What to Do Every Hour to Lose Weight All Day

Losing weight isn’t about doing one good thing like going for a run or throwing kale in your smoothie-it’s made up of a million healthy choices that you make all day long, every day. Don’t view this as a burden; view it as a fun challenge! Every hour is an opportunity to do something that can bring you closer to your weight goal. So tomorrow, when you wake up, here’s your around-the-clock guide to feeling slimmer by bedtime.

6 a.m. – Wake up, and sip a big glass of water. It’ll fill you up and get things moving to prevent belly bloat. Eat a small snack that offers quick carbs and a little protein such as half a banana and a few almonds-eating first thing jump-starts the metabolism. Now go work out! Morning exercisers tend to work out longer and more intensely than those who sweat it out during other times of the day. Plus, it’ll keep the fire lit under your metabolism, so you burn more calories throughout the day.

7 a.m. – Do some stretches in the shower. Eat a filling breakfast that includes protein and fiber-at least 10 grams of each. Don’t be afraid to fill up on healthy carbs, because enjoying them in the beginning of the day ensures you’ll have time to burn them off.

8 a.m. – Make your lunch for later. These lunch-packing tips will help you lose weight.

9 a.m. – Fill your reusable water bottle once you arrive at work. Sip on it throughout the morning, since staying hydrated will prevent hunger pangs.

10 a.m. – Take a break from work to snack on some belly-filling fiber. Keep it under 150 calories like these snacks.

11 a.m. – Take a few minutes to fill in your food and fitness journal, writing down what you’ve eaten and how much you’ve exercised. It’ll give you an idea of how many calories you’re allowed the rest of the day, and seeing your stats from the previous weeks will motivate you to stay on the healthy path.

12 p.m. – Get moving by going for a walk with a co-worker, bike ride to run an errand, or grab that set of dumbbells under your desk and do these strength-training moves.

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1 p.m. – Eat a healthy lunch that you packed from home that includes low-fat protein, fiber, fresh veggies, whole grains, and fruit for dessert. Enjoy it with nature’s calorie-free beverage.

2 p.m. – Take that afternoon meeting for a walk. Whether you’re on the phone or meeting in person, walking and talking can help you think more clearly while burning some calories.

3 p.m. – Have a 150-calorie snack to keep energy levels going till dinner. This could include a little something sweet like these 150-calorie desserts since indulging a little can prevent overeating later.

4 p.m. – Sip some green tea. The caffeine will give you a little pep, and green tea has been shown to suppress your appetite and increase your metabolism.

5 p.m. – Walk or bike home from work. Not only will it burn some calories, but it can also relieve work stress, which can trigger overeating.

6 p.m. – Make a low-cal dinner filled with veggies, low-fat protein, and whole grains. Here are some vegetarian options under 300 calories. After dinner is made, put away leftovers before sitting down to eat to prevent going back for unnecessary seconds.

7 p.m. – Brush your teeth while doing this two-minute butt-and-leg workout. It’ll tone your tush, and that minty breath will prevent mindless late-night snacking.

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8 p.m. – If you like to relax in front of the TV, do these strength-training moves during commercial breaks.

9 p.m. – Get your workout gear ready for tomorrow morning. Slip into your pj’s, and do these yoga poses to encourage sleepiness.

10 p.m. – Snuggle into bed on your way to dreamland. Getting enough sleep is proven to help with weight loss.

This article originally appeared on POPSUGAR Fitness.

  • By POPSUGAR Fitness

“I Eat Every Three Hours And Every Hour And A Half I Have A Snack” – Her.ie Meets A Girl Who Slimmed Down By (Clean) Eating More

Having tried everything from the baby food diet, to soup, pear and fruit diet to fads that have been and gone, Zoe O’Donnell found clean eating was the fastest way to lose weight… and keep it off for good.

The 23-year old from Donegal, who is currently living in Adelaide has been working hard at eating the right food, little and often, and shared her experience of weight loss with us here at Her.ie.

Here Zoe shares her experience of growing up the ‘chubby’ child, trying every fad diet, and finally taking the steps to not only change her weight but help others on their transformation journey too…

“When I was younger I was pretty chubby child, like I was the biggest in my class. I was always picked last to do things when it involved running or the football team. I was always pretty chubby and then I started swimming, and I did lose a bit of the baby fat but I was still the chunky Zoe.

I really didn’t have a clue about eating but then I remember when I went to college I started hearing about these diets. I even did that baby food diet but I only lasted on it a few days. Then I did the pear and fruit diet, the soup diet, all these stupid things that were just never going to work. They really made it ten times worse for me.

I never really thought I was that big in college until I started looking back and realising I wasn’t eating properly and I’d be putting on weight. I remember during the baby food diet, coming home and my mum was looking at me like “what are you eating?” and I just pretended to love it. Sure I ended up going and getting a big Chinese that weekend!

When you’re that age, you hear all these diets that work, but what I really think is important is that girls realise that they don’t. You won’t get anywhere by starving yourself. I was guilty, I did the exact same because I thought it’d work… but it does not work.

When I came to Australia, I still didn’t have a clue about eating, I was still eating out, still drinking a lot of alcohol. It would have been Christmas 2012, and I went skydiving. I was 68/69kg and when they measured me at a height of only 5ft 3, I thought it was pretty heavy but I didn’t see it on me. After that I googled it, I looked it up online and realised I shouldn’t be weighing in at that weight. I decided to try clean eating. That’s when I lost the weight drastically.

I went home at Christmas, and everyone was really taken aback. I did get really skinny, probably too skinny, but I lost 9kg from August to December.

