Category Archives: Workout

Summer Smoothie Recipes

Whether it’s because you’re trying to lose weight for those days by the pool or at the beach, or whether it’s because it is just so hot that you need something cool, smoothies seem to be a staple of summer in most places. Go down to your local smoothie shop, and you’ll find that it’s packed most days during summer, but why spend the money to buy your summer smoothies when you could make them at home and perfect them to your unique preferences? Have you ever walked into a smoothie store and found yourself disappointed that there were no smoothies that had the exact proportions or the precise fruits you wanted? It’s easy to find a low-cost blender and set up your own smoothie shop in the comfort of your kitchen. Get some of your favorite fruits, ice cream, milk or orange juice and flax seeds, granola or your favorite filler, and you’ll be all set. Need some fun ideas for smoothie recipes? Check out the ones below.

Watermelon Frosty
Watermelon is one of the less seen fruits in smoothies, but it is delicious. This delicious smoothie is light and airy, the perfect cooler for beside the pool or at the beach. It’s so good, you might have trouble keeping your friends at bay as you try to enjoy this delectable drink!

Watermelon Frosty

2 1/4 cups frozen watermelon, cubes
1/2 cup coconut water or water (add more as needed)
1-2 Tbsp maple syrup, grade B
1 large lemon or 2 limes, squeezed
1 fresh banana
Optional: add a few pinches of cayenne for a spicy kick!
Party cocktail version: add 1-2 shots of your fave alcohol

Add all ingredients to a high speed blender like a Vitamix and blend until frosty. Note: Start off with just 1/4 cup of the water liquid and add more in splashes as needed to blend.
Pour into frosted glasses to keep cool, garnish with lime or fresh watermelon sliced.

Recipe via Lunch Box Bunch

Grapefruit Green Smoothie
Grapefruit isn’t for everyone, but those who enjoy it tend to be grapefruit fanatics. If grapefruits tend to be a little sour for your, sweeten them up by adding some bananas and yogurt or vanilla ice cream. If you’re feeling extra healthy, add some spinach and you’re all set.

Grapefruit Green Smoothie

1 grapefruit, peeled, seeds removed (reserve juice)
1 large sweet apple, cored and skin removed (I prefer honeycrisp)
2 cups spinach (I like to freeze mine to keep it extra fresh)
1 large ripe banana, previously sliced and frozen
2-3 ice cubes
Unsweetened almond milk, water or orange juice to thin (~1/2 cup)
OPTIONAL: 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

Add all ingredients to a blender (including reserved grapefruit juice) and blend until creamy and smooth. Add more liquid if too thick, ice to thicken, and banana or apple to sweeten. Serves two.

Recipe via Minimalist Baker

Kiwi Basil Smoothie
Another healthy smoothie with a fruit that’s not widely advertized for smoothies is the kiwi basil smoothie. Kiwi is a great blend of sweet and flavorful fruit that is a wonderful ingredient for your ideal smoothie recipe.

Kiwi Basil Smoothie

3 frozen kiwis (freeze in small cubes for easy blending.
1 banana
1 pink grapefruit, juiced (about 3/4 cup juice)
1 Tbsp agave syrup
Small handful of fresh basil
Handful of ice cubes

Blend. Pour. Serve!

Recipe via Lunch Box Bunch

Blue Acai Smoothie
A classic favorite, this blueberry smoothie will delight your taste buds and cool your senses on the hot summer days to follow. Acai is high in antioxidants, protein and it is a great source of healthy omega fats. If you are looking to keep your figure without sacrificing flavor this summer, this smoothie might be your life savor.

Blue Acai Smoothie

2 Sambazon Acai Frozen Smoothie packs
1 bottle (10.5 oz.) Sambazon Acai Juice, Trinity Blend Flavor
2 handfuls ice (coconut water ice cubes preferred)
1/2 cup frozen organic blueberries
1 ripe banana, raw
2/3 cup soy milk

1 tsp agave syrup
1 scoop Macro Greens green supe food powder

Blend smoothie until smooth.
Add the fresh banana last.
Adjust soy milk amount for preferred thickness of smoothie.

This smoothie blends up dark black purple-just the way true acai should be! Yum!

Recipe via Lunch Box Bunch

Key Lime Pie Protein Shake
Okay, so it’s not technically a smoothie, but it does fall into the category of perfectly chilled drinks that are ideal for a hot summer day. Not only that, but it’s still healthy and nutritious, while tasting like dessert!  This shake could even substitute your weekly or nightly dessert for something a bit less sugary.

