What is it about a new calendar year that makes us all want to kick it into high gear? We’re all about focusing on the multiple pillars of health here at health news, and that includes mental, physical, spiritual, emotional, and environmental health.
But we get itâ€”sometimes you want advice on getting into shape fast, burning fat, and, of course, sustaining that fat loss.
And while burning fat isn’t necessarily the only thing to prioritize in your well-being routine, it’s true that too much fat on your body can disrupt hormones and lead to chronic disease. So we checked in with Nike master trainer Betina Gozo to get her take on the best workouts for fat loss and the lifestyle it takes to sustain it:
Start with solid cardio.
To get the ball rolling, Betina recommends starting with some aerobic exercises.
“Aerobic exercise, like running, the StairMaster, etc., for longer than two minutes will burn fat for the period of time that you are working,” she says. “If you can run for an extended period of time, it’s likely you will burn a lot of calories.”
Get started with these running tips, as well as some notes on proper form. “But it is not long term,” Betina says. For that, she has some other suggestions.
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HIIT and strength training to sustain.
So you’ve had your cardio day, or perhaps you warmed up with a run. Now, to sustain that work, it’s important to bulk up a little. “I recommend high-intensity and strength training for sustained fat loss,” Betina says.
Muscles actually burn calories to sustain themselves, so the stronger yours are, the better they are at helping you maintain a healthy state. With workouts like HIIT and lifting weights, “you will be able to get your heart rate up to an anaerobic state, which will speed up your metabolism and give you that EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) to keep you burning calories throughout the day.”
Try this 12-minute HIIT workout when you’re short on time, plus three strength-training tips to help maximize your workout.
Be mindful of your diet, too.
No amount of exercise will help you shed unwanted weight if your diet isn’t up to snuff, too, which is why we also got Betina’s input on dietary tips to accompany your workouts for sustained fat loss.
“If you’re doing an aerobic exercise, any kind of movement that will keep your heart rate up for an extended period of time like running, burns fat,” she says. “So I recommend a good source of healthy fats and protein, like avocado toast with eggs.”
And if you’re doing anaerobic workouts, which means without oxygen, they “usually involve a movement that is so intense that you cannot sustain it for longer than 30 to 90 seconds. These movements deplete your carbs and sugar,” Betina says. “So I recommend healthy carbs and protein post anaerobic exercise, like fruit and peanut butter or seeds.”
For more on how to support an exercise regimen with a healthy diet, check out our list of the top healthiest diets, ranked.
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And of course, to truly sustain long-term fat loss and an overall healthy lifestyle, it’s important that your everyday habits reflect all your hard work at the gym, and that includes getting enough sleep.
“If you’re incorporating workouts into your practice, recovery and sleep are huge factors in your journey!” Betina says. “I’d suggest making sure you are setting yourself up for a good night’s sleep: Turn off screens at least an hour before bed, or use blackout curtains, an eye mask, etc.”
Betina is also a fan of a good Epsom salt bath with lavender to help recover at the end of the day.
If you’re feeling inspired to get back in shape or shed a few unwanted pounds, these tips will definitely help. While this advice is tailored to help promote and sustain fat loss, well-being comes from a host of factors, and tackling it from all angles will undoubtedly result in a healthier you. Check out these five simple ways to start eating better for some easy but impactful small changes, along with these tips for incorporating more movement into your day.
Ready to learn how to fight inflammation and address autoimmune disease through the power of food? Join our 5-Day Inflammation Video Summit with health newsâ€™s top doctors.