I didn’t like being that skinny though – it was too skinny for my frame. I kind of gave it all up that Christmas and put it all back on. So then back in July, I decided to start again but this time I researched it more. I started looking up what foods to eat, what I should do, what exercises I should do, and this time I slimmed down, but to a healthy skinny. You won’t look at me and think I’m tiny, but I look like a healthy skinny.

I eat every three hours, and even every hour and a half I have a snack. Even the people at work would say “Where do you even put it?” I honestly eat so much, and that’s my biggest piece of advice to anyone: Do not let yourself get hungry. If you do eat regularly you will not put on the weight, and that’s why I started my instagram page – to show other people that they can eat healthy, smaller portions every couple of hours and still lose weight.

I was really nervous when I made the page public though, ‘cause I didn’t know what reactions would be from people at home. But everyone’s been so supportive, and I love that I wake up and sometimes there’s people leaving questions. I love that I might be able to help them with their weight loss.

My mum has been so supportive but for me, I think the best reaction has been when I put two pictures of myself together and I just saw this massive difference. I couldn’t get over that I went from one extreme to the other while eating so much food.

People think it’s going to be really expensive to eat clean, but I’d advise they just buy their groceries in bulk. I prep all my meals on a Sunday, and I’ll buy in the fruit, vegetables and lean mince and chicken breasts and make my meals up from the week. I post my recipes on instagram too, so if people want a meal idea they can just log on and get it.

Zoe posts pictures of food recipes of clean eat meals, treats and snacks to her instagram account

For anyone starting out, the first thing I’d tell them to do is to try on their sports bra and boxers and take a picture before they start anything. Then the most important thing is to make sure you start off every day with a good breakfast. People who skip breakfast, but then eat a salad for lunch, well of course their tummy is rumbling.

I don’t believe in letting your tummy rumble. Start off with a good breakfast and then make sure you’re eating well-portioned meals. A dinner plate should really be the size of a side plate – your meat should be the size of a fist. Going to bed with a full stomach after eating a too large dinner at eight is the worst idea. After two weeks of eating a breakfast and a smaller sized dinner, you’re really going to notice a difference.

Then gradually you’ll start noticing you’re making changes to your lunches, and your snacks and you won’t even notice it’s happening. If people are willing to spend serious money on slimming diet tablets, then why not spend your money and do it right by buying proper groceries? And then just introduce your exercise.

I started on cardio, but I’ve sinced moved onto weight training as it’s so good for weight loss and toning. I started Cross Fit and I absolutely love it. I do it four times a week at an hour a session. And I know that if there’s a week I decide to take off from the gym, I won’t put on the weight because I’m eating more regularly and eating a balanced meal plan.

I hated exercise and I really can’t run, but I love Cross Fit now and it’s the exercise I stick with.

I’ve had to learn to know myself, that I’ll have that packet of crisps that I want, or that piece of chocolate, but I just won’t scoff it, and I won’t have it every day. Don’t hold back from going on a girly night with a Chinese take-away. Go enjoy it, and then just eat clean the rest of the week. It is possible.

I just want people to realise that they can lose weight, and they can enjoy it.”

For more inspiration for clean eating recipe plans, food diaries, or some motivational snaps of Zoe’s journey along the way, follow her instagram page @thehealthyme.ie here.

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This is something else I’ve tried in the past that has also melted away a few pounds: eating every hour.
You still need an awareness of caloric values, because at the end of the day weight loss, gain or maintenance is the net result of calories in vs. calories out. (When I say eat every hour, I don’t mean a super sized fast food meal 😉
Here’s how I did it:

  1. Have a calorie count resource, such as a website or book, which tells you the caloric value for each food.
  2. Aim for each hourly “mini meal” to be between 100 – 150 calories.
  3. Keep a running total of what you’ve eaten as the day progresses. This is helpful not only so that you won’t go overboard, but it increases your awareness of what you’ve actually eaten and reminds you to eat healthy.
  4. Use a timer: eat something as soon as you wake up, and then set a timer for an hour. Set it again each time you eat. This is so important! I’d eat and then forget, and then three hours would pass, which defeats the whole purpose.
  5. When you sit down to eat with others, don’t eat the same portion size as they do. This will definitely skyrocket you into a calorie count that’s too high. At dinner time, I’d sit down with my husband and kids and eat the same food, just a very very small portion (max 200 cals worth). At this point of the day I’d be close to 1,300 calories, so if I had eaten a full meal, all the benefits of eating every hour would have been negated.

Why it works:

  1. Research has shown that your metabolism increases after you eat, so the more often you eat, the more often your metabolic activity is increased.
  2. Your blood sugar and insulin levels will be more consistent, resulting in less blood sugar being stored as fat. When your insulin levels increase, after a large (high glycemic) meal, it’s harder for your body to burn fat, because insulin is then released to move glucose from your blood to be stored as fat.

What to watch out for:

  1. Make sure the hourly mini meals are small! Otherwise you’ll simply end up eating too much.
  2. Pay attention to the glycemic level of each mini meal. For example, if you’ve already eaten some healthy stuff that day, let’s say veggies at 1:00, go ahead and have a cookie (60-100 cals) at 2:00, but eat a piece of cheese with it (60-100 cals). Eating a high glycemic food (cookie) with a low glycemic food (cheese) will reduce the glycemic index (i.e. speed of increase in blood sugar) of the snack.

TenGone Home

Tired of crazy crash diets, diet pills and weight loss gimmicks that don’t work? I sure was! Before I became a fitness expert and wellness coach, I struggled to lose the excess 40 pounds I was carrying around. After trying to overhaul my entire lifestyle by following (and failing) numerous restrictive diets and intense workout programs, I started to think small. And once I did that, I finally began to get results! Focusing on bite-sized pieces is what helped me finally lose the weight—and keep it off. Here are some of my favorite 10-minute-or-less tips from my book, Thin in 10 Weight Loss Plan, to help you start losing the weight for good.

