Do you need to spend hours and hours at the gym every week to reach your weight loss goals? Not according to fitness educator Scott Danberg, director of fitness at the Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa in Miami, Florida. He offers these four efficient ways to burn more calories every day.
1. Just move
If you’re shirking your workouts because you don’t have time to get in a 60-minute sweat, cut it down. The goal isn’t to do an hour long workout — the goal is to exercise. “To boost the amount of body fat you burn when you exercise, aim for frequency of bouts over the course of the week, not the length of any single workout,” advises Danberg. “Commitment to a daily 30-minute routine can be far more effective than an every-other-day workout that lasts 60 minutes. Plus, when you’re exercising for less time, it’s easier to work out harder, sweat more, amp up that treadmill at a higher incline or faster pace, and go all out.”
2. Eat right
You aren’t going to lose weight faster if you skip meals — or make poor nutrition choices — and drag through your workouts. “For optimal performance during higher-intensity workouts, eat a high-carbohydrate diet, including high-quality foods make you feel alive and alert – with energy to spare,” adds Danberg.
3. Power up
Pick up the weights and reap the benefits of having more muscle mass. “Strength training is one of the best way to ramp up your body fat burn,” Danberg explains. “Using free weights, exercise bands, or machines, shorter, high intensity sessions boost your fat-burning furnaces. Strength workouts utilize tremendous amounts of carbohydrates as fuel during exercise, which will kick up your metabolism for hours afterwards.”
4. Get up and move
It’s tempting to lounge on the couch all day after a hard workout. But you’ll reach your weight loss goals faster if you burn calories consistently all day long. “An elevated metabolism can last all day, so the secret is to avoid being an exerciser who is relatively sedentary before and after your workout,” says Danberg.
Danberg offers the following tips:
- If you’re at work, get up from your desk chair every half-hour or so and walk around the office.
- Step into a colleague’s office instead of sending an email.
- Strive for a daily minimum of 5,000 non-exercise-session steps
If you burn an extra 250 calories each, over the course of a year, it can add up to a 25-pound weight loss.