Posts Tagged ‘burn fat’

Flatten Your Tummy: How to Get a Flat Tummy Fast

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

Flatten Tummy
Creative Commons License photo credit: lululemon athletica

In the gym my friends are constantly asking me about how to flatten their tummy. Is it a diet trick? Perhaps some sort of flat tummy workout? Actually, its not as secret as you might think. It does involve quite a lot of discipline though.

In this article I am going to show you how to flatten your tummy fast. If you follow these steps you will have that tight, firm and fat free tummy that you have been trying to achieve for years.

Why do we want to flatten our tummy?

I used to think about this a lot. Why are women so obsessed with a flat tummy? I used to think it was an unhealthy obsession that we had picked up from the media, Hollywood, etc. We see stars like Jessica Alba, Lady Gaga, Miranda Kerr, etc. and we want to have bodies like theirs.

But recently I read a study that showed that a belly is a very important indicator of health and, in actual fact, humans have used the belly to gauge the health of a mate for thousands of years. If your belly is too big you might not be able to provide for the family – that was the thinking.

Now science is showing us that even small amounts of belly fat can increase the likelihood of cancer, heart disease and so on. It is extremely important to be at a healthy body weight.

How much fat is healthy?

The Australian Government has put out some guidelines for what is a healthy amount of fat to have on your belly. They have been trying to get people to lose the fat because it is costing the health care system millions of dollars every year in heart attacks and cancer medicine. Lose the fat and you can potentially prevent a lot of this stuff from happening.

If your waist size is more than 80 cm you are at an increased risk of heart disease and cancer. If you are over 88 cm you are at a greatly increased risk. This should be motivation enough to change.

How to get a flat tummy

Flat Tummy
Creative Commons License photo credit: lululemon athletica

To get a flat tummy you need to take a double headed approach: diet and exercise. You need to put about 80% of your energy in to getting your diet right. And for the exercise, you need to make sure you doing a mixture of high intensity, low intensity, static and resistance exercises. We want to burn calories and boost your metabolism whilst building muscle.

1. Reduce meal sizes by 10%
If you can reduce your meal sizes by 10% you will begin a very good habit that will allow you to lose over 10kg of fat each year. And, more importantly, you will establish a routine that will stop you from gaining the fat back.

You see, a flat and tight tummy comes from losing the fat that is covering your ab muscles. The best way to do this is by reducing the amount of energy you consume over the long term. Try not going back for seconds at dinner time and buying smaller bowls so you eat smaller sized meals.

2. Drink water before every meal
In the same fashion, by drinking a tall glass of water before every meal you will reduce the size of your appetite. This will help you consume less calories and therefore spend less time at the gym. Every time you eat something you should have a glass of water first. Its easy.

3. Eat before you get hungry
Don’t wait until you are starving. Eat before you get hungry. The idea here is that you will eat a lot less and snack on less junk food. Eat when you are hungry and eat until you are full. This is very important.

4. Exercise every single day, even just a bit
I have an exercise bike in my TV room. I will pick one TV show per day and ride the bike during that show. For example, if you like watching the news you can ride your bike while you watch. If you don’t have a bike you can do sit ups, push ups and other types of exercise. Do it every single day and you will burn so many calories while you feel like you are relaxing at home.

5. Drink green tea
Green tea can help you speed up your metabolism and keeps you healthy and well. It also works towards keeping you feeling full.

6. Do high intensity exercise twice a week
We have written so much on the benefits of high intensity exercise. It builds up your muscles and gets your metabolism boosting. It also burns a lot more calories than a slow walk on the treadmill. Take a look at this article for some other ideas. Some of my favorites are:

7. Do Pilates for your abs
Pilates abs exercises are a great way to get a flat tummy. Some of the best ones are the swiss ball jack knife and the Pilates crunch.

Conclusion

A flat tummy is achievable but it takes time and discipline. Every woman can do it as long as you have the right tools. Read this blog and all our archives and you will have more than enough real information to start you on your flat tummy journey.

