Photo of Nike Women “Make Yourself,” ad By Annie Liebovitz featuring seven elite female athletes from across the world—Hope Solo (US, soccer), Li Na (China, tennis), Maria Sharapova (Russia, tennis), Allyson Felix (US, track & field), Laura Enever (Australia, surfing), Sofia Boutella (Algeria, dance), Perri Shakes-Drayton (UK, track & field).
Work harder not longer and double the benefits.
1. Catch the running bug
Why? Because you’ll continue to burn fat after your jog that’s why. People who run for at least four hours a week melt more calories than non-runners, even when they’re not running. It’s a no brainer.
2. Crank it up early
Working out harder during the first half of your workout and taking it easier during the second burns up to 23 percent more fat than doing the opposite.
3 & 4. Go hard (or go home) — and make it quick
Staying at 80 percent of your max heart rate for 40 minutes can amp your metabolism for 19 hours afterward, research published in Obesity notes. And doing a shorter workout at 75 percent of your max aerobic capacity will give you a greater metabolic boost than sweating longer at 50 percent.
5 to 7. Lift dumbbells … slowly
More muscle equals mega metabolism boost. We’re not talking Schwarzenegger muscles here, more Gwyneth Paltrow and Kelly Ripa physiques. Strength training can help you trim major fat, research reveals — and doing super-slow (versus normal speed) reps increases strength by 50 percent. The slower you do it the more you will naturally focus on form and technique which is another reason why using dumbbells activates more muscle fibers than using machines.
8. Speed up, slow down
Alternating bouts of high-intensity and low-intensity cardio has been shown to torch pounds. In and out of the bedroom.
9. Put on weight (literally)
Wearing a weighted vest (about 10 percent of your body weight) while walking can boost your calorie burn by 8 percent.
10. Download Rihanna, not Brahms
Listening to up-tempo songs actually makes you run faster and harder than listening to slower-paced music, British scientists say. So does common sense.
11. Let kettle bells ring
Not only does working out with kettle bells build muscle, but doing it for 20 minutes burns as many calories as running at a 6-minute-mile pace for the same amount of time. Don’t replace running with kettle bells, add to it!
12. Keep it up
As few as 80 minutes a week of aerobic or weight training helps keep you from regaining belly fat after losing weight, according to researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Maintenance is key.
13. Add poles
No not those poles. Use Nordic poles while you walk, and you’ll burn 20 percent more calories, says research from The Cooper Institute in Dallas.
14 & 15. Lift first, nix the rest
Doing strength training before cardio can torch more fat than cardio alone. And if you do one move after another without pausing, “you’ll see more gains in strength and muscle mass,” says Dr. Pierre Manfroy, M.D., consultant for the book “100 Ways to Supercharge Your .”
16. Add pounds.
Lift heavier weights for fewer reps to make your workout more intense — and burn more fat — Manfroy says.
17. Try aromatherapy
Exercisers who inhaled strawberry and buttered-popcorn scents torched more calories than those who sniffed neutral odors, according to research from the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago.
18. Box yourself in
19. Kick it
Playing soccer not only torches more fat and builds more muscle than jogging, but it feels less tiring, Danish research reveals. Anything involving play will feel less tiring and way more fun.
20. Stay in shape
Fit people have more fat-burning metabolites in their blood than couch potatoes do, scientists say.
IN THE KITCHEN
22. Get more protein
Eating a protein-packed breakfast and lunch helps you burn more post-meal fat than if you eat lower-protein meals, according to Australian research.
23 & 24. Guzzle green tea — or coffee
Downing five 5-ounce cups of green tea a day boosts metabolism, says Lyssie Lakatos, R.D., author of “Fire Up Your Metabolism.” Two cups of coffee will also do the trick, one study shows. Some people may suffer nausea and vomiting from drinking too much green tea, pace yourself.
25. Have an omelet
Eating two eggs for breakfast while dieting will help you trim more weight and body fat than if you ate the same amount of calories noshing on a bagel. If you must have a bagel, eat half and make it whole grain.