1. Take a 10-minute time out
You may think that in order to lose weight, you need to do more—more activity, more cooking, more organizing, more planning—but sometimes the best thing you can do for your waistline (and sanity) is less. Take a 10-minute breather from your busy life and do absolutely nothing. Turn off the phone, the TV, the computer, ask your husband to watch the kids, and spend 10 full minutes with your eyes closed relaxing and taking deep breathes.

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Why is this so crucial for weight loss? Stress produces a hormone called cortisol which can increase your appetite. Think about it: When you’re anxious, do you crave sugary, high fat foods? Or do you snack mindlessly when you feel really stressed out? Studies show that meditating on a regular basis—even for just a brief period of time—can help reduce your stress levels so it doesn’t sabotage your weight loss.

2. Cut 100 calories
It can be overwhelming to cut out a large amount of calories from your daily diet, and even harder to cut entire food groups, like carbs. So forget trying to completely overhaul your diet and keep it simple: slash just 100 calories at each meal. That’s a pat of butter on your toast, a tablespoon of mayo on your sandwich or the 10 croutons in your salad. Cutting out a total of 300 calories spread out over three meals can take off almost three pounds this month alone, even if you don’t change anything else about your lifestyle (though I know you will!).
3. Sneak in 10 minutes of exercise
When you have a busy schedule, hitting the gym for an hour a day is next to impossible, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fit in fitness. Studies show that squeezing in 10-minute shots of exercise throughout your day can be just as effective—if not more—than one longer session. Before your morning shower, try a quick strength circuit of any five of these bodyweight exercises (repeating the circuit twice). Take a 10-minute walk at lunch and skip or jump rope with the kids for 10-minutes in the afternoon. Breaking exercise down into smaller-sized sessions can be more manageable to fit into an already over-scheduled day.

4. Take 10 to plan ahead
The saying goes, “fail to plan, plan to fail,” and it’s especially true when it comes to weight loss. There’s no need to spend tons of time or energy pre-planning for weeks in advance—simply take 10-minutes out each evening to take a look at your calendar for the next day to anticipate any challenges that might arise, like a breakfast meeting with bagels and pastries, and think about what you can do to head them off. For example, prep some ingredients for a smoothie the night before to enjoy at that morning meeting without derailing your diet.

5. Cook your own dinner
Want to know one of the fastest, easiest ways to slash calories? Cook dinner at home at least six days a week, even if you’re dining solo. For most of us, dinner is our largest meal of the day, making it one of the biggest opportunities to overdo your calorie intake. According to a recent study, a whopping 96 percent of restaurant entrees exceed the USDA’s daily limits for calories, fat and sodium—and that’s in just one meal! Dining at home means you can control exactly what goes into your food and how much of it you eat. And you don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen. There are tons of healthy meals you can whip up in less time than it takes to order takeout!

6. Keep a kitchen curfew
While some experts I’ve interviewed argue that your body can’t tell what time it is when you eat, other evidence seems to suggest otherwise: A 2011 study published in the journal Obesity that found that eating after 8 pm may cause weight gain. One thing that is for sure, if you have a tendency to plop down in front of the TV at night and mindlessly munch on a few extra hundred calories, you can easily pack on the pounds. Creating a ‘kitchen curfew’ of 8 or 9 pm is an effective way to curb late night eating habits and save you on average, about 250 calories a day.
7. Outsmart cravings with a 10-minute walk
Cravings. We all get them and we all know how tough it is not succumb! They strike without warning, often at the worst moments. Next time you get that urge to eat a candy bar, try going for a 10-minute walk around the block instead. Several studies show that moderate exercise, like walking, may actually help reduce food cravings. If you still really want that treat once you’re back, eat it and enjoy it; but chances are your craving will pass after a short bout of physical activity.
8. Hit the hay 10 minutes earlier tonight
According to recent studies, sleep may be as crucial to weight loss as diet and exercise. When your body doesn’t get enough sleep, the hormones that control hunger and satiety get out of balance, causing you to eat more. One study even found that women who were well rested weighed 10 pounds less than their sleep-deprived counterparts. You don’t have to turn in at an unrealistic hour, simply head to bed 10 minutes earlier tonight. Gradually keep turning back the clock each week until you’ve adjusted to your ideal bedtime and are logging in enough sleep, which most experts agree is between 7-9 hours a night.

9. Wear more comfortable clothes and shoes
If you don’t have a dress code at work, you can burn off exercise-free calories throughout the day by wearing comfy clothes like jeans or khakis, sport shirts and soft-soled shoes. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin found that when subjects wore more casual attire during their workday they took about 491 more steps per day, burning up an extra 25 calories. It may seem minor but slashing small amounts of calories here and there adds up, and cuts your daily calorie intake without much effort. I’d say this is a pretty simple, sweat-free way to fend off the middle-age spread. If your workplace doesn’t allow jeans, look for dressier clothes that still allow for plenty of movement so you don’t have to sacrifice comfort.
10. Take a 10-minute time out from your TV
A body in motion tends to stay in motion, and a body in rest—well, tends to stay that way. I’m not saying you have to give up your TV time at the end of the day, but pressing ‘pause’ (thank goodness for DVR) for just 10 minutes for every hour of viewing to get up and move around can go a long way. Can’t bear to wait to see what happens? Take a quick spin around the living room during each commercial break. The average 150 pound woman burns about 75 calories walking in place for 10 minutes. Add that to those 25 calories you burned wearing comfy clothes, and you’ve just cut 100 calories a day. Not bad!