The Jumping Squat for Toned Legs and Butt Muscles

Monday, May 17th, 2010

jumping squat for butt and legs

The jumping squat is my all time favorite exercise for toning the leg and butt muscles. It has been used by footballers, soccer players, martial artists and sprinters for generations in order to build strength in the lower body. The good news is that it is also amazing for burning fat and toning your legs and butt. In this post I am going to show you how to do the perfect jumping squat.

What muscles does the jumping squat target?

The jumping squat targets more muscles than just about any other exercise. It is what is known as a compound exercise because it works more than one muscle group at a time. In particular it will hit:

  • the hamstrings
  • the glutes (your butt!)
  • the calf muscles
  • the thighs
  • the hip flexors

When you do a jumping squat you are essentially doing a cardio workout and a strength workout all in one handy exercise. Your heart rate will be elevated to a point where you will feel like you have just run a sprint race and your legs will burn like you have just been doing the most difficult squats of your life. If you want to tone your legs and butt and lose that problem fat then this is an exercise you need to make a regular in your fitness plan.

How to do the jumping squat

how to do the jumping squat
The photos above show the starting position and then the landing position. You must swap your lead foot in the air.

The jumping squat is easy to do but it will take a lot out of you. Many women cannot do more than five or six on their first go. That is okay. As long as you do more each time you will be making progress. Try to do at least four or five sets with about a minute break in between each set.

  1. Starting position
    Crouch down in a squat position with your left foot in front of your right foot and your hands touching the floor for balance.
  2. The movement
    Spring up in to the air as high as possible using your quadriceps and butt to make you jump. This is a very dynamic and powerful motion.
  3. Whilst in the air
    Whilst in the air change feet position so that you land with your right foot in front.
  4. Landing and repeating
    Crouch all the way back down to the ground and repeat as fast as possible with the other foot now in the lead. Don’t stop at the bottom but keep going as fast as you can.

And that’s it! As I said, the technique is easy but exercise is not. You will get a burn in your legs like you have never had before.

I do this exercise at the start of every workout. It takes a lot out of me but I truly believe it is one of the best ways to burn fat and tone your leg muscles.

Good luck!

How to Super Charge Your Morning Walk and Burn More Fat

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Les-Baux-de-Provence
Creative Commons License photo credit: Claudia Castro

The morning walk is one of the most common forms of weight loss exercise. When I sit at my table in the morning and look out the window I see scores of women going for walks with their dogs, husbands or a group of friends. And while we have approached the question of “does walking burn fat” before, in this post I want to give you a few ways to super charge your morning walk so you can burn more fat in less time.

How to burn more fat on your morning walk

While I think walking has its merits (it is relaxing, low impact, etc.) I do think there are a lot better ways to burn fat. High intensity exercise like sprinting, skipping, hill climbs, kick boxing classes and weight training are all far superior in my opinion. But for some women these choices just aren’t options. And sometimes a walk is a nice start to the day – it is definitely a lot better than doing no exercise at all. Here are a few ways to super charge your morning walk.

1. Walk for at least 45 minutes
There have been several studies done on the topic of whether walking actually burns fat. In these studies it was found that you need to walk for at least 25 minutes before you actually start burning fat stores in your body. And while I am not so sure if this science still stands up, the principle remains the same. You need to walk for more than 25 to 30 minutes if you want to burn a good amount of fat.

Why is this so? Well the main theory is that when you walk before breakfast you have no available energy from food and as such you will tap into stored fat reserves. Apparently you need to walk for at least 25 minutes before this process begins to take place. This is not entirely true because glycogen energy remains ready for action for a long time. A more likely reason, in my mind, is that walking is not very likely to lift your heart rate and as such you need longer to get to a point where you are actually doing some damage to the energy stores in your body.

