3 Steps to Melt Away Fat & Avoid Holiday Weight Gain
Going into the colder months ahead, most people gain an average of four to nine pounds. Ouch. Even though we may not all hit the park like we do in the warmer months, let’s leave the fat-building hibernation for the bears. The best part is: You don’t have to waste more hours working out (…who has the time?), or get cranky on a diet that wasn’t a good idea to begin with (…who wants to be yelled at?).
What You Should Do
Start up a new pre-holiday regimen now. If you prepare your body with the right kind of workout, you can lose weight, increase lean muscle, rev up your metabolism, and – my favorite – not feel guilty about indulging when the holiday season hits. Come on now, bring on the eggplant parm and cavatelli – mmmm-mmmm.
Step 1. Workout Less Hours Per Week
The first step to your new plan is to find a more effective workout design, and spend less time at the gym. The most compelling data recently shows the best way to get rid of fat is to do stronger, shorter bursts of exercise. This type of strength training done at faster intervals is called “anaerobic” exercise. It is more effective than straight-up aerobic cardio workouts like running or biking – and when it’s done right, just a few hours a week of this kind of conditioning strategy will give you the most dramatic results. Believe me, just three hours a week can transform you.
Step 2. Kick Your Metabolism Into High Gear
Anaerobic workouts are the best type of conditioning strategy because it forces your metabolism to adapt: It makes your body burn fat to keep up with the intensity level. Luckily, bursts are typically only thirty seconds long, so I know I can push it hard because it will soon be over! On the flip-side, long aerobic workouts tend to burn carbohydrates first then then keep your metabolism revved up only for an hour after; whereas anaerobic workouts with high-intensity bursts burn a greater percentage of fat, activate muscle development, and rev your metabolism for at least 24 hours post-workout. Metabolism on for one hour — or one day? I’m no mathematician, but that’s a no-brainer.
Step 3. Let Your Good Hormones Loose
With the right anaerobic workout design, you never have to do the same workout twice. Besides being more fun and interesting, the hormone response to this style of conditioning are also better for you. Anaerobic exercise increases your body’s GH (Growth Hormone), which is a powerful fat-burning hormone that helps your body restore tissue and build lean muscle. This hormone also reduces the negative effects of the stress hormone, cortisol. Feel good and reduce stress? Sign me up.
If you follow these three steps, then I bet you’ll stop this one: Stepping on your scale. Put your jeans on for the real truth. Since muscle weighs more than fat, remember that any pound gained is only because strong is your new skinny: Those kinds of pounds are your friends. You will look and feel better in your clothes (and better yet, without your clothes). On second thought, maybe you will want to hibernate!
Written by: Laura St. John, Owner Pearl Street Fitness