A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.

Note: Now everyone’s bodies and metabolisms are different and as a result different people lose weight faster or slower than others. I am 5’8 and compete at 81kg (178lbs)
I keep try to maintain a constant weight of 10lbs (~4kg) above my weight class, because I know that I can lose that weight in about an hour when I have to. I begin cutting weight no earlier than 18 hours before I have to weigh in. For example when I have to weigh in at 6am I usually start cutting the afternoon before, but if I am fortunate enough to weigh in the day/night before competition, I generally start cutting just a few hours before I have to weigh in. I do not change my diet or reduce my eating in any way; the only weight I lose is water weight.

The Attire:

I begin by putting on my weight cutting outfit: Waist down (inner layer to outer layer): underwear, sweat pants or warm-ups, plastic sauna pants. Waist up: Long sleeve athletic shirt, plastic sauna top, my Homer Simpson “Living XXL” hoodie. I keep the sweat pants and shirt light so I have more mobility; they are mainly there just to soak up the sweat. For sports where plastic suits are illegal like collegiate and high school wrestling, I would recommend an additional layer of sweats. Of course also wear socks and some old athletic shoes you don’t care about (if you do this right you will sweat through your shoes, ruining the possibility of wearing them in public again. I have a special pair of old beat up shoes I wear exclusively when cutting.)

The Process:

This is all about testicular fortitude.
I start by doing 30 minutes of cardio as hard and fast as I can. This usually means that I start out sprinting for the first 10 minutes to quickly break a sweat, than slowly (involuntarily) decrease my speed as the fatigue of dehydration sets in and the last few minutes become a struggle to move. The entire time I have my hood on tight keeping my head from releasing any body heat. I have bad knees so I use the elliptical or crosstraining machines when available.

The next 30 minutes I try to keep myself moving and occupied as my body continues to sweat (thank you plastic suit and hoodie). This can be the most difficult time as all you want to do now is strip down and jump in a pool of ice water. Keeping all my cloths on and my hoodie tight over my head, I usually stretch out for awhile, walk around on the gym, bounce up and down on the giant workout balls, slowly spin on the stationary bikes, stare back at the curious onlookers, and if there is a basketball court in the gym, shoot hoops. I found that shooting basketballs works well because not only is it somewhat entertaining, but since I am a horrible shot, I spend a lot of time chasing the ball around which keeps me moving and my heart rate up. I keep doing these things until boredom, heat exhaustion and fatigue finally defeat my will power or I stop sweating. If you have followed all this and come to a point where you have stopped sweating, then you are sufficiently dehydrated and should stop immediately.

By now it has been somewhere between an hour and an hour and a half. I go back to my room and take a cold shower. Once I have taken my apparel off, I usually have to wait about 10 minutes before I get into the shower, allowing my body to cool down naturally and stop sweating. I then put my now loose fitting street cloths back on, check to make sure I have lost all the weight I need to, and kill time until weigh ins. Once making weight, I usually chug about a gallon (not an exaggeration) of Rapid Rehydration and proceed to feed. I usually go through a box of Rapid Rehydration between weigh-ins and competing.

As you can see, this is not rocket surgery or brain science. It is all about will power and determination. It is true that whoever wants it more gets it.

Always remember: If at any point you feel nauseous or feel like fainting, stop immediately and cool down as fast as possible. Heat exhaustion is a very real and serious danger.

Good Luck!

How to Lose 10 Pounds in 6 Hours, Without Dieting

Posted March 7, 2011

I know what you`re probably thinking, that I’ve finally gone crazy. However, as a counter-point, if you really knew me, you’d know that happened a long time ago.

Here’s the funny thing about fat loss: Very few people actually know how to do it. Sure, there are nutritionists and dietitians and exercise gurus galore who can make people work out and eat endless piles of celery and green peppers, but do they actually KNOW how to get someone to lose weight? And even better, would they? Odds are they wouldn’t, even if they knew the solution. This isn’t to say they are approaching it in any way other than a purely altruistic manner, but everyone who has seen success in weight loss has found it slightly differently, and in many cases the methods used were simple: eat less and exercise more. Since it works for most people, it should work for all people, right?

WRONG

What most people don’t tell you is that there is a best way to lose weight and an average, or even sub-par way of losing weight. For instance, let’s use the theoretical example of two identical twins, both looking to lose 60 pounds. One twin decides to do it with gradual caloric restriction, increasing the time they spend walking around the neighborhood, and occasionally taking the stairs instead of the escalator. In other words, what everyone tells him would be simple ways to help him lose weight, and which results in a modest 10 pound weight loss in the first year. The other twin decides to take a bit of a different approach. He decides he’s going to work out like a demon, eat good quality foods and ditch the fast food, and grows a set. At the end of the year, he’s lost the 60 pounds, and gained 10 more of muscle. On top of that, he stole the other twins’ girlfriend, punched his piss-poor boss in the kidneys, started driving a Mustang, and wrote a book about how to be Awesome, capital A, which details his life so far. Charlie Sheen is talking about injecting his blood and having his DNA in his genetic makeup. He is the half who is “bi-winning!!!”

Let’s face facts: Most people trying to lose weight with cookie-cutter suggestions like taking the stairs or walking more will probably lose weight, but that’s simply because more exercise than they are used to will result in some change in body composition. To become “fit” and lean will need to work their asses a little bit harder.