Whatever the reason, make sure you are walking at a good pace for at least 45 minutes in the morning. If you can’t bare to be out for that long at least try to get half an hour.

2. Hit the hills
Walking, as we mentioned, is a very low impact form of exercise that doesn’t do much in the way of pushing your boundaries. For this reason it is a great idea to change the terrain a little bit so that your muscles are doing some work that they might otherwise miss out on. The hills is a great place to start.

Walking hills has been one of the best forms of exercise for a long time. It is an exercise that tones your butt and legs, gets your heart rate up a lot higher and is far more interesting and challenging than just walking on the flats. Now, you don’t have to find some gigantic mountain in order to get a good workout. Most of you don’t live near mountains. But almost all of you will have some form of hill near your house. It might be an actual hill in a park or reserve or it might just be a sloped street that you can walk up and down. Hit it.

At the end of the session you will feel more energetic and vibrant because you would have actually worked out a large part of your body. Hill walks are a really good way to super charge your morning walk and burn more fat.

3. Drink a black coffee before you leave
I can hear all of you breathing a sigh of relief. A fitness website telling us to actually drink coffee! What a great idea. In fact, if you want to burn more fat on your morning walk you should drink a cup of black coffee. Isn’t that great news? The bad news – you aren’t allowed to have any milk or sugar. Just coffee and water. Add anything else and you won’t get the benefit.

dsc_0519_1.jpg
Creative Commons License photo credit: e.asphyx

So why does coffee help you burn more fat? Well many people believe that it allows you to access fat stores instead of carbs. Others believe that the stimulant aspect of coffee assists in its fat burning. To be honest, however, neither of these things makes much scientific sense. In fact, talking to nutritionists and doctors who have looked at studies around this issue and not many of them agree with the above assertions. So why am I recommending it? Because I have seen results in myself and my workout buddies. A bit of caffeine before a morning workout seems to have a positive effect on our weight loss progress. Bodybuilders have been saying the same thing for years.

One last reason; a morning coffee can help to wake you up and get your head in the right place for a workout. I can’t tell you the number of times I got up for a workout and then went straight back to bed because I couldn’t wake myself up. A coffee can help to prevent that. Give it a go and see how it works for you. If you don’t see any results after a couple of weeks chuck it in.

4. Take some weights
Another great technique to super charge your morning walk to to take along some hand weights to give your arms something to do. While your legs do all the walking it is great to do some work for your upper body. This effectively means you will get a full body workout which will, of course, burn more calories.

So what do you do with the weights? Well, if you are a little self conscious you could just hold them by your sides to provide some resistance for your arms. This is good enough and will give you a little mini bicep workout. But if you want to spice up the walk a bit more and perhaps even do some arm toning then why no do some full on bicep curls or slow punches or overhead presses? That way you can workout your shoulder, biceps and triceps – all on your morning walk!

Give it a try and see how you go. If you feel stupid, embrace it!

5. Wear a backpack with some weight in it
You have to be a little bit careful with this one because it can produce some back and shoulder injuries. This tip is only for super hard women who are not afraid of a little bit of pain. Be warned though, if you don’t take it easy and do this one carefully you are probably going to wind up with some sort of injury.

This idea actually comes from the army. One of the main things you do in the army is walk. In fact, you walk a lot. And I’m not just talking about walking around in the park. No sir. These guys carry massive guns that weigh as much as your upper body, ammunition that would squash your dog and, you guessed it, backpacks full of supplies. And they burn a lot of fat. You will never see a fat person in the army on active duty.

Fill up your backpack with some light weights and go for a walk. If you have any pain you should stop but over time you will find that your legs and butt get a good workout and you have to push yourself extremely hard just to finish the walk. It is an army style workout that also helps you become very tough mentally.

Any more ideas?

We loving hearing your ideas and experiences. Talking on the blog is a great way to meet new people and learn new things. If you know of any other ways to super charge your morning walk please leave a comment and let us know.