Key Lime Pie Protein Shake

2 scoops DailyBurn Fuel-6 in vanilla
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 frozen banana
1 tablespoon key lime juice
Zest of one key lime
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
1 cup ice cubes
1 tablespoon nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon crushed graham crackers

In a blender, mix protein powder, almond milk, frozen banana, key lime juice, maple syrup and ice until smooth. Top with a dollop of yogurt and graham cracker crumbs.

Recipe via DailyBurn


These are just a few examples of the many possibilities that become available once you create your own smoothie shop in the comfort of your kitchen. We encourage you to experiment with your favorite fruits and veggies and find out what your favorite smoothies might be.

Beach Body Summer Recipes

Summer will be here before you know it, and around this time of year, everyone starts caring about what they eat just a little more than usual. Now is the time to work off all those Christmas cookies and holiday feasts, and to get ready for beach days and sun bathing. But what kind of recipes can you continue to enjoy throughout the spring and summer season without sacrificing flavor for your summer figure? After the sweets and treats of the holiday season, it can be hard to get back into the swing of eating healthy. Mentally, it can be tough to convince yourself that healthy foods can still be tasty, but with a few savory, health-conscious recipes, we’re certain that you can be back on health food train again in no time. These recipes might just have you so hooked that you start using them as hosting and entertainment food.

Turkey Burger
If you’re having a pool day or brought the supplies to grill at the beach, a turkey burger can be the perfect stand-in for the popular beef patty cheeseburger or hamburger. Season the turkey patty with fresh herbs, a sprinkle of Dijon mustard or your favorite sauce, and use a whole wheat bun, and you’ve got a delicious and healthy recipe that won’t let you miss a beat or feel left out of the summer food fun.
Turkey Burger                                                     Photo Credit:

¼ cup whole wheat bread crumbs
½ cup low-fat buttermilk
1 lb. raw 93% lean ground turkey breast
2 green onions, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
Ground black pepper (to taste; optional)

1. Combine bread crumbs and buttermilk in a medium bowl; mix well. Let sit for 10 minutes.
2. Preheat grill or broiler on high.
Add turkey, green onions, parsley, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper (if desired) to bread crumb mixture; mix well with clean hands.
Shape into 4 patties.
Grill or broil for 5 to 6 minutes on each side, or until patties are no longer pink in the middle.

Recipe via Beach Body

Chickpea Salad
When it comes to eating healthy, salads are almost always a safe choice, and this chickpea salad is no exception. Crunchy radishes, cherry tomatoes, mild green onions, avocado, juicy jalapenos, chickpeas and your favorite, fat-free dressing make this salad an excellent choice for healthy summer eating. Throw in some fresh spinach and your favorite kind of lettuce, and you’ll have a great meal that keeps you feeling full longer than the average, empty-carb meal.

Chickpea Salad                                                        Photo Credit:

3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
4 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
6 medium red radishes, ends trimmed, thinly sliced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained, rinsed
1 cup halved cherry (or grape) tomatoes
6 cups salad greens
2 Tbsp. crumbled feta cheese (½ oz.)
½ medium avocado, chopped


  1. Combine lemon juice, mustard, and garlic in a small bowl; whisk to blend.
  2. Slowly add oil, whisking continuously until blended. Set aside.
  3. Combine radishes, green onions, chickpeas, and tomatoes in a large serving bowl.
  4. Drizzle with dressing; toss gently to blend.
  5. Evenly arrange greens on six serving plates. Top evenly with chickpea mixture, cheese, and avocado.

Recipe via Beach Body

Banana Berry Smoothie Bowl
Have you ever wanted the perfect breakfast or the perfect snack, but you just couldn’t figure out what that would look like in the moment? Well, this delicious smoothie will ensure that you always have something that hits the spot when you’re craving a good snack, and this smoothie will boost your mornings and leave you feeling more satisfied throughout the day. It is delicious, healthy and sure to become a new household favorite.

Banana Berry Smoothie Bowl                                                   Photo Credit:

¾ cup almond milk
1 scoop Strawberry Shakeology
¼ cup fresh or frozen blueberries (reserve some for garnish)
1 cup ice
¼ large banana, cut into thick slices
¼ cup fresh or frozen blackberries
2 Tbsp. sliced raw almonds
1 Tbsp. chia seeds
2 tsp. raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

Place almond milk, Shakeology, blueberries, and ice in blender; cover. Blend until smooth.