Let’s look at the simple act of “doing cardio.” most people will hop onto a piece of equipment at their local health club, and see some piece of crap like this: The Target Heart Rate Chart:

As simple as this chart is, it’s amazingly misleading. It suggests that for someone looking to burn fat, they should work out with their target heart rate in the “Fat burning Zone” which for most people between 20-40, is roughly 110-130 beats per minute. In other words, conscious, standing , and moving enough to not fall asleep while watching re-runs of Dr. Phil and Oprah’s last season. Is anyone else obsessed about what she’ll give away in her LAST Favorite Things episode!!??!?

Funny thing about the fat burning zone is that it’s the most energy-efficient metabolic pathway the body can utilize without being in a coma, which means burning off excess stored calories will come slow.

Let’s look at the different energy systems involved in metabolism. First, the aerobic zones. Now I know there will be some exercise nerds saying that aerobic means “with oxygen” as their skinny calves allow their knee-high socks to pool around their ankles. Yes, it means that you are working at an intensity where the demand for oxygen does not exceed the supply, based on your body’s ability to use oxygen (commonly referred to as the VO2). “Fat burning” for immediate energy is the primary energy source used here, and at higher intensities, some carbs. The downside is that this is a very energy-efficient fuel source, and one molecule of fat will produce about 100 molecules of ATP, the energy source for muscle contraction. Think of energy utilization kind of like fuel economy in your car: the more ATP produced per molecule of substrate, the longer it will take to burn off the tank. Conversely, if we compare that with anaerobic glycolysis, which is the burning of carbs as the main energy source at an intensity that requires more oxygen than is readily available, the conversion is one molecule of glucose producing 2 molecules of ATP, or to put it another way, 50 times faster weight loss!! Compare that with the ATP-CP system, which is typically only utilized during all-out sprinting endeavors, and it produces a 1:1 ratio, or roughly 100 times greater weight loss!! To continue with the car analogy, the fat burning zone is like driving a hybrid on the highway at 50 miles per hour, sipping fuel and taking forever to burn off the gas tank, which will get re-filled every time you lean into the fridge, versus training in the Anaerobic zone, which would be similar to driving a hummer in first gear, red lined, with the AC and the E-brake engaged. You’d burn through a hell of a lot more fuel in option 2 than in option one, which would translate to greater weight loss. So training in the “fat burning zone” while burning a greater percentage of fat during exercise, doesn’t burn more fat over time, nor does it burn off more carbs, which will get converted into fat if they don’t get burned off, and once burned off requires the breakdown of fat to replenish!!! Looking at how many calories are burned and where the sources come from, we see that more calories are burned from fat at lower intensities than at higher intensities, but the greater carb loss will pretty much blow the hell out of the fat burning zones benefits:

That happens during the workout, but what about after? Can you actually increase your calorie-burning potential after the workout by changing what you do in the workout? Absolutely. By working at a higher intensity that requires the anaerobic use of a lot of carbs, your body has to break down more fat to replenish the stores in your liver and muscles in order to let you do that crazy-hard stuff again, which looks something like this.

This is my long-winder way of asking myself a simple question back in the beginning of January:

Can fat loss be maximized without changing diet and with minimal time investment, simply by altering training variables to use the most fuel possible in the shortest period of time available?? But of course!!!

Here’s the background info. January and February in the fitness industry is a bat-shit crazy, 14 hours a day, running around like a chicken with your head cut off time of year that usually makes rookie trainers wind up in the corner of the gym hugging their knees tightly and rocking back and forth. Time to work out is usually juggled between designing programs, scheduling, training clients, and occasionally sleeping from time to time. Eating well couldn’t always happen, no matter how much time you invest in cooking meals and buying good groceries. Sometimes the lunch box is empty and there’s still 10 HOURS LEFT IN THE DAY??!?? My life is no different, and to top it off we had the biggest snowfall month in history, as an estimated 781 feet of snow fell and the temperature hovered around -4223 Celsius, give or take.

So here’s what I did, I designed a very simple cardio program that I could do in only 15 minutes, every second day, for 2 months. This would even include a 2 week period of no structured exercise in the middle, sort of a cross-over test of my program design to see if weight gain would happen, and if so how much. Simple, right?

The workouts consisted of the following: 2 minute warmup, running at the self-tested VO2 max pace, based on metabolic equations from the ACSM (for me, it worked out to 7.2 miles per hour). From here, I was running 30 seconds at an intensity that corresponded with between 170-200% of VO2 max (speed between 10.5-12.0mph), and passive rest for 30 seconds for 13 minutes, and cooldown walk for 3 minutes. The time frame of 6 weeks involved a total of 16 workouts, each 15 minutes long, as well as three strength training workouts for an average of 40 minutes each, for a total amount of time of only 6 hours, less than 60 minutes each week.

Less than 1 hour each week.

As the intensity is high, primarily working in the anaerobic glycolytic and ATP-CP zone, the caloric expenditure was very high on a per minute average, and the caloric burn after the workout was also high, evident by the fact that I would be sweating up to an hour after some of the workouts. Diet didn’t change, and was hectic at times, with the occasional Starbucks cookie thrown in to keep me sane. I measured my body composition at the start with an integrated bioelectrical impedance analysis device that measures current through the entire body, not simply through a short loop like both arms or both legs, and came in with the following results:

Lean body mass of 201.34 pounds, 68.3 litres of water (150.26 pounds of water weight, making up 74.6% of lean body weight), 44.7 pounds of body fat (18.17% body fat) for a total body weight of 246.04 pounds. A little heavy, I’ll admit, but with a body composition still in the teens.

Once the workouts were completed, the follow-up body composition looked like this:

Lean body mass of 199.82 pounds, 67.5 litres of water (148.5 pounds of water, 74.3% of lean body mass), 36.8 pounds of body fat (16.16% body fat) for a total body weight of 236.16 pounds. That’s a little better. Here’s some picture proof as well. Check out the before compared to the after. Keep in mind, there were no dietary changes during this period of time.

