2. When all else fails, go do some cardio.

If you can’t swing a gym membership, don’t have time to get to a workout class, or are too sore from yesterday to even think about touching a dumbbell, just do cardio. “Cardio has a low barrier to entry,” says Matheny. Meaning, you can do it no matter how in shape you are or how much money you have. Go for a walk, hop on your bike, or just walk up and down the stairs—every little bit counts (and burns calories).

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3. Don’t let cardio machines trick you.

Treadmill telling you that you’ve burned a billion calories? Don’t call it a day just yet. “The information on cardio machines is often wildly inaccurate,” says Matheny. Instead, focus on your rate of perceived exertion (basically how much you’re huffing it, on a scale of one to 10) or the feedback from your fitness tracker. Better yet, home in on a different metric while you cardio. Aiming for miles or meters instead of calories will make you feel like you’re achieving something no matter how much you burn.

4. Take a rest day, K?

“Going hard every day over-stresses your body, leading to injury or burnout,” says Matheny. And since healthy weight loss takes time, training smart and taking recovery days when you need them will ultimately help you get to your goals quicker, he adds. Set aside at least one rest day per week by swapping the sweat for a walk or restorative yoga. (Or binge-watch You. No judgment.)

5. Put your phone away.

Bring your phone into your workout with you and it’s pretty much guaranteed to distract you (and limit your calorie-burn), says Matheny. If you need it for music, put that ish on “do not disturb” mode.

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6. Actually work.

Going through the motions won’t help you lose weight—even if you elliptical for three episodes of The Bachelor. “From a scientific perspective, it’s the intensity of exercise that raises the metabolism,” says Edward Jackowski, PhD, founder of EXUDE Fitness training programs and author of Escape Your Weight.

Sparknotes: You should be able to talk but working hard enough that you can’t rant about last night’s Bumble date from hell, says Jackowski.

7. Incorporate HIIT once or twice a week.

HIIT (high-intensity interval training), which involves alternating between intervals of all-out effort and recovery, can boost your resting metabolic rate for long after you leave the gym.

When you change things up, every system of the body has to adapt, explains Franci Cohen, an exercise physiologist, certified nutritionist, and founder of Fuel Fitness. The more work you give your body to do, the harder it has to work to get the job done.

Don’t attempt HIIT every day (your muscles won’t have time to recover), but a couple sessions per week go a long way, says Cohen. Drop into a local HIIT class, like Orangetheory or Barry’s Bootcamp, or try it on your own by alternating between four minutes of steady-state cardio and one minute of all-out effort.

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8. Do not fear weights.

First of all, lifting weights burns just as many calories as doing cardio, according to Matheny. Plus, hitting the weight room helps you build muscle—and the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn after you leave the gym, Jackowski explains.

9. Alternate between different muscle groups.

If you’re strength training or doing a circuit, this technique helps you sustain a higher level of intensity for longer than if you worked the same muscle groups back-to-back, says Matheny. After you finish killing your legs with lunges, shift your focus to upper body with overhead presses, and then get back to your lower-body with box jumps.

10. Stop wasting time between exercises.

The longer you keep your heart rate elevated, the harder your body has to work. So limit your rest as much as possible, suggests Matheny.

If you need something to hold you accountable, set a timer for 30 to 60 seconds, suggests Jess Cifelli, CPT, CycleBar Master Instructor.

11. Focus on full-body moves.

Whatever workout you’re doing, the more muscles you can get in on the action, the more calories you burn, says Matheny.

Swap the biceps curls and triceps dips for moves like squat-to-presses. For cardio, try rowing. “With correct form, rowing uses 85 percent of the muscles in your body,” says Row House trainer Bethany Stillwaggon, CPT.

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12. Shoot for 8 to 12 reps.

When you browse the dumbbell rack, pick a pair you can only lift for about 8 to 12 reps, says Matheny. This moderate weight gives you the most muscle-building bang for your buck, so you get both the short-term and long-term benefits.

13. Relax with the marathon workouts.

You might feel like a rock star when you double up on fitness classes or outlast the girl on the next elliptical. But unless you’re a pro athlete or you’re training for a competition, “no one needs to work out for more than an hour and 15 minutes—more is not better,” Jackowski says.

14. Engage your core during every exercise.

Most exercises involve your abs in some capacity—and even more so if you remember to engage them. Since your core is a large muscle group, keeping your mind on those muscles means more calories burned, according to Cohen.

15. Throw a curveball in there.

Whether it’s switching up the timing of your intervals, holding a move for a few seconds longer than usual, doing an extra set, or standing on a Bosu ball instead of the floor, always switch something up in your usual routine.