Place smoothie in a medium bowl. Top with remaining blueberries, banana, blackberries, almonds, and chia seeds; serve immediately.

Recipe via Beach Body

Cedar Plank Salmon with Maple Glaze
When you’re trying to stay health-conscious in your meal choices, you just can’t go wrong with seafood. It is one of the best choices for heart health and it is a great dinner solution for a meal at home and for entertaining. This salmon recipe can be thrown on the barbecue, or you can cook it in the kitchen, but the outcome is sure to please no matter it’s prepared.

Cedar Plank Salmon with Maple Glaze                                                      Photo Credit:

1 untreated cedar plank (about 17-by-10-1/2 in.)
2 Tbsp. water
¼ cup pure maple syrup
2-inch slice fresh ginger, peeled, finely chopped
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Ground black pepper (to taste; optional)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 bunch green onions
2½ lbs. raw center-cut salmon fillet with skin


  1. Soak plank in water for 3 hours before grilling.
  2. Bring water, maple syrup, ginger, lemon juice, soy sauce, garlic, and pepper (if desired) to a boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; gently boil, stirring frequently, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until reduced to about ½ cup. Let cool. (Maple glaze may be made 2 days ahead of time and chilled, covered. Bring maple glaze to room temperature before using.)
  3. Preheat grill on high.
  4. Lightly cover the cedar plank with oil. Arrange green onions in one layer on plank to form a bed for salmon.
  5. Place the salmon skin-side down on the cedar plank.
  6. Drizzle with half of maple glaze, reserving other half of glaze to serve with grilled salmon.
  7. Grill, covered, without turning, for about 20 minutes, or until salmon flakes easily when tested with a fork.
  8. Serve salmon with reserved maple glaze.

Recipe via Beach Body

Grilled Watermelon Wedges
While it might not be something you’ve tried before, we promise this recipe please your guests and delight your taste buds. This recipe works great as an afternoon snack, but it can also be a great after-meal treat for those of you with a sweet tooth that rebels against diets and their kind. With enhanced sweetness and that slightly smoky flavor that comes from grilling, these watermelon wedges will have your mouth watering in no time.

Grilled Watermelon Wedges                                                    Photo Credit:

¼ medium watermelon, rind washed, cut into 1¼-inch thick wedges
1 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. olive oil


  1. Place cookie or baking rack over baking pan. Season watermelon with salt. Place on prepared rack. Let watermelon drain for 30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.
  2. Preheat grill or broiler on high.
  3. Lightly brush watermelon with oil.
  4. Grill or broil for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until grill marks appear and watermelon softens slightly.

Recipe via Beach Body

These are just a few of the savory and health-conscious recipes that we’ve uncovered to give you a head start in building your summer physique while staying ahead of your life by putting only the best fuel into your body. What are some of your favorite summer recipes? Do you have any healthy go-to recipes when you’re trying to watch your weight? Let us know in the comments below!




Healthy & Delicious Recipes to Start Your New Year Off Right

So, it’s the New Year, and you’ve decided to create a new and better you. One of the most popular New Year resolutions is to transform one’s lifestyle into something that blends a perfect mixture of diet and exercise to create a healthier, more fulfilling sense of self. While you may already have an exercise routine down, making the right choices where meals come in is always a tough one. Not only do you have fight off those negative cravings, but you also have to find ways to supplement your previously less than wholesome diet with something that is much more nutrient-rich and wholesome. Not only do you have to mind the nutritious value of what you consume, but it helps to have some tasty meals that won’t have you spending all day in the kitchen. Check out these fast, fun and delicious healthy recipes and let us help you get the New Year off to a bright start!

Warm Brussels Sprout Salad
Greens are a fundamental part of eating healthily, and this salad is a delicious way to get those greens. Brussels sprouts can be delicious, even when you’re not a traditional brussels sprout lover, and we promise this salad will have you smiling by the time you finish.

