Starting with the dumbbell hot potato squat, do as many reps as you can in 50 seconds. Then rest for 10 seconds as you transition to the next exercise. After you’ve done all three moves, rest for 1 minute and repeat the moves one more time.
1. Dumbbell Hot Potato Squat - Watch Video Here
The hot potato squat may sound like a kid’s recess activity, but don’t be fooled — it’s also a cutting-edge fat-loss exercise that will get your heart pumping and your muscles burning in almost no time, says Gaddour. It starts with one of the most effective exercises invented: The squat. When done correctly, a squat trains a lot of muscles, particularly big ones like your quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. In fact, it burns more calories per rep than almost any other exercise.
2.Dumbbell Skier Swings- Watch Video Here
Gaddour took the typical form a downhill skier uses when flying down the face of a mountain, and combined it with the action of a kettlebell swing. The combination results in a superfast exercise that simultaneously torches fat and builds explosive strength. Plus, it’s not only great for training your often-neglected hamstrings, but it also works your entire core from your shoulders to your hips. Want an even bigger challenge? Grab one dumbbell that’s slightly heavier than the other, suggests Gaddour. Your core has to work overtime to stay straight during the movement. So go ahead: Swing away your gut.
3. Dumbbell Shoveling- Watch Video Here
This next move will firebomb fat and set your muscles on fire. “Dumbbell shoveling is a dynamic exercise the targets your fast-twitch muscle fibers,” says Gaddour. Fast-twitch fibers have been shown to require more energy to contract than slow-twitch fibers, consequently cranking up your body’s calorie furnace. They’re also the fibers that are the most important for building strength and power.
Plus, the scooping motion involves almost every single muscle in your body. Think about it: Your fingers and forearms contract to grip the weight, your core stabilizes to fight against the side-to-side movement, your shoulder muscles control the acceleration and deceleration of the dumbbell, and your glutes, calves, and quadriceps work as you lower down and up. With just one move, you’ll melt your middle and sculpt rock-solid muscle from head to toe.
I am in SERIOUS need of a new pair of running shoes! But I am totally clueless about what I should get!
Mine are ridiculously OLD and WORN OUT and have probably been horrible for my ankles:
- I run on a treadmill most of the time
- Occasionally I run outside
What type of running shoes do you have? Does anyone recommend a certain brand/type of sneaker?
THANKS YOU GUYS! <3
NEW WORKOUT VIDEO! I filmed this workout at my hotel last week in NYC. It’s an awesome workout while you are on vacation and do not have any equipment! Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel to be notified of the most recent videos :)
Summer Vacation Workout (by SarahsFabChannel)
I’m going to NYC on Thursday til Tuesday! This workout will come in handy for sure!
- Baby Carrots
- 1 Egg White
- Fat-free refried beans
1. “Strength training will bulk me up.”
First, let’s tackle the myth that a pound of muscle weighs more than a pound of fat. A pound is a pound is a pound—whether it’s made up of muscle or fat. That said, muscle is denser than fat and takes up less room, so two women who weigh the same can look much different if one has a higher ratio of lean muscle mass to fat, says Valentour. “Muscle weight is a good weight because you look firmer, smaller, and more fit. It’s also more metabolically active, so just having more muscle will boost metabolism throughout the day to help keep you leaner.”
It’s important to incorporate strength training into your routine so you burn calories at an optimal rate all day long—and using heavier weights could help maximize your efforts. Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that working out with heavy weights even for as few as 3 to 6 repetitions increased exercisers’ sleeping metabolic rate—the number of calories burned overnight—by nearly 8%. That’s enough to lose about 5 pounds in a year, even if you did nothing else!
2. “I exercise every day, so I can eat whatever I want.”
The sad truth: Even if you work out religiously, going to yoga several times a week and sweating it out in Spinning, it’s not a license to eat as much as you want and still expect to lose weight. This may seem obvious, but the desire to reward a workout well done is natural; after all, you endured those endless vinyasas—you deserve an extra slice of pizza (or three), right? Not if you’re trying to lose weight.
