How to become a calorie-burning machine

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Everyone wants to know the ‘secret’ to weight loss and having a rocking body. Science simplifies this process down to an easy-to-understand formula – calories in versus calories out. Of course, not all calories are equal (the fat from an avocado for example is much healthier for you over the fat in a burger) however generally, this scientific formula tends to ring true.

The question therefore becomes not one of restricting calorie intake (although that will help if you are vastly overweight), but how best to maximise calories burnt during the day? Below are a few tips that will get you on your way to becoming a calorie-burning monster.

Lift weights

While it is true that cardiovascular exercise (think running, cycling etc.) burns more calories than weight lifting at the time, the effects of lifting weights on the body’s metabolism are much higher post exercise. Following weight training, the amount of calories burnt is much higher as the metabolism increases up to 48 hours following the workout.

Studies have shown that women who did weight training burned an average of 100 more calories during the period after their weight session had ended. A different study has demonstrated that the effect is magnified when the weight is increased. In the study, women who lifted more weight for fewer repetitions burned nearly twice as many calories during the two hours following their weight lifting training than when they did more repetitions with a lighter weight.

Find excuses to move more

New York has just introduced a bike share program and I am all over it. I now ride everywhere, even to and from the gym, which makes me feel as though I have done a mini-workout even before I get there.

Anyone who owns a car knows how much cars encourage laziness. When I was in Australia recently and driving my Mum’s car, I realised I was driving to get coffee and groceries the same distance that I would walk in New York. Yes, walking and biking takes longer, but if you are sitting on your butt in an office all day, who cares? Build the extra time into your day by getting up earlier or committing to leave work earlier in the evening.

Take the stairs

I know this one is obvious but climbing stairs is so good for both muscle building and cardiovascular health. Why do you think someone invented a stepper machine?! Even if you are walking up and down one flight of stairs multiple times per day, it all adds up.

Adopting the above techniques can keep your motor running and burning those calories at a constant level all day. If you sit all day for a living, commit to getting up at least once an hour and walking around, taking a flight of stairs or something else that will get you up and about. Remember, more is more and everything counts so get started!