“The more changes you throw at your body, the harder it has to work to return to equilibrium post-exercise, meaning you burn more calories,” says Stillwaggon. (The science-y term for this is EPO, or excessive post-exercise oxygen consumption.)

16. Try a different cardio machine.

If you always use the elliptical, try the treadmill. If you always use the treadmill, try the stair climber. Your usual 30-minute cardio session will feel like a 45-er.

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17. Rethink your post-workout snack.

Don’t eat if you’re truly not hungry, but when you do chow down, make sure you’re post-workout eats contain protein and carbs (at least 0.14 grams of protein per pound of body weight—and three times as many carbs—to be exact).

Go for quality carbs (like sweet potato or whole grains) and protein (like chicken or tofu) on your plate to give your bod the fuel it needs to get you to your goals.

18. Sip water during your workout.

Proper hydration ensures you can work out at the intensity you need to maximize your caloric burn, so consider H2O your gym buddy, says Cohen.

19. Plan your playlists strategically.

Listening to music that pumps you up can help you push harder—and burn all the calories—during your workouts.

Three motivating beats SoulCycle instructor Lily Miesmer likes to play during her classes: “Right Here Right Now,” by Fatboy Slim, “Ice Princess,” by Azaelia Banks, and “Circles,” by I See Monstas. You’ll be ready to rev it up when the beat drops.

20. Forget about the scale.

The goal should be to have a greater percentage of lean muscle mass and smaller percentage of body fat, says Alyssa Petro, CPT, lead coach for Row House Hilton Head.

Thing is, if you build muscle while you shed fat, the scale might not budge. Like at all. Don’t get hung up on the numbers, and focus on how your clothes fit (and how you feel) instead.

Lauren Del Turco Lauren Del Turco is a writer, editor, and social media/content manager, who has contributed to Men’s Health, Women’s Health, The Vitamin Shoppe, and more. Elizabeth Narins Senior fitness and health editor Elizabeth Narins is a Brooklyn, NY-based writer and a former senior editor at Cosmopolitan.com, where she wrote about fitness, health, and more.

Weight Lifting for Weight Loss

As a female in the exercise science field for the past 12 years, I have learned a thing or two about the importance of weight training. When the end goal is weight loss (or pretty much any end goal), a weight-training program is a must.

Let’s get real. Sure, you can cut your calories in half, or spend your morning or evenings doing cardio to lose some pounds, but I can promise you both will not last nor will they give you a healthy looking and functioning body.

When it comes to weight lifting for weight loss, it is important to put a few key points out there. First, you will not get BIG from lifting weights. You get “big” from overconsumption of energy (calories), which can be converted into fat or muscle based on the types of foods you eat and the exercise you do. Second, you can lift more than you think—and you should (with the help of a spotter, if necessary). And finally, if weight training is done properly you will likely be sore the day or two after your workouts (especially if you are new to resistance exercise). This is called delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS, and it is a normal response to weight training. Be sure to stretch, drink plenty of water and incorporate sound nutrition to help your body recover quickly between workouts.

Here are five key points to keep in mind while working toward your weight- or fat-loss goals. After all, weight is just a number and doesn’t say a whole lot about your body. I’m 5’2” and weigh about 135 pounds, while my mom is 5’2” and weighs around 113 pounds—the biggest difference is the amount of muscle we each have. Keep that in mind as you work toward your goals.

1. Lift heavy weights. I have trained a lot of individuals over the years and I cannot tell you how many have sold themselves short. You won’t get results lifting the same weights you’ve been lifting (if you’ve been lifting). You have to go up in weight. Increase weight and you’ll increase your strength and muscle mass. Increase your muscle mass and you’ll increase your metabolic rate. Increase your metabolic rate and you will burn more calories. Burn more calories than you consume and you will lose weight. If you want to lose weight and not look “skinny fat,” you need to lift HEAVY weights.

2. Intensity. You don’t have to spend more than 30 to 45 minutes on your weight workouts. In fact, you could cut this down to 20 minutes. I love training with my powerlifting friends, but I do NOT have the focus or the time to lift weights for more than two hours. The key is to work hard throughout the entire workout, minimizing rest and keeping your heart rate elevated.

3. I want you to fail. If you want your body to change, you have to push past your comfort zone. You can’t expect results doing the same thing you’ve always done—that’s called insanity, right? So when I say I want you to fail, I mean I want you to have to rest. I want you to not be able to finish that last rep or two, because you picked up the heavier weights. By pushing your body out of its comfort zone, you are forcing it to respond and to change. Your body has to use energy to repair and recover. Make your body work for you, and don’t be afraid to fail.