“You can outeat your workout,” says Valentour. Even though you burn calories and fat when you exercise, it’s often not as much as you think—or what the readout on the treadmill tells you.
Valentour recommends eating 250 fewer calories per day and aiming to burn an extra 250 calories a day; that creates enough of a calorie deficit to achieve an average weight loss of a pound a week.
3. “It’s harder for women to lose weight than for men.”
Okay, this one has some basis. Biologically, men are built with more lean muscle mass (the compact, tight muscles that keep metabolism humming) than women are—meaning his metabolism is working at a 5 to 10% higher rate (even if he’s the same height and weight as you) when you’re lying on the couch together. Annoying, isn’t it?
Another biological challenge women face is that we generally have more body fat than men do, and our bodies are more inclined to store it. On top of that, women lose about 1/2 pound of calorie-burning muscle mass a year during perimenopause and sometimes a pound a year during menopause. With the deck stacked against you, why bother trying to fit back in your skinny jeans? You can do something about these problems, but it’s going to take some work—and sweat. Add strength training to your fitness routine at least twice a week to shed fat and build lean muscle mass that will fire up your resting metabolism.
4. “All calories are equal, so it doesn’t matter what I eat.”
Ever since you learned what a calorie is, you’ve been told that they’re all alike: Whether you eat 500 calories’ worth of celery stalks or crème brûlée, your body will burn or store them equally, right? Wrong. New science shows that when it comes to weight loss, calories are nowhere near alike.
Some foods take more work to eat—and therefore burn more calories while you’re digesting them. Just the act of chewing fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean cuts of meat can increase your calorie burn by up to 30%! And then your stomach and intestines do their jobs. In a Japanese study, researchers found that women who ate the foods that required the most work had significantly slimmer waistlines than those who ate the softest, easiest-to-eat foods. The fiber and protein in such foods take so much effort to digest that your body ’doesn’t absorb some of their calories.
5. “Eating fat will make me fat.”
Fat-free products are so-o-o over. There’s nothing special about fat that packs on pounds: Getting enough fat in your diet—the Institute of Medicine recommends that it make up 20 to 35% of calories—is essential for good health, but the type of fat matters.
Monounsaturated fats—MUFAs (pronounced MOO-fahs), for short—come from the healthy oils found in plant foods such as olives, nuts, and avocados. A report published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that a MUFA-rich diet helped people lose small amounts of weight and body fat without changing their calorie intakes. Another report found that a breakfast high in MUFAs could boost calorie burn for 5 hours after the meal, particularly in people with higher amounts of belly fat. Pair these delicious healthy fats with a reduced-calorie eating plan and you’ll lose weight and reduce belly fat.
6. “Eating at night will make me gain weight.”
Cutting out nighttime snacking is a popular weight loss strategy because it feels logical—eat less when you’re less active. But this topic has been debated for years, and even recently, a study in the April 2011 journal Obesity suggested that eating after 8 pm may increase the risk of obesity, but there aren’t clear-cut reasons why.
It’s mainly how much you eat—not when you eat—each day that affects weight gain. Many people eat at night out of boredom or other emotions instead of hunger, and they wind up consuming more calories than they need for the day—calories that are then stored as fat. Also, people who eat at night may wake up without an appetite and skip breakfast, the meal that helps control calorie intake throughout the day.
To ward off nighttime hunger, eat dinner an hour later, suggests Marjorie Nolan, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. You’ll save calories by curbing the urge to nosh in front of the TV. “Having dinner a little bit later—but at least 2 hours before sleeping—helps prevent mindless snacking, which often happens in the evening,” says Nolan.
7. “Drinking a ton of water will help me drop pounds.”
Stop hogging the office watercooler (and running to the loo). It’s possible that drinking water can aid weight loss efforts, but it won’t automatically make you lose weight if you’re not changing any other habits. A University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study found that people who regularly drink water eat nearly 200 fewer calories daily than those who consume only coffee, tea, or soda. And if you sip water instead of sugary drinks, the calories you’ve saved will help shed pounds.