Healthy                                                 Photo Credit:

1/2 french loaf cut into large cubes (I used a wheat loaf, you could use any bread you like)
1 lb. brussels sprouts
2/3 cup craisins
1/4 cup mayo
4 garlic cloves
1 lime
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (or more if you like a real kick!)
1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons olive oil
salt + pepper to taste

In a food processor give the brussels a few pulses, so they are partially shredded and partially rough chopped. I have a smaller food processor, so I had to do this in three batches. Once all the brussels are chopped, heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the brussels, tossing occasionally, until bright green and cooked through (about 6-8 minutes). During the last few minutes of cooking toss in the craisins so they’ll be nice and warm along with the brussels.While that cooks, in the food processor (again) combine the mayo, garlic and juice from the lime. Pulse the ingredients together until well combined. With the processor still running, drizzle in 1/4 cup olive oil. Taste and add salt + pepper as needed.Once you have the bread cut into large cubes toss in a few tablespoons olive oil. Spread in one layer on a baking sheet and season with a little salt + pepper. Bake at 375°F until brown and crispy (8-10 minutes).Once the brussels are cooked toss with the dressing. Add in the croutons and give everything a nice toss. Serve warm. If you like your salad even more creamy you could easily double the amount of dressing the above recipe calls for. Enjoy!

Recipe via A Beautiful Mess

Lemon-Butter Grouper Fish Tacos
Nothing says “diet” like a taco Tuesday party that you can’t join, but with this delicious recipe, you’ll never have to miss out again. And for the general taco lovers out there, this is the perfect dinner for any night!

Healthy2                                                     Photo Credit:

3 tablespoons butter
flour, for lightly dredging and coating fish
2 large grouper filets (about 1 1/2 pounds)
juice of 1 lemon, about 3 to 4 tablespoons
salt and pepper, to taste
taco or fajita shells
1 cup romaine or iceburg lettuce, chopped
1 tomato, diced
1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, Monterrey Jack, etc.)
1/4 cup grainy dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey, or to taste
1 tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste
salt and pepper, to taste

To a large skillet, add the butter and heat over medium-high heat to melt butter.
Dredge fish through flour, coating both sides.
Add fish to skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes on first side, or until nicely seared and lightly golden browned.
Flip fish, season with salt and pepper, squeeze the lemon over the fish (use caution because the lemon juice will bubble up when it hits the hot skillet) and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes on second side, or until fish is lightly golden browned on both sides and cooked through. Serve immediately if desired.
To make the fish tacos,  lightly warm each taco shell momentarily on a dry skillet over medium-high heat before adding lettuce, sliced fish, sprinkling with tomatoes, and cheese; set aside while you make the sauce.
To a small bowl, add the mustard, honey, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and whisk to combine. Taste, check for flavor balance, and make any desired tweaks. Drizzle sauce over tacos and serve immediately. Fish will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 3 days and sauce will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Recipe via Averie Cooks

Healthy Banana Muffins
When it comes to breakfast, muffins are a national favorite, and these banana muffins are certainly up to standard. Whether they’re freshly baked on the morning you’re ready for them, or they’re stored for later for a quick morning meal, these muffins are sure to hit the spot wherever you are.

Healthy3                                                Photo Credit:

⅓ cup melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup maple syrup or honey
2 eggs, preferably at room temperature
1 cup packed mashed ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
¼ cup milk of choice (I used almond milk)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling on top
1¾ cups white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour
⅓ cup old-fashioned oats, plus more for sprinkling on top
1 teaspoon turbinado (raw) sugar or other granulated sugar, for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius). If necessary, grease 11 cups of your muffin tin with butter or non-stick cooking spray (my pan is non-stick and didn’t require any grease).
In a large bowl, beat the coconut oil and maple syrup or honey together with a whisk. Add eggs and beat well. Mix in the mashed bananas and milk, followed by the baking soda, vanilla extract, salt and cinnamon.
Add the flour and oats to the bowl and mix with a large spoon, just until combined. If you’d like to add any additional mix-ins, like nuts, chocolate or dried fruit, fold them in now.
Divide the batter evenly between the 11 muffin cups, filling each cup about two-thirds full. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a small amount of oats (about 1 tablespoon), followed by a light sprinkling of sugar (about 1 teaspoon). Bake muffins for 23 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
Place the muffin tin on a cooling rack to cool. You might need to run a butter knife along the outer edge of the muffins to loosen them from the pan. Enjoy muffins as is or with a spread of nut butter or regular butter.

Recipe via Cookie and Kate

Black Bean Burrito with Guacamole
If you’ve got a craving for a burrito and you’re about to go off track, take a minute and breathe! This delicious black bean burrito with guacamole can be just the thing you were hoping for without all the fat and calories.

