10 ways to beat the winter bulge

Many of us work-out in summer but when nights are dark and cold and festivities encroach on work-out time, our fitness levels sink. Nathan D’Rozario give his advice on keeping trim during winter  

We’ve stayed trim all summer, but as the winter sets in the motivation to train wains. The summer wardrobe is in the loft and out comes the cashmere. It’s tempting to relax the regime, but do you really want to undo all your hard work? There are many ways to keep the fat off. Here are 10 simple fat burning tips that are easy to incorporate into your lifestyle.

1) EAT GOOD FAT
Now let’s get this one out of the way. Certain fats are good for you and can even promote fat loss, particularly Omega 3. Eating fat does seem odd when you’re trying to lose it, but if you keep your fat intake at around 30% of your total daily calorie intake, you can actually boost your fat loss compared to a low fat diet. Fish such as salmon, trout and sardines are a perfect source of Omega 3.

2) HAVE AN APPLE A DAY
Apples contain numerous beneficial antioxidants, but they are also a slow digesting carb.  An apple a day has been known to improve strength, endurance and even fat loss. This boost in your endurance and strength can further help fat loss as you’ll be able to train harder. Most apples contain around 200mg of apple polyphenols (the good antioxidants) and around 30 grams of carbs.

3) DRINK GREEN TEA
Studies show that people who regularly drink green tea and exercise lose significantly more fat around the abdomen than people who don’t.

4) TRY COLD WATER
We all know that we need to drink two litres of water a day, but research has shown that drinking two cups of cold water can temporarily boost your metabolic rate by 30%. Perfect for when you start your training session.

5) USE FREE WEIGHTS
I always recommend doing free weight training over fixed resistance. Free weight exercises such as squats burn more calories than doing similar exercises on resistance machines like the leg press. Scientists believe it could be down to the greater number of stabiliser muscles used during exercises with free weights.

6) TRAIN SMART
Without question, cardio is the main component of getting lean. It’s by far the easiest way to burn the most calories during your training session. However, research has shown that people who completed their cardio session after their resistance training burned significantly more body fat than when they did cardio first. Train smart and complete a weight training session followed by a 30 minute cardio
session. 

7) GO ROCK CLIMBING
Running is all well and good, but you should be considering other types of cardio too. A recent study has shown that when people rock climb, their average heart rate reaches around 80 per cent of their maximum, which is a very good cardio workout. During a 30 minute session, the average person would burn up to 400 calories, so keep varying your cardio and give a climbing wall a try.

8) FEEL GOOD VIBRATIONS
For years, there was a myth that a power plate could vibrate the fat off you without the need to work out. While this isn’t completely true, recent studies have shown that people using the power plates for 15 minutes were found to have lower body fat then people who didn’t.

9) PUNCH AND KICK
Take up Muay Thai boxing. Researchers found that people who take part at a beginner level work their heart rate up to 80%, which again is an ideal cardio workout.  You could easily burn up to 300 calories every half an hour by continuous front kicks, forearm strikes and side kicks.

10 LISTEN TO MUSIC
Listening to music while you train can boost your workout activity and therefore fat loss. Personally
, I feel I can go for longer and train harder when listening to my own music selection. 

ABOUT NATHAN: Nathan D’Rozario is the gym manager at the Club and Spa at the Cube in Birmingham city centre www.theclubandspabirmingham.co.uk