Drinking ice-cold water can help you burn more calories too. German researchers found that drinking 6 cups of cold water a day raised resting metabolism by about 50 calories daily—possibly because of the work it takes to warm the fluid up to body temperature. It’s up to you to decide whether 50 calories is worth guzzling ice water—or whether it would be easier just to take the stairs.
8. “Becoming a vegetarian will help me drop a size.”
Eliminating meat from your diet can result in great health benefits, but if you don’t follow a vegetarian diet properly, you could accidentally pack on pounds.
Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, author of The Flexitarian Diet, explains common vegetarian beginners’ mistakes that may cause weight gain. Vegetarian “types” to avoid becoming:
- Cheese-aholic vegetarians: They cut out meat from their diets and turn to cheese as a protein source. But cheese is a high-calorie, high-fat food and should be eaten in moderation.
- Faux-meat fixators: All they eat is boxes of frozen faux meats, such as soy chicken nuggets, vegetarian sausage links, and veggie bacon strips. These products are okay once in a while, but they are heavily processed and can have a lot of sodium, resulting in bloating and water retention.
- No-veggie vegetarians: A lot of vegetarians don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables. They eat only grains, beans and veggie burgers, all of which can be high in calories.
- Same-meal-minus-the-meat vegetarians: These people eat the same meals they did before, but without the meat. If they’re not replacing the protein, they’ll probably have a ferocious appetite and may be missing out on essential nutrients.
- “Vegetarian” food label fans: These people find any recipe or packaging that contains the word “vegetarian” or “meatless” and then overeat that food. They often wind up taking in too much junk food. Be aware that the word “vegetarian” is not synonymous with “healthy” or “low calorie.”
Blatner recommends replacing meat with beans in recipes for an easy, healthy—and inexpensive—protein source. She advises new vegetarians—and those who want to dabble in a vegetarian diet—to start having fun with vegetarian recipes. “Find ones you like that you’re going to keep eating. Enjoy the journey of it.”
9. “Subbing diet soda and diet foods is a smart way to lose.”
Chugging cans of diet soda and eating prepackaged diet foods may seem like a no-brainer way to trick your body into pound-shedding mode because they have few or no calories—but it’s not going to give you lasting results.
Diet soda may increase your risk of metabolic syndrome, a group of symptoms that includes high levels of belly fat, blood sugar, and cholesterol. People who consumed just one diet soda daily had a 34% higher risk of the syndrome than those who abstained, according to a University of Minnesota study of nearly 10,000 adults ages 45 to 64.
What you’re trying to do when you eat diet foods and drink diet soda is to cheat your body, says Ashley Koff, RD, resident dietitian on the new Lifetime show Love Handles: Couples in Crisis. “The body is physiologically smarter than your ability to override it. If you use one of those things as your tool, you’re always going to need that. And you might be getting weight loss results but no health benefits.” She says many people eventually get frustrated that they became dependent on these products.
“My approach across the board is that the best thing you can do is be a ‘qualitarian,’” says Koff. “Choose the best-quality foods available. The diet versions will have fewer calories than the quality versions, but they’ll also have fewer nutrients.”
10. “Weight gain and belly fat are unavoidable after 40.”
Let’s be honest here: You’re not going to wake up on your 40th birthday with a gut and 10 extra pounds on your frame. It does get harder to lose weight as we age, but you can put some healthy habits into practice now to maintain your weight—or even lose—as the years pass by.
The years leading up to menopause, known as perimenopause, are prime time for weight gain: On average, women put on a pound a year, mostly around the waist, according to the Mayo Clinic. Out-of-whack hormones and a slowing metabolism are a couple of the weight gain culprits.
But reaching menopause doesn’t have to mean getting plumper. Studies show that the more you work out, the slimmer you’ll be, even during this transition time. Keep your diet in check and you’ll boost your results.
