If you had a magic lamp would you use one of your three wishes to workout less whilst losing more? If you would then your wish is our command. Here's how you can lose more and exercise less.
Put in some speed
Add a little speed to your sessions if you want to exercise less and lose more. Running steadily for a set distance over a prolonged period of time is all well and good, but your body will soon get used to running this distance and you will no longer progress or continue to lose weight.
Instead of running steadily for all of your run sessions you should do some speed sessions and include some interval work in your workouts. Interval work is great because when you work harder in the sprint sections of the interval session your muscles work harder too, producing additional chemicals in your body to process the extra oxygen in your body. To get this job done your body expends more energy and burns more calories. Therefore you can exercise for shorter periods of time and lose more weight. Three cheers for interval training.
Eat an apple
Who knew that eating could help you exercise less and lose more? A recent study undertaken by US researchers at Iowa University have found that a natural compound called ursolic acid that is present in apple skins increased the amount of muscle in mice. The compound also increased the amount of brown fat in the test mice and these two tissue increases are known for their ability to increase the amount of calories burnt.
The study found that mice on a high-fat diet that were given the ursolic acid compound were less affected by obesity than mice that were not given the compound. The researchers concluded that ursolic acid could help reduce obesity and help to burn more calories. So, if you want to exercise less and lose more it might be time to stock up on apples.
Lift some weights
If you want to lose weight and do less then don't skip weight training when you work out. Lifting weights is great because not only does it burn calories when you are working out, if done correctly it will also increase your muscle mass. This is important because the more muscle you have the more calories you will burn when doing an activity, compared to someone doing the same activity with less muscle. Therefore by doing some weight training you'll be able to do less exercise but burn more because of your increased muscle mass.
If you're a woman and you're suddenly sceptical about weight training don't worry, due to your oestrogen levels most women don't build hefty muscles and won't bulk up too much.
Cut down your exercise sessions
A study undertaken by Danish scientists discovered that doing shorter exercise sessions could help people lose more weight. These conclusions were drawn during a study that examined sedentary, unfit Danish men who were in their 20s and 30s. The scientists divided the male participants into three groups. One group were to return to their usual inactive routines (this group acted as the controls), one group were to exercise daily until they had burnt 300 calories, whilst the final group were to do daily workouts where they burnt 600 calories.
Surprisingly the group that did the moderate workouts and burnt 300 calories ended up losing more weight (seven pounds on average) than the group that did longer sessions, who on average lost only five pounds. The scientists aren't entirely clear why those who did less lost more, but they suggested that those who worked out for longer ate more to compensate and because they were tired from their workouts they did less and sat down for longer during those times when they were not exercising. So, if you want to lose more and exercise less then it might be wise to do shorter exercise sessions.
A high-intensity workout may help you to exercise less and lose more. This is because high-intensity workouts can help you to burn more calories compared to doing moderate exercise. The CDC suggests that we all do 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week or do 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise per week.
Other benefits of a high-intensity workout are seen from the American Heart Association, who suggest that a high-intensity workout can help you lose weight because after exercising your muscles need to have their glycogen stores replenished and this process also burns calories. So if you want to do less and lose more it may be worth doing a few high-intensity workouts when training, such as interval training, swimming or skipping.