Dean Before

Dean After

Not too shabby. There was no loss of muscle mass, almost purely a weight loss of body fat, and what’s more, my VO2 max increased dramatically (from 48,2 mL/kg/min up to 52.2 ml/kg/min, an 8.3% increase in only 6 weeks. This was because my average heart rate during these workouts hovered between 171 and 178 beats per minute, only 4 beats per minute below my maximum heart rate, and above my anaerobic threshold of 171, for the duration of the workouts. That’s right folks, by AVERAGE heart rate was almost my MAX heart rate for the 13 minutes of invervals, which means I was burning calories like crazy!!! Steady state won’t increase your VO2 max unless you consistently try to run faster. While these results may not be typical, they are something that can hopefully inspire someone who is struggling with weight loss by doing hour after hour of mindless cardio and not getting anywhere with it. By cranking up the intensity, you can speed up the fat loss by burning more fuel per minute, and essentially turning your metabolism into that Hummer with the E-brake on while in first gear.

So the point of this is to show that the knowledge we have regarding exercise is able to produce the results desired. If you’re brand new to exercise, I wouldn’t recommend this type of approach, as the pressure exerted on the heart, blood vessels, and connective tissue of the legs is pretty severe. There were many days where I was walking like I had broken glass under my heels because of the stiffness in my shins. To top it off, if I had altered my diet and cut out any and all sugar, I probably would have lost an additional 10 pounds without having to exercise at all. Exercise will produce results if it’s designed properly and within the proper metabolic specificity to create an environment of energy in-efficiency so as to burn through as much fuel as possible in the highest average rate possible. Steady-state cardio will only work in those who have absolutely no prior exercise experience or in cases of cardiac myopathy or thyroid disorders, but even in those cases you can get more benefit from doing specific intervals once the person is properly adapted to their exercise program. Beyond that, steady state has minimal benefits. Think of it this way: how many times have you seen someone who was obese complete a marathon or a triathlon? Do you think the training is helping them out any more, or should they step it up a little?

Compare that to ANY sprinter you’ve ever seen, and , well, you get the picture.

For a slightly crazier take on what intensity is and why it’s important, check out this post from a few months ago entitled Intensity is the key, son!!!

Waiting too long in-between meals could be affecting your health — here’s how often you should actually be eating

Make sure you’re eating throughout the day. Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

  • There’s a lot of conflicting advice out there telling you when you should eat next meal.
  • You’ve likely heard that you should eat every two to three hours to boost your metabolism.
  • Oppositely, you also may have heard that you can stick to the usual three meal a day regimen to maintain a healthy weight.
  • To find out which of these are actually true, INSIDER spoke with several health experts to find out how long you should be waiting between meals.

Deciding when to eat can be tricky with so much information out there giving you conflicting advice. Some dietitians recommend that you eat every two hours for a boosted metabolism. Others say you can just eat three meals a day without any snacks in between to attain and maintain a healthy weight.

INSIDER spoke with several health experts to find out how long you should actually wait between meals for optimal health.

INSIDER experts recommend waiting about three-five hours between meals.

The wait time between meals should be between three and five hours, according to Dr. Edward Bitok, DrPH, MS, RDN, assistant professor, Department of Nutrition & Dietetics at the LLU School of Allied Health Professions.

This waiting period is ideal because it is the average time it takes for the stomach’s contents to be emptied into the small intestine after a standard meal, Dr. Bitok explained.

Waiting this long will also ensure that a true appetite has returned to sustain the body instead of just eating out of habit or as an emotional response, according to Dr. Priya Khorana, D.Ed — doctor of Nutrition Education.

Waiting too long can create issues like low blood sugar levels, shakiness, and irritation.

A wait of six to eight hours between meals can cause problems in your everyday activities, according to Dr. Khorana, as it can lead to a lack of focus, acidity, irritation (hangry), shakiness, low energy, low blood sugar levels, and eventually, over-eating.

You should listen to your body. Rawpixel.com/

“Folks are likely to overeat to make up for the lack of calories, and taking this food in too quickly can lead to nausea, bloating and exhaustion as you are more likely to ignore your body’s satiety cues,” Dr. Khorana told INSIDER.

Waiting too long can also lead to long-term health complications such as low blood sugar levels, according to Stacy Tucker, RN, nutrition expert for Almeda Labs.

Not waiting long enough can cause weight gain and digestive problems.

If you don’t wait long enough between meals, you may face problems that can hurt your vascular system, as well as make you gain weight, according to Jianqing Wu, Ph.D. and J.D., founder of Igoosa.com and author of “Health Optimization Engineering.”

Waiting only two hours between meals, Wu explained, can result in high glucose levels in the blood. The peak of the glucose generated from the first meal will superimpose with the glucose from the second meal and result in a bigger glucose peak.

This can lead to excessive glucose levels in the blood that can slowly ruin the vascular system.

Additionally, not waiting long enough also result in adding in more calories to the digestive process than what’s needed, according to Tucker. She echoed Dr. Bitok on the three to five hour wait period between meals to keep this from happening.

But there really is no one size fits all answer to this question.

Meal frequency is largely person-specific, according to Mike Clancy, C.S.C.S., health and wellness expert from MikeClancyTraining.

The amount of time you should wait between meals, Tucker said, depends on your level of activity, state of health, and your nutritional requirements.

“People with chronic health conditions like diabetes typically have a strict diet plan and eat at the same times every day to stabilize their blood sugar levels,” Tucker told INSIDER.