Fine-tune your workouts and eating habits to shed those pounds—and keep ’em off—with these tips:
- Exercise at least 4 hours a week
- Skip refined carbs
- Lift weights
Step 1: Spread your calories throughout the day. Cravings aren’t always born out of hunger but if your stomach is slightly growling, it can make for a convenient excuse to indulge. If you graze lightly throughout the day instead of heaping on the massive portions during mealtime, you’re less likely to rationalize that mid-day bag of chips.
Step 2: Stay distracted. Cravings come, on average, in 15-minute intervals, so if you’re hankering for a hunk of cheese, get busy. Send out that email you’ve been meaning to tackle or spend some time getting lost in a blog. Studies show visual distractions are highly effective in fighting thoughts of food, so use the time to cater to some eye-candy.
Step 3: Give your tongue a treat, not your stomach. Keep breath mints or dissolving strips handy in case of emergencies. They’ll activate your sense of taste and smell, without adding unneeded calories.
Step 4: Create a mantra. If a plate of cookies is beckoning, tell it who’s boss. State your intention: “I will not eat this plate of cookies.” Repeat it at least three times until it becomes a fact. Research shows that declarations of intention increase will power. And that’s exactly what you need to call in for backup when cravings get the best of you.
Step 5: Go ahead and indulge, lightly. We never fully outgrow our inner child, and parents know the cardinal rule with kids is when you say they can’t have something, they want it more. Same goes for your own cravings. The more you deny yourself sweets, the more you’ll want them. Sweets shouldn’t be completely taboo, but they should be considered the occasional reward, enjoyed in bites not boxes.
Step 6: Keep it brief. So you’ve caved into that piece of cake. All is not lost. Try to limit your indulgence to a few bites, savoring the flavor and texture but avoiding the complete annihilation of the objet desir. The satisfaction of tasting your treat will be intense at first but researchers have found that pleasure decreases dramatically after the first few bites. So savor the first few bites slowly and then stop yourself before your start destroying the evidence through your stomach.
Myth #1: Calories Fuel Our Bodies
Actually, they don’t.
A calorie is simply a unit of measurement for heat; in the early 19th century, it was used to explain the theory of heat conservation and steam engines. The term entered the food world around 1890, when the USDA appropriated it for a report on nutrition. Specifically, a calorie was defined as the unit of heat required to raise 1 gram of water 1 degree Celsius.
To apply this concept to foods like sandwiches, scientists used to set food on fire (really!) and then gauge how well the flaming sample warmed a water bath. The warmer the water, the more calories the food contained. (Today, a food’s calorie count is estimated from its carbohydrate, protein, and fat content.) In the calorie’s leap to nutrition, its definition evolved. The calorie we now see cited on nutrition labels is the amount of heat required to raise 1 kilogram of water by 1 degree Celsius.
Here’s the problem: Your body isn’t a steam engine. Instead of heat, it runs on chemical energy, fueled by the oxidation of carbohydrates, fat, and protein that occurs in your cells’ mitochondria. “You could say mitochondria are like small power plants,” says Maciej Buchowski, Ph.D., a research professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University medical center. “Instead of one central plant, you have several billion, so it’s more efficient.”
Your move:Track carbohydrates, fats, and protein—not just calories—when you’re evaluating foods.
Myth #2: All Calories Are Created Equal
Our fuel comes from three sources: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. “They’re handled by the body differently,” says Alan Aragon, M.S., a Men’s Health nutrition advisor. So that old “calories in, calories out” formula can be misleading, he says. “Carbohydrates, protein, and fat have different effects on the equation.”
Example: For every 100 carbohydrate calories you consume, your body expends 5 to 10 in digestion. With fats, you expend slightly less (although thin people seem to break down more fat than heavy people do). The calorie-burn champion is protein: For every 100 protein calories you consume, your body needs 20 to 30 for digestion, Buchowski says. Carbohydrates and fat give up their calories easily: They’re built to supply quick energy. In effect, carbs and fat yield more usable energy than protein does.
