results you desire. Ideally, your exercise regimen should consist of 3 to 4 workouts per week for 30-45 minutes at a time. Any more than this and you run the risk of your muscles breaking down, causing your body to actually burn fewer calories. If you have the ability, you should work with a physical trainer to design a workout plan that is best suited for you. You can also look online for an existing program that is designed for your body type and fat-burning goals and follow it.
Nutritional supplements can be effective in helping you maximize your fat-burning workouts. We’re not talking about those “miracle pills” you see advertised on late-night TV. We’re talking about essential fatty acids, amino acids, whey protein … key ingredients that will help maximize your workouts that you don’t always get in your daily diet. If you work with a trainer, he or she should have some suggestions as to which supplements would be best for you. Let’s face it, most of us aren’t thrilled by the idea of working out. So it’s easy to “fall off the wagon” and skip a workout here and there or binge on your favorite greasy foods and tell yourself you’ll make it up next time. But when you stop seeing results, it’s very easy to lose your motivation. To help avoid this, try to set weekly goals for yourself and track your progress for the week.
By keeping yourself accountable this way you will find it easier to stay on that “wagon! ” Eating too close to bedtime can sabotage your fat-burning efforts. Why? Because nighttime is generally the most sedentary part of the day (especially when you’re sleeping). As a result, your body doesn’t burn as many calories and those late-night snacks just end up turning into more fat that you need to burn. If you are truly hungry late at night it means you haven’t eaten enough during the day and you need to take a look at how you are spreading out your meals. Remember, small meals spread throughout the day tend to help boost your metabolism by burning calories continuously. If you absolutely must have a bedtime bite, try to stay within the 100-300 calorie range and stick to healthy foods like fruits, veggies, nuts, cottage cheese, yogurt and whole grains.
If these tips all seem like common sense, it’s because they are. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t effective, especially when taken together. Incorporate these tips into your fat-burning strategy and you will be glad you did when you look in the mirror and see that body you have been wanting.