26. Stay above 1,200 calories…
”The average woman’s body goes into starvation mode if she eats fewer than 1,200 calories a day,” says Eric Berg, author of “The 7 Principles of Fat Burning.” “That’s stress, and stress hormones create more belly fat.”
27. … and cut calories gradually
If you diet, don’t trim more than 250 calories a day. Cutting calories too quickly slows your metabolism down, Dr. Manfroy says.
28 to 33. Munch on these
Almonds, cherries, yogurt, grapefruit, whole grains, and spicy foods have all been shown to torch fat. Be careful with yogurt as many of the low fat varieties are laden with sugar, defeating the purpose.
34. Fuel up right
Eating a low-glycemic-index breakfast (such as muesli and peaches) will help you burn more fat during a subsequent workout than eating a high-glycemic-index meal (like waffles), researchers from the University of Nottingham reveal.
35. Think before you drink
Sipping as few as 90 calories’ worth of vodka can slow your metabolism by 73 percent, one study shows. Though a drink or two may lower your stress so moderation beats abstinence.
Women who go without eating for long periods are more likely to have higher body-fat percentages than women who nosh more regularly, one study notes. Grazing does not mean eating sugar and junk food. Especially sipping a few specialty coffees per day.
37. Dine like a Greek
Eating a diet rich in monounsaturated fat (think olive oil, avocados) can help trim both weight and fat.
38. Stop gorging
Your body can only handle so much food at a time, so stick to 600 calories or less per meal to maximize fat-burning, says Leslie Cooper, co-author of “Flip the Switch: Proven Strategies to Fuel Your Metabolism and .” Eating too much at any given time will make you feel sluggish physically and mentally. 24 Hours a Day
39. Skip juice
Reaching for an apple instead of apple juice is not only better calorie-wise, but it’ll also do a better job of boosting your metabolism, Dr. Manfroy explains. Juicing gets rid of most of the pulp which is where all the fiber is.
IN YOUR LIFE
41 & 42. Get C and D
Vitamin C can help you burn more fat, and D may help you lose fat, research notes. Aim for 400 to 500 mg of C and 800 mg of D a day.
43 & 44. Walk more (in denim)
Researchers found that fitness-friendly offices (think treadmill desks, mobile headsets) helped people trim pounds and fat, as did wearing jeans to work, since dressing casual encourages you to move more. Wear comfy clothes when you can, pace while on the phone, and stand while chatting with co-workers. Whenever possible, take the stairs!
45. Add fish oil (And work out)
Taking 6 grams of fish oil per day and hitting the gym three times a week can help nix body fat, an Australian study reveals. Though I’d rather just eat more (wild, organic) fish instead.
46. Work the day shift
Keeping nontraditional hours lowers levels of hormones that trigger satiety, increases blood glucose and insulin levels, and raises levels of the stress hormone cortisol (which can drive you to eat more), scientists say. Our neurons need the proper shut down time to regenerate and sleeping during day hours is just not the same.
47. Nix the boob tube
Cut your TV time in half, and you’ll burn more calories each day, research from the University of Vermont suggests. Probably because not watching TV will make you do all the things you say you don’t have time to do.
48. Go mental
People who visualized themselves training a specific muscle boosted the strength in that muscle group, researchers found. Visualization helps you focus on balance and proper form. It’s all about technique.
49. Eat a smaller dinner
Your body may not digest food — and burn fat — as efficiently if you down a huge meal right before bedtime, especially because your metabolism is slower while you sleep, Dr. Manfroy says. Eating before bed can also cause heart burn and indigestion. Heart burn can become chronic which is much worse than extra weight. Try eating at least three hours before bedtime.
50. Jump-start your morning
Wake up your metabolism — and get fat-burning started — by doing some sort of exercise within the first few hours of being awake, Cooper suggests. You’ll be more likely to stay motivated and stay moving if you start early in your day.
51. Get your snooze on
Sleep for a solid eight hours instead of five, according to research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, and you’ll lose more fat. Just remember that too much sleep is as detrimental as too little. Sweet dreams!