Five Active Ways to Lose Weight Quickly
If you’ve ever researched “how to lose fat,” you’ve probably heard of the fat-burning zone. If you haven’t, the claim is basically that working out at 50% to 60% of your maximum heart rate leads to fat loss. See, for our bodies to effectively burn fat while we are exercising, oxygen needs to be present. “The nuts and bolts are that more intense exercise burns less fat because we need oxygen to burn fat and as exercise intensity increases the anaerobic contribution increases (energy provision without oxygen),” explains James King, lecturer in exercise physiology at Loughborough University.
So if an effective fat-burning workout is what you’re looking for, we’re here to help. The first step is figuring out if your usual workout is the most efficient at helping you reach whatever goals you may have. We’re busy people leading hectic lives, so it makes sense we’d want the most fat-burning bang for our buck.
A favorite of personal trainer Kayla Itsines, LISS is any cardio that is done at low intensity in a steady state (hence the abbreviation). You can jog, swim, row or cycle, but you should be able to hold a conversation. “You should be working for 30 minutes minimum and at 60% of your maximum heart rate,” explains Simon Stacks, personal trainer at FitMiBody. “The theory is that your body stops using glycogen (today’s food energy) and switches to an older source (stored energy, aka the fat from last week’s pizza),” he adds.
So why not just choose LISS as your fat-burning method of choice all the time? The answer is that you still burn some fat calories during HIIT and keep burning them after: “The downside of [LISS] is that with lower intensities the absolute energy expenditure will be less (if the duration is matched), which is what actually matters for weight control, not fat oxidation per se,” says King. In essence, a short, sharp HIIT session is more time-efficient than a longer LISS one.
Do like Beyoncé and Emma Stone and enroll in reformer Pilates. Unlike traditional Pilates which is performed on a mat, this version uses a carriage to adjust the level of resistance—and thereby, difficulty—of each move to fit your workout needs. It helps you build core strength and improves posture and alignment. And while it may not burn as many calories as a cardio workout, the muscle you build during reformer Pilates helps you burn more calories at rest.
Depending on your skill level and the intensity of the Pilates program, you can start out with 30- to 60-minute classes at least two to three times per week. You may eventually work your way up to daily sessions and, who knows?
If you’ve ever dreamed about being Rocky but the thought of taking blows to the head doesn’t quite appeal to you, then why not consider kickboxing instead? This high-intensity, full-body workout brings you the grit and excitement of boxing—sans broken nose. It also seriously revs up your fat burn thanks to all the punching, kicking, squatting, and twisting involved.
Training just three times a week will wield some serious results. Now get out there and go kick some butt—or bags, rather.
Put the bike pedal to the metal with an energizing spin class. Thanks to its upbeat music, motivating instructors, and its sexy spandex gear, spin is more than just an exercise, it’s a lifestyle. And if you’re looking to burn 500 calories in just 60 minutes—plus fat post-workout—then look no further. Not only is spin one of the most effective weight loss exercises, but it also boasts a number of other physical and mental health benefits, too.
Still, not gonna lie, mounting that spin bike next to a 6-foot Ms. Lululemon fitness model can be intimidating—even with the lights dimmed. But everyone has to start out somewhere, so just have fun with it—or try a 30-minute spin workout from the non-judgmental confines of your own home—whatever works.
You’ve heard it before: the hardest part about working out is not working out, per se, it’s showing up. But what if exercising were fun? Would we then be more inclined to make an effort to break a sweat? Zumba is a cardio workout that involves dancing to Latin and world music. It gets your heart rate up, which helps to build cardio endurance, while also being a great way to let loose and de-stress.
Sessions typically range from 45- to 60-minutes with many studios now offering virtual Zumba classes. Regardless of whether you have natural rhythm or two left feet, consider giving Zumba a try. It just might change your outlook on working out. But if not, at least it will improve your dance moves.
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