Here are 5 fab fat busters. Looking for a healthy way to fight flab? Here are five tried and true suggestions that are simple to add into even the busiest of schedules.
Intervals are bursts of high-intensity effort, followed by low-intensity effort - and anything counts! Arguably one of the most efficient ways to increase your cardiovascular capacity and burn fat, your body will benefit right away. The key to a successful interval set is to truly challenge yourself on the high-intensity efforts. Heart rates are up and beyond the traditional slow and steady pace. Make the low-intensity efforts about half the time of your high-intensity effort, and you'll be set. Intervals can vary from a a few seconds to a few minutes+. Here is an example of an interval set that can be done on the treadmill, elliptical machine, stair climber or even in the pool.
After a warm up, repeat three sets of the following:
4 minutes high
2 minutes low
2 minutes high
1 minute low
1 minute high
30 seconds low
30 seconds high
15 seconds low
Want to make sure your metabolism stays in good shape? Drink H20. Even mild dehydration can slow metabolism by as much as 3%. While it's not necessary to guzzles gallons everyday, it is important to drink water regularly throughout the day. What's more, water helps to flush toxins out of your system; toxins that block your body's ability to function properly. My advice: drink a glass of water when you wake up, and 15 minutes before every meal or snack. The holidays are here. If you're imbibing more, you could be getting more dehydrated, too! Throw a glass of water down the hatch in between drinks to keep a clear head.
If you've heard it once, you've heard it 1000 times, fiber is your friend. Most people don't get nearly the amount of fiber they need in one day. Shoot for 35+ grams. If you're nowhere near that right now, build it slowly. It might take a couple days for your digestive system to adapt, or you may end up with some...errr, shall we say...abdominal distress. One thing to remember about fiber is that it helps to drag a lot of the gunk in your digestive track out of your system. I know it doesn't sound pretty, but it's a big help! If you eat a diet that is naturally high in fiber (i.e. lots of fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains), it's automatically healthy. Both your heart and your thighs will love you for it!
Break the fast - it's that simple. Let's say the average person goes 10 - 12 hours between dinner and breakfast. That's a lot of time! If we don't eat breakfast, our body goes into this modified "panic mode." In this panic mode, our body stores fat. You'll also throw your hormones on an insulin roller coaster that is really hard to get off. Hormonal roller coasters are no fun, and they almost always end up wreaking havoc on our bodies. My advice: pay attention to how your body feels after you eat breakfast. I believe people should eat right for their body type - and not (necessarily) the same as their neighbor. Your body might just do better with a little more protein, or a little more healthy fat. Regardless, breakfast is a great way to start the day.
5. GO STRONG
Strength-based exercises come in many forms, but they all help to build muscle, which help stave off unwanted fat! Traditional strength training is always an option, but so are workouts that use nothing more than your own body weight, like yoga or plyometrics (explosive exercises often done in bootcamp-style workouts).
Many of us are in a hurry to look and feel our best. The great news is adapting any of these changes into your lifestyle will have you feeling better right away.
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Traci is a nationally recognized health and fitness expert who has been featured on The TODAY Show and Dr. Oz. Traci is available for corporate speaking events and wellness coaching, as well as private training. Contact Traci here.