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Courtesy of Jorge Cruise When you’re dieting seriously, do you skip meals? If so, stop right now! You may find this surprising, but the best way to slim down is to eat more often. The key is timing: I’ve discovered that feeding your body every three hours can help you lose big.

Here’s how it works: Whenever your meals are more than three hours apart, your body goes into a state of mini-famine and preserves the most calorie-rich part of your body — fat. But the body usually burns fat to get energy, so now it has to burn precious lean muscle instead. The end result: The jiggle stays, and your muscles go.

On my diet, you’ll feed your body six times a day at three-hour intervals: breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, dessert. To kick-start your metabolism, be sure to eat breakfast within an hour of rising.

A sample day: You wake up at 6 a.m., grab breakfast at 7 a.m., snack at 10 a.m., start lunch at 1 p.m., snack again at 4 p.m. and then sit down to dinner at 7 p.m. Have dessert three hours later — or right away if you’re going to bed early. In total, you’ll take in about 400 calories at each meal, 100 calories at snack time, and 50 calories for dessert. Don’t worry if a meal starts 15 minutes later than it should. Your body’s mini-famine alarm won’t go off right away.

Afraid that you’ll end up consuming more because you’re eating so often? That couldn’t be further from the truth. When you consistently feed your body, you keep blood sugar levels stable, which helps suppress your appetite.

But you still need to eat the right foods in the right portions. To make it easy, I’ve created this simple-to-follow meal plan. Stick with it for a month (repeat the plan after you complete Weeks 1 and 2) and you could shed 10 pounds, including some water weight. Don’t forget: Drink lots of H2O and take a multivitamin daily.

Read the June 2006 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine to find Jorge’s Week 1 meal plan and recipes, and find his Week 2 plan and recipes only on GoodHousekeeping.com!

Week 2 Meal Plan:

Breakfast

1 hard-boiled egg, sliced 1 piece whole-grain bread 1/4 cup salsa 1 cup watermelon cubes

Snack
6 low-sodium saltine crackers

Lunch
1 cheeseburger and side salad with no croutons (use 1/2 packet light Italian dressing) from Burger King

Snack
1 Pria Bar

Dinner
Beef and Broccoli Stir-fry with Apple-Sesame Salad

Dessert
4 animal crackers

Breakfast

1 Cookie Dough Balance Bar 1 Dannon Light ‘n Fit Creamy Yogurt

Snack
15 to 20 reduced-fat potato chips

Lunch
1 Weight Watchers Smart Ones Fiesta Chicken 1 veggie salad with 1 tablespoon fat-free dressing

Snack
24 cherries

Dinner
Vegetable Enchiladas

Dessert
1 small fat-free cookie

Breakfast

1 Hot Pockets Ham & Cheese 1 nectarine 6 ounces 1%, fat-free or soy milk

Snack
12 cashews

Lunch
1 Amy’s Kitchen Spinach Feta in a Pocket Sandwich 1 salad with 1 tablespoon fat-free dressing

Snack
1 bottle Dannon Light ‘n fit Smoothie

Dinner
Salmon Steaks with Lime Butter and Asparagus Rice

Dessert
1 mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup

Breakfast

1 low-fat waffle 2 teaspoons peanut butter 1/2 cup grapefruit juice

Snack
2 cups low-sodium vegetable juice

Lunch
2 Grilled Steak Tacos Fresco Style from Taco Bell 1 medium apple

Snack
1 Apple Dippers with Low-Fat Caramel Dip from McDonald’s

Dinner
Chicken Bake with Raw Broccoli Salad

Dessert
7 jelly beans

Breakfast

1/2 cup hot cereal, cooked 6 ounces 1%, fat-free or soy milk 1 teaspoon flax oil 2 tablespoons dried cranberries

Snack
7 chocolate-covered almonds

Lunch
1 Healthy Choice Flavor Adventures Grilled Chicken Caesar 1 salad with 1 tablespoon fat-free dressing

Snack
1 fun-size bag M&M’s Peanut

Dinner
Oven-Fried Fish with Coleslaw

Dessert
1 cup frozen seedless grapes

Breakfast

1 Weight Watchers Smart Ones English Muffin Sandwich 1 cup cantaloupe cubes

Snack
25 GeniSoy Soy Crisps

Lunch
1 Chicken Giardino from Olive Garden (lunch portion)

Snack
2 cups strawberries

Dinner
Rosemary Lamb Chops

Dessert
1/2 Rice Krispies Treats square

Breakfast

2 pancakes (4-inch diameter) 2 tablespoons sugar-free syrup 1 slice turkey bacon 3/4 cup mixed berries

Snack
6 ounces low-fat yogurt

Lunch
1 Lean Cuisine Comfort Classics Beef Peppercorn 1 salad with 1 tablespoon fat-free dressing

Snack
1 Popsicle Creamsicle Bar

Dinner
Salad-Stuffed Pitas

Dessert
1/4 cup vanilla ice milk

Jorge Cruise Best-selling author Jorge Cruise’s latest book is The Cruise Control Diet (Ballantine Books, 2019).

  • Running is one of the best workouts for weight loss thanks to its accessibility.
  • Paying attention to your diet, incorporating strength training into your routine, and getting enough sleep are also important factors for losing weight.
  • Timing matters too, as some research suggests that running in the morning is optimal for weight loss.

Does swimming burn calories? Yes. How about cycling? Yes. How about a fancy fitness retreat in the south of France? Oui.

All of those things are great for weight loss, but they have a higher barrier to entry when compared to running. You need a pool, a bike, and a six-figure salary, respectively. But if you can afford even a cheap pair of running shoes, then you can run. You can run in hot weather. You can run in cold weather. You can run in the snow. You can run in the rain. You can run with a friend. You can run by yourself. You can even run every single day if you’re smart about recovery.

