Hot town, summer in the city,
Back of my neck feeling fat and sweaty...
Okay so that's not how the lyrics of the classic Lovin' Spoonful hit go. But that's how I feel when summer begins to swelter and I'm still wearing my winter coat... um, I mean my extra layer of fat that only feels like a well-insulated coat!
When Mr. Bad Food wants answers, he goes straight to the experts on fitness, diet and nutrition. That's just one of the nice perks I have come to