Lose weight and keep your fitness goals on track with these simple exercise and weight loss tricks — you’ll be summer-ready in no time!
Holiday season is officially upon us. We know how busy this time of year can be — in between festive parties, cocktails, family dos and endless lunches and dinners, trying to fit in a workout can be near enough possible.
So to help you keep your fitness goals in check (and your weight from spiralling), we asked Jess Neill at JN Fit for some quick exercise tips that will cut your workout time in half AND burn even more calories while you’re doing them — now you don’t have any excuse to throw in the towel!
Here are five ways to maximise your workout and lose weight fast, PLUS some clever diet swaps, guaranteed to burn off all those Christmas canapés and keep your fitness momentum at an all-time high.
1. Plan your workouts in advance
Rather than choosing a random Youtube workout, I suggest buying tailored online workout programme that’s customised to your level of experience. Each program can be tailored to be time-effective, ensure progress and help you avoid injuries I have some online workouts on my website that you can try out!
2. Choose resistance training over cardio
Cardio burns calories — it’s true. But once you stop moving, the calorie burn also stops. So what’s the solution? Resistance training!
A challenging resistance training session causes micro damage to your muscles, which your body then needs to repair. Whilst your body repairs the damaged muscle, it also makes them stronger, so that it protects the muscles from getting damaged if you lift the same weights again. This whole process is called muscle protein synthesis. Pretty cool, hey?
Repairing muscles is an energetically expensive task for your body, and can take up to 48hrs to complete, so technically you’re burning calories even while sitting down — we like of the sound of that! You can help your body repair itself by sleeping well, eating a fibre-rich diet and consuming lots of good quality protein like chicken, fish, pork, eggs and tofu, in the days around your resistance training sessions.
3. Prioritise compound lifts
Exercises that work multiple muscle groups give you more “bang for your buck”. Remember, the more muscles you work, the more energy your body needs to use to repair them. Think squats, deadlifts, lat pulldowns and bench press. The best thing about these compound exercises is that you can get in a lot of training volume in much less time.Try this simple circuit on your next workout. Don’t be fooled by how short it is (that’s the whole point, remember?), you’ll be sweating in no time!
- Goblet Squats, 10 reps x 3 sets
- Deadlifts, 10 reps x 3 sets
- Lat Pulldown, 12 reps x 4 sets
- Bench Press, 12 reps x 4 sets
4. Use supersets, trisets or giant sets
Traditionally, an exercise session will focus on one exercise at a time, but we can target different muscle groups in the same sets using supersets, trisets and giant sets. This means less time working out and more time doing the things you love!
Try this workout: Perform 3 sets of each, resting 1-3 minutes between sets:
- Deadlift x 8 reps
- Shoulder Press x 8 reps
- Squats x 10 reps
- Bench Press x 10 reps
- Seated Row x 10 reps
- Seated Row x 12 reps
- Tricep Pushdown x 12 reps
- Bicep Curls x 12 reps
- Plank x 0:30
5. Make these simple diet swaps
If you’re worried about going overboard with all the delicious party food over the festive season, try these simple strategies to help minimise the bingeing:
Snack on protein
Have a high protein snack and a piece of fruit about an hour before an event. Protein is high on the satiety scale and the fruit contains fibre; both of which help you avoid feeling hungry and overdoing it at the buffet.
Choose spirits over cocktails
Alcohol is high in calories and also has a negative effect on our recovery and sleep quality. When paired with loads of sugar (like in cocktails or wine), it can leave us feeling bloated and less-than-fabulous for days after. Switch them up for good quality spirit and diet soft drink.
Stay on track between events
As simple as it sounds, many people forget that you can maintain your normal eating habits between holiday parties! There are more off days than on, so stick to your meal prepping, home cooking and fresh fruit and vegetables for the off days. You’ll minimise the impact of the higher calorie foods at events, and be able to enjoy them a lot more!
Lastly, remember the holiday season is only a small part of the year and it should be enjoyed! Try not to beat yourself up if you go off track for a week or two; you’re only human.
Liked our 5 ways to maximise your workout and lose weight fast? We've got plenty more fitness and health advice on our Health & Wellness Edit, guaranteed to give your body a well-deserved boost. Keen to start Pilates? Here's everything you need to know. PLUS find out what your headache is trying to tell you.