4. Do supersets and hybrids. A superset involves doing two or more exercises that target the same muscle group, back to back with minimal rest in between. For example, doing a set of 12 heavy squats followed by a set of 12 heavy lunges is a superset. A hybrid involves combining two or more movements into one movement. Combining a squat with a shoulder press or a lunge with a squat followed by a lunge are examples of hybrid exercises. Incorporating these into your weight-training workouts can increase the intensity of your training, which is ideal for losing weight.

5. Circuit Training. Circuit training is a great way to get in multiple exercises. You can focus on your upper body, lower body, or total body, all while keeping the intensity up. Of course, you still want to focus on using heavy weights. Below is a sample total-body, circuit-training workout. Move quickly from exercise to exercise and rest for a minute at the end of each round. Don’t be afraid to rest during a set, recover quickly, and then get back after it.


Squat + Curl

Push Ups

Dumbbell Row + Fly

Bench Step Ups

Lunge + Front Raise

Renegade Rows

Incline Dumbbell Press

Bench Dips

Plank Shoulder Touches

Ultimately, weight-loss occurs due to a combination of factors—sleep, nutrition, mindset and physical activity all play key rolls in initiating and maintaining weight-loss. Be sure to check in with a physician before jumping into a weight-training regimen and don’t be afraid of failure. Failure is the point at which growth and change occur. Aim for three total-body, circuit-training workouts a week. If you decide to split your workouts, try to do two workouts focusing on your upper body, two workouts focusing on your lower body, and one total-body workout per week. Remember, these workouts can be as little as 20 to 30 minutes—the key is keeping the intensity high.

10 Effective Weight Loss And Fat Burning Exercises: Workout Motivation!

Slim down and firm up with these 10 effective weight loss exercises designed to help you burn calories and banish cellulite.
Sucking in your stomach hoping it will magically disappear? Want to fit into that gorgeous dress hanging in your closet? Desperately hoping you can pull off a swimsuit this summer? The only answer to your prayers, which you already know, is exercise. Like the wise say, there’s nothing like starting today. Exercising is the best way to burn calories and build muscles, so don’t make excuses. Instead, make progress. You need to take care of your body, and only you can make a difference. I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it. Look in the mirror, note: that’s your competition. You have to do it for yourself.
Since weight loss is more of a mental challenge than a physical challenge, you have to get up every morning and tell yourself “I can do this”. You have to be determined to not give up. So get on that sweaty pursuit and check out these 9 weight loss exercises:
1. High Intensity Interval Training
To max out the benefits of your workout, intensity is the key. HIIT i.e. High Intensity Interval Training involves short intervals of exercise at almost your maximum effort, followed by longer recovery periods. The secret to HIIT is in how hard you work during your intense intervals. The result? Your body’s fat-burning potential shoots up and the pounds melt away. High-intensity exercise increases the release of growth hormones, which mobilize fat to be used as fuel. So your 20-minute workout ends up burning more calories throughout the day than a long, easy jog around the block. Robin, instructor at Soul to Sole Academy suggests, “HIIT forces your muscles to work harder, burn more fuel, perform better. It’s a smart strategy to help you lose weight fast.”

2. Strength Training
It’s a misconception that doing weights bulks you up, it in fact also helps you slim down and revs up your metabolism permanently. So head to the weight room, and when you feel like quitting, ask yourself why you started. The secret to shedding pounds is actually to build muscles. Go on, workout with weights. Another option is circuit training, which involves moving quickly from one exercise to the next, and burns 30% more calories than a typical weight workout. It blasts fat and sculpts muscle, burning up to 10 calories a minute.

3. Surya Namaskar
Surya Namaskar, one of the most widely practiced and basic yoga asanas, actually focuses on various parts of the body and work wonders with weight loss. The term literally translates to sun salutation, and comprises a series of 12 different poses encompassed in one including the prayer pose, forward bend and the bhujangasana. It helps strengthen your skeletal system and ligaments. Being a great way to keep the body active, it also aids in reducing stress and anxiety. If you keep breathing in and out during the poses, it helps you lose more weight.

4. Walking
Did you know that if you include 30 minutes of brisk walking to your daily routine you could burn about 150 calories a day? When you want to shed serious weight, walking doesn’t even cross your mind. Well, it should. Walking is the easiest weight loss exercise, and low intensity of course. If you’re a beginner, start by walking 3 days per week for at least 20 minutes and then gradually increase the frequency and duration of your walks until you are walking 30-60 minutes per day and six times a week. Now put on your walking shoes, turn on the music and walk off your weight.

