Posts Tagged ‘fat loss’

How to Super Charge Your Morning Walk and Burn More Fat

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

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.

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.

How to Lose Weight for Good, Your Ultimate Guide

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
Creative Commons License photo credit: emples

When you are trying to lose weight it is information and knowledge that will set you free. You need to know all the pitfalls that are out there and you need to be aware of every little trick that can help you on your journey. You also need to know how to stop it from coming back. This post is your ultimate guide to losing weight for good. I hope it helps you.

The low down

This post has a lot of information to digest so I have broken it down into some sections so you can read a little bit and then come back to it. I urge you not to skip anything though as each part is as important as the last. The sections include:

  • Preparing to lose weight, becoming the warrior
  • Proper food and drinks
  • Exercising for smart weight loss
  • Maintaining the weight
  • Tips to help you on your way

Start at the beginning and work your way through. And if you fall off the weight loss track as the weeks and months go by you can always head back here for more information or to get your priorities set nicely again.

Preparing to lose weight, becoming the warrior

Kick Boxing
Creative Commons License photo credit: live-showtime

The first thing I want to talk about in this post is the fact that you need the right mental attitude. If you approach weight loss with anything less than a warrior mentality you are going to fail. Simple. The most important part of losing weight is the warrior mentality.

Goals that mean something
Sit down somewhere quiet and think of why you want to lose weight. Try to come up with at least five really solid reasons that mean something to you. It might be that you want to live longer in order to accomplish some goal. Whatever the motivations try to make sure it is something that has an affect on you deeply. You are going to need these reasons on those days where you don’t feel like getting up and going to the gym.

Role models that do something
The next thing you need to do is find a role model that helps inspire you. This could be someone you know or someone that you don’t know but respect. Many men choose people like Michael Jordan or Muhammad Ali. These are great athletes who represent discipline and mental toughness. Find your role model and look up some information about them. Perhaps even read their biography. This will give you the inspiration you need to stop you from becoming weak in the mind.

Proper food and drinks

Creative Commons License photo credit: negotiable_me

Now that you have sorted out your mental preparation we need to get on to the most important thing of your weight loss journey. Your diet. Without the proper food and drinks it is impossible to succeed on this journey. You see, women need to be calorie perfect because, unlike men, we do not have testosterone to help us along the way. If our diet falters then our weight loss will as well. Get your diet right if you are serious about losing weight and keeping it off.

The mathematics of weight loss
The sad part about weight loss is that it is mostly, in the long term, about maths. You see, if you want to lose weight you need to be burning more calories than you take in. If you have excess calories in your diet they are going to be converted into fat stores. And the thing that most women don’t realize is that over a number of years those calories add up. Take a look:

If you have a can of Coke with lunch everyday of the week you are taking in 155 calories x seven days a week. That is 1085 calories a week. Now, there are 3500 calories per pound of body fat. So, if you take in 1085 calories from one can of Coke per day in three weeks you have added a pound of fat. That is 17 pounds per year. Just from your daily Coke.

Now, don’t panic. Weight loss is more complicated than that. It is not that black and white. The point of the above example is to show you how important your diet is going to be over the course of your life. Every little thing you take in each day will add up to extra pounds.

Eating well vs running
The most important thing you need to realize after seeing that mathematical example is that eating well is so so so much easier than running and burning the calories. All you have to do is leave the can of Coke in the fridge and you have effectively burned 155 calories from your diet. That is a good 20 minutes on the treadmill. Now, when you do go to the treadmill, you are going to be burning other calories and that means you are going to lose weight a lot faster than if you had that Coke with lunch. Remember this: eating well is so much easier than running.

Foods to avoid for long term success
Weight loss is really about discovering what foods you need to avoid. It is the things you remove from your diet that will make the difference, not the things you add. And the main thing to remember here is that you need to remove unnatural foods that are made up of empty calories. Let me explain what empty calories are.