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It’s that kind of accessibility that makes running one of the best workouts for weight loss. “You just need a pair of decent shoes, some creativity, and maybe a friend or two to develop a walking or running plan,” says Daniel O’Connor, Ph.D., professor of health and human performance at the University of Houston. “It’s less expensive than joining a gym or having a personal trainer.”

That’s a big deal considering time and opportunity are some of the biggest hurdles people face when trying to make fitness a priority. “Everyone is dealing with full schedules and competing priorities, so it’s often difficult to add something new to your routine without trading something else out,” O’Connor says.

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You’ll still need to shift some things around to make running a serious part of your life, but being able to run right out your front door, free of charge, eliminates some very real roadblocks.

Still, running for weight loss is a little more complicated than hitting the pavement and hoping the pounds melt away. There’s a strategy involved, and we can help. Here’s everything you should know about running for weight loss.

What should runners eat to lose weight?

There are a billion benefits of running—including weight loss—but running isn’t a reason to ignore your diet, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. In fact, you could find yourself gaining weight if you over-fuel your runs.

“Most people overestimate the calories they burn on a run,” says Angela Rubin, USAT Level I triathlon coach and studio manager of Precision Running Lab at Equinox in Boston. As a very general estimation, you burn about 100 calories per mile (use this calculator to determine how many calories you burn based on your weight). So if you run two or three miles, you’ll burn about 200 to 300 calories—a solid workout.

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Just because you start running doesn’t mean you don’t need to be conscious about what you eat—the reality is that you need to create an overall calorie deficit if you want to lose weight.

“Weight loss is about creating a caloric imbalance, where you’re using slightly more calories than you’re consuming, say 200 calories per day,” O’Connor says. So while it’s totally normal to crave something sweet or carb-heavy after a run, you need to keep your indulgences in check if weight loss is your ultimate goal.

How many days a week should you run to lose weight?

Yes, athletes are constantly optimizing their training plans and race-day strategies, but you don’t need to go crazy if you’re just starting out. “When it comes to weight loss, moving and burning calories are what matters,” O’Connor says. “If you like sprints, which have a higher rate of calories burned per minute, then have at it; but if you prefer walking or slower jogging, you’ll just need to spend more time to burn those calories.”

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That said, a Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise study found that runners lost more weight than walkers over a six-year period, possibly because of the afterburn effect. “Running at a high intensity will create an afterburn, which is when your body continues to burn calories when you’re no longer moving,” Rubin says. She suggests starting with three 30-minute runs a week, sprinting for 30 seconds then recovering for 30 seconds to a minute.

How do you lose weight with strength training?

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Cross-training is important for a few reasons: First off, it makes you a stronger runner and reduces your risk of injury. “Running is only hard on your joints if you don’t have the muscle to support them,” Rubin says. Secondly, lifting will help you lose weight. “The more lean muscle mass you have, the more calories you’ll burn at rest,” she says. That’s right, more muscle means more burned calories when you’re just sitting around.

How do you get the runner’s high?

The runner’s high is real: a Journal of Experimental Biology study shows that running releases endocannabinoids, which are associated with pleasure and could keep you coming back for more. But don’t worry if the idea of a runner’s high feels more distant than a marathon finish-line. You just need to move past the point in which running totally sucks.

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“Your body is made to run, but you won’t have the conditioning if you never do it,” Rubin says. “Work your way up by running regularly (see: the three times a week we mentioned above), and it should start to feel more natural over a month.” Before you know it, weight loss may even become an afterthought, too.

Is it better to exercise in the morning?

While rolling out of bed earlier than usual isn’t always appealing, running first thing in the morning is a great habit to form for a few reasons. First, it guarantees you won’t skip out on your mileage later when work runs late, or you have an unexpected obligation. Plus, the morning miles might make you more productive and communicative with your colleagues and friends, as studies have found that running can sharpen your focus and critical thinking skills.

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Also, according to recent research, people who exercise in the morning are more successful at losing weight than those who worked out at night. In the study, researchers divided 48 women into two groups—one that did aerobic exercise in the morning for six weeks, and another who worked out in the evening—and asked them to record what they ate during the period. The results found that the early bird exercisers consumed less calories throughout the day and ultimately lost more weight than the night owls.

Other studies have found that exercising in a fasted state—i.e., running before you eat breakfast in the morning—burns more fat than running after eating. If you are heading out on an empty stomach, though, aim for a shorter and easier route, so you’ll avoid bonking midway through. (Read: Don’t go on a long or high-intensity run under-fueled!)

Why is it important to get enough sleep?

While maintaining good habits during the day—eating well, exercising regularly—are crucial for weight loss, resting at night is just as important for keeping off the pounds. In a study published by Plos One journal last year, researchers found that people who skimped on sleep were more likely to have higher body mass indexes and larger waist circumferences than those who got adequate shut-eye.

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The good news is, running may help you fall asleep easier and more deeply. Numerous studies have found that daily aerobic exercise—specifically the moderate to intense type, like cardio, strength training, and yoga—improves our sleep quality, which helps us avoid the consequences of sleep deprivation such as increased risk of cardiovascular disease and metabolism issues. If you run in the evening, make sure to leave enough time before bed to let your body temperature and heart rate lower, so you don’t feel too revved up to fall asleep.

Kiera Carter Kiera Carter has a decade’s worth of experience covering fitness, health, and lifestyle topics for national magazines and websites. Hailey Middlebrook Digital Editor Hailey first got hooked on running news as an intern with Running Times, and now she reports on elite runners and cyclists, feel-good stories, and training pieces for Runner’s World and Bicycling magazines.

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