5. Zumba
If the gym isn’t your thing, then just dance! Zumba is a feel-good way to improve your fitness and an effective way of incorporating exercise into your daily routine. Zumba is all about loosening up and burning calories. No wonder, it has been found to help relieve stress, increase energy and improve strength. It incorporates vigourous exercise and high intensity movement which helps sculpt the body. Sanaa, the founder of Sole to Soul Academy remarks, “Shake, shake, shrink- that’s our motto. Before you know it, you’ll be losing tons of calories and yet, your energy levels will be soaring! In the midst of squats, twists, multiple dance routines and upbeat music, you’ll actually have fun.”

6. Swimming
Swimming workouts burn fat, trim inches and help you get stronger, fitter and healthier than ever. Swimming vigorously can burn up to 500-700 calories an hour, whether you do a breaststroke or freestyle. It’s a highly effective form of exercise for weight loss and toning. Swimming engages all of the major muscle groups, from your abdominals and back muscles to your arms, legs, hips and glutes. It can be your sole form of fitness but can effectively compliment other exercises like walking and running as well. So go ahead, make a splash, lose weight and feel great.

7. Masala Bhangra
Bid the monotony of exercising goodbye with this ridiculously fun form of dance that blends traditional Bhangra moves with the dynamism of Bollywood beats. You can burn as much as 500 calories per class, and it can be modified to the comfort level of the participant, making it accessible to all ages. Considering your arms do all the dancing, it also strengthens the rotator cuff muscles in your shoulders. All that upper-body action shapes the shoulders, tones arms and sculpts the back. Anyone who’s grown up listening to the beat of the dhol, will have their feet tapping to this intense workout.

8. Exercise Those Abs
Bye bye muffin top! Abdominals, a set collectively known as the core includes the many interconnected muscles that run up the back and stretch down to the butt and the front and inner thighs – not just the fat that blooms over the top of your skinny jeans. Here are weight loss exercises that will keep the love handles away:

Crunches – Lie on your back with your knees bent, and your hands behind your head. Lift your shoulders off the floor and curl your legs towards your ribcage; simultaneously. Slowly, return to starting position.

Low Belly Leg Reach – Targets corset and 6-pack area. Lie faceup with knees bent to 90 degrees, hands behind head, and abs contracted. Keeping knees stacked over hips, lift the shoulder and crunch up; inhale and hold for 3-5 seconds. Exhale and extend legs to 45 degrees; hold for 3-5 seconds while squeezing the lower belly. Do 2 sets of 10-15 reps.
Boat Pose – Sit with your feet on the floor, knees bent, hands beneath your knees for support. Keeping your chest lifted and shoulders back, engage your abdominal muscles and raise your lower legs until they are parallel to the floor (your knees should still be bent) and you are balancing on your sitting bones. If this feels comfortable, begin to straighten your legs (stop if you feel any discomfort in your back) and stretch your arms forward. Hold for 5–15 breaths, then release. Repeat up to 5 times.

Planks – Kneel on a mat on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders. Stretch your legs back one at a time to come into a plank position and engage your abdominal muscles. Your body should be long and straight. Press your hands and feet firmly into the mat for support. Hold for 2 minutes, then drop back on all fours. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. Trust us, your future self will thank you.

9. Squats
Can’t get rid of that extra fat around your thighs and butt? Fret not. When you do squats correctly, you engage your entire lower body and your core. Squats are one of the best bodyweight exercises to burn fat from the thighs and glutes, and get your lower body in shape in no time. Squats are popular amongst bodybuilders and athletes, because they work (and how)! Once you get accustomed to the regular type, you can alter the speed, maximise the reps, try new variations like jump squats, barbell squats, pistol squats and challenge yourself.

10. Desi Jam Cardio
Desi Jam Cardio is basically non-stop cardio to non-stop music. Shape up with this mix of Bollywood, Bhangra and Belly Dance – all in one. “You can’t even tell you’ve worked out, it’s like a Friday night party where you roughly burn up to 800-1000 calories,” says Ms. Vidyalankar, the owner of Soul to Sole Dance Academy. It’s a full-muscle workout involving glutes, quads, abdominals, lower back, chest and shoulders. So feel the beat, lose yourself in the movement and dance off your weight! This cardio-centric class should be your new mantra to have some fun.

Workouts for fat loss

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