Your move: If you want to lose weight, make protein a priority at every meal. Adding them to snacks—especially before you exercise—can help too.
Myth #3: A Calorie Ingested is a Calorie Digested
It’s not that simple
Just because the food is swallowed doesn’t mean it will be digested. It passes through your stomach and then reaches your small intestine, which slurps up all the nutrients it can through its spongy walls. But 5 to 10 percent of calories slide through unabsorbed. Fat digestion is relatively efficient—fat easily enters your intestinal walls. As for protein, animal sources are more digestible than plant sources, so a top sirloin’s protein will be better absorbed than tofu’s.
Different carbs are processed at different rates, too: Glucose and starch are rapidly absorbed, while fiber dawdles in the digestive tract. In fact, the insoluble fiber in some complex carbs, such as that in vegetables and whole grains, tends to block the absorption of other calories. “With a very high-fiber diet, say 60 grams a day, you might lose as much as 20 percent of the calories you consume,” says Wanda Howell, Ph.D., a professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Arizona.
So a useful measure of calories is difficult. A lab technician might find that a piece of rock candy and a piece of broccoli have the same number of calories. But in action, the broccoli’s fiber ensures that the vegetable contributes less energy. A study in theJournal of Nutrition found that a high-fiber diet leaves roughly twice as many calories undigested as a low-fiber diet does. And fewer calories means less flab.
Your move: Aim to consume at least 35 to 40 grams of fiber every day. That being said, not all fiber is created equal.
Myth #4: Exercise Burns Most of Our Calories
Not even close
Even the most fanatical fitness nuts burn no more than 30 percent of their daily calories at the gym. Most of your calories burn at a constant simmer, fueling the automated processes that keep you alive—that is, your basal metabolism, says Warren Willey, D.O., author of Better Than Steroids. If you want to burn fuel, hit the gas in your everyday activities.
“Some 60 to 70 percent of our total caloric expenditure goes toward normal bodily functions,” says Howell. This includes replacing old tissue, transporting oxygen, mending minor shaving wounds, and so on. For men, these processes require about 11 calories per pound of body weight a day, so a 200-pound man will incinerate 2,200 calories a day—even if he sat in front of the TV all day.
And then there are the calories you lose to N.E.A.T., or nonexercise activity thermo-genesis. N.E.A.T. consists of the countless daily motions you make outside the gym—the calories you burn while making breakfast, playing Nerf football in the office, or chasing the bus. Brandon Alderman, Ph.D., director of the exercisepsychophysiology lab at Rutgers University, says emerging evidence suggests that “a conscious effort to spend more time on your feet might net a greater calorie burn than 30 minutes of daily exercise.”
Your move: Take frequent breaks from your desk (and couch) to move your body and burn bonus calories.
Myth #5: Low-Calories Foods Help You Lose Weight
Processed low-calorie foods can be weak allies in the weight-loss war. Take sugar-free foods. Omitting sugar is perhaps the easiest way to cut calories. But food manufacturers generally replace those sugars with calorie-free sweeteners, such as sucralose or aspartame. And artificial sweeteners can backfire. One University of Texas study found that consuming as few as three diet sodas a week increases a person’s risk of obesity by more than 40 percent. And in a 2008 Purdue study, rats that ate artificially sweetened yogurt took in more calories at subsequent meals, resulting in more flab. The theory is that the promise of sugar—without the caloric payoff—may actually lead to overeating.
“Too many people are counting calories instead of focusing on the content of food,” says Alderman. “This just misses the boat.”
Your move: Avoid artificial sweeteners and load up your plate with the bona fide low-calorie saviors: fruits and vegetables.
I had an epiphany today that I should start a progress blog. I think my whole perspective on working out and toning up will be revamped and put in full gear. I think it will motivate me more and keep me on track. I’ve had a few bad days this week filled with a little too much frozen yogurt haha SO… I think I just might have to start one :)
Who wants to tell me how to do this?