Battle of the bulge

Many of us work-out in summer but when nights are dark and cold our fitness levels can sink 

We may have managed to stay in shape during the warm summer months but as the winter sets in the motivation to train wains. It’s oh so tempting to settle down on the sofa and relax the regime, but do you really want to watch your waistline expand?

Now, more than ever, it’s so important that we try to stay healthy and in shape. Here are some simple tips that can help with fat burning and keep you nice and trim.


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.


Studies show that people who regularly drink green tea and exercise lose significantly more fat around the abdomen than those who don’t.


We all know that we need to drink two litres of water a day but research has shown that downing two cups of cold water can temporarily boost your metabolic rate by 30 per cent. Perfect for when you start your training session.


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 per cent 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.


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.


Try running or walking up and down the stairs in your house or flat. It can be a great high intensity cardio and leg workout. Just make sure you work at your own pace and don’t push it too hard if you haven’t worked out for a while.


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.


Enlist your friends and family as exercise partners. Set a date to meet a friend at the gym and you’re much more likely to follow through. Instead of meeting a friend for a meal, arrange to go for a brisk walk around one of Birmingham’s many beautiful parks. Exercise can be social and fun.


Listening to music while you train can boost your workout activity and therefore fat loss. There’s lots of evidence to suggest that you can go for longer and train harder when listening to some of your favourite, uplifting tunes.