Healthy4                                                Photo Credit:

2 ripe avocados
¼ cup minced red onion (see note)
¼ cup minced cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon salt
1 lime

2 large whole wheat flour tortillas
½ cup cooked brown rice
½ can black beans, drained and rinsed if using canned
⅓ cup shredded Cheddar or Monterey jack cheese
½ cup shredded lettuce
3 tablespoons minced red onion

To make guacamole, slice avocado in half around the pit and spoon out the avocado into a bowl. Add in the onion, cilantro, garlic, and salt. Cut the lime in half and squeeze 1 to 2 tablespoons of lime juice over the guacamole and stir. Taste and adjust salt/lime juice as needed.
Spread about ¼ to ⅓ cup guacamole in the center of the tortilla. Layer half the rice, beans, cheese, lettuce, and onions on top of the guacamole. Roll into a burrito (see note) and tuck in the ends.
Heat a grill pan or panini press over low heat and place the burritos seem side down. Place a weight on top and let cook until tortilla is browning and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Serve with remaining guacamole or salsa.

Variations for the Black Bean Burrito
I’m usually unwavering when it comes to changes in this burrito because I’m a guacamole lover. However, there have been a few variations throughout the years that can work with what you might already have on hand.
Tomatoes: the original recipe called for tomatoes both in the guacamole and in the burrito but I tomatoes are one of those items I really don’t eat during the winter and I don’t really add to my guacamole anymore. However, feel free to add them back in if desired.
Vegan: I love that the black bean burrito is heated long enough to make the tortilla crispy and start to melt the cheese but the cheese isn’t going to make or break the burrito. Feel free to ditch to keep it vegan.
Homemade Tortillas: If you have a bit of extra time, try your hand at some homemade flour tortillas.

Recipe via Naturally Ella

These are just a few of the many health-conscious recipes that are not only nutritious, but also delicious. Just because you’ve decided to change your lifestyle and do things a bit differently it doesn’t mean that you have to starve or deprive yourself of good things. These recipes are wholesome and will make you feel like you’re not missing out on anything. Have other great recipes you’d like to share? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!

Weight Loss Tips During the Holidays

ExercisePhoto Credit:

So, you have an end-of-the-year weight loss goal, or you’re planning to start 2016 a significant weight loss goal as one of your New Years’ resolutions. But we all know that it’s hard to maintain your current weight, let alone lose weight during the holidays. It seems like wherever you go, there’s always delicious aromas wafting in from the kitchen. With all those freshly baked holiday treats that only seem to make an appearance once a year, it can be hard to stay away. Most folks end up hoping they don’t gain too many pounds over the holidays, let alone think about losing weight over the holidays, which is what makes weight loss such a popular option for a New Years’ resolution.

So, if you’re one of the few people in the holiday weight loss boat, we’ve got a few simple tips and suggestions that might help you not only keep the pounds off this year, but shed a few more while you’re at it.

Don’t Skip Meals
We all do it. You know you have a holiday party in the evening and you want to indulge in all the great food and deserts, but skipping meals and arriving to a feast on an empty stomach is never a good idea. When you’re feeling famished you’re more likely to go a bit stir crazy, scarfing down food without really tasting it or thinking about how much you’re putting into your mouth. Being among friends and food on an empty stomach is likely to cause you to overindulge and walk away feeling disappointed in yourself. Instead, eat your meals throughout the day as you normally would and maybe even have a snack right before you go to that holiday party so that you’re less likely to over-stuff yourself once you finally get there.

Welcome Distraction
When you’re holding a conversation over dinner or trying to impress your crush from across the table, you’re likely to eat less. Distractions while you feast are a good thing, allowing your body to signal how full you really are so that you naturally stop eating instead of eating too quickly and not feeling the effects on your stomach until it’s too late. Whether it’s a fascinating conversation among friends, or helping a youngster with their own meal, welcome distraction when it comes to the dinner table.

Pace Yourself
Instead of allowing yourself to eat whatever you want in the first thirty minutes or hour of the party, pace yourself throughout the duration of the gathering and only eat small amounts at a time. When you eat everything you want in the first little bit, you’re food is likely to start digesting by the end of the party and you will be left with the temptation to go back for unnecessary seconds. Instead, pace yourself throughout the function, starting with a light main course, then going for deserts a few hours later, and maybe snacking a bit here or there toward the end of the party. Ultimately, pacing yourself will still allow you to get a bit of everything without packing on the calories by doing so.

Don’t Neglect Exercise
It’s easy to forget about working out in the midst of the holiday hustle and bustle. There’s so many extra tasks that need attention – the house needs to be cleaned, gifts need to be bought, things need to be wrapped, the pantry needs to be restocked, and there’s so many parties and events to attend, but in the middle of all these, you can’t neglect your daily or weekly workouts. Schedule your workouts like they’re any other kind of appointment. You wouldn’t miss work, a doctor’s appointment, or a gift exchange with a friend, so don’t skip out on your workouts either. Even if all you can do is offer to stand at the sink washing dishes, take out the trash, or putting things away, it will get you moving and help burn some calories. With all the holiday snacking temptations, your constant workout schedule may be the only thing that keeps you on track and losing weight throughout the holiday season.

Snag Some Sleep
With all the busyness that the holidays bring, it can be easy to lose sleep. Whether it’s putting up holiday decorations, wrapping gifts and getting everything ready for Christmas morning, or simply staying out late at those holiday get-togethers, you might not realize how much sleep you’re really losing. But sleep loss slows your metabolisms, causes you to eat more, and interferes with your weight loss goals. Try to get a minimum of 6-7 hours of sleep each night, anything less boarders on sleep deprivation and hazarded health.

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that anything helps. If you’ve had a binge eating type of day, don’t neglect your workout routine under the assumption that it will be pointless. If you’ve over indulged on a specific treat, don’t just throw in the towel and start eating the rest of the treats on the table, too. Ultimately, any sacrifices that you can make for your health will be worth it in the end. Saving yourself just a few pounds in calories that could be eaten in a single night will save you weeks worth of dieting and weight loss efforts down the road.




Best Exercises for Weight Loss

For most people, the holidays are a time full of fun, food and family and for many folks, it’s the best part of the year. One down side to all that delicious food, however, is that somehow the pounds just seem to creep up on you before you’ve had a chance to think about cutting back or getting more exercise.  Whether you’re doing the cooking yourself or just standing by as a taste tester, those extra calories always seem to creep up around the holidays. So, if you want to be proactive and lose a few pounds before tacking on more, or if you just want to get a game plan in place to tackle those extra holiday calories, we have some ideas that could help. Ultimately, it all comes down to spending less time in the kitchen and more time in the gym.

Stress the Cardio
Getting your heart pumping is essential to getting healthy and dropping those extra pounds.  Studies show that the best way to lose weight quickly is to do interval training. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is one of the most recommended forms of circuit training for weight loss and increasing overall aerobic endurance.  HIIT training can be done in nearly any form, including running, walking, bicycling, elliptical sessions, etc. The basic idea of HITT cardio is to interject small periods of intense effort, followed by a brief rest period. The high-intensity bouts can last anywhere from thirty seconds to one minute, and should leave you breathless, counting down the seconds until the interval is completed. The low-intensity intervals should be two to three times longer than the high-intensity bouts, or at least give you adequate time to fully recover.  Over time, you should be able to increase the distance you can cover during the high intensity intervals, and it should begin to take you less time to recover from each interval.

Exercise Photo Credit:

Weight Training is Important
When trying to lose weight, people sometimes avoid weight training because of the assumption that cardio will burn more calories and help shed the pounds faster. While this is partially true, and cardio should definitely not be neglected in any workout, strength training also has a lot to offer in terms of overall health and fitness. While your body needs fuel, so do your muscles. As your muscles grow, your body begins to burn more calories at rest, giving you a bigger caloric deficit, increasing your health and allowing for weight loss. Even just 30 minutes of weight training per day can greatly increase both your aerobic and anaerobic capacity and help your body burn up any additional calories for energy before they can be stored as fat.

Weight Training

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For the best results, try to make regular exercise a routine from which you won’t let yourself deviate. Exercise must be something that is done consistently in order to have an improvement on your health and promote weight loss. Try to exercise at least 3 to 4 times a week or every other day. Once you’re in the habit with a specific workout routine, try to increase it to at least 5 days. It’s much easier to tell yourself you can make up a day later in the week if you are only working out 2 or 3 times a week, but much more difficult to excuse taking a day off when you are attempting to exercise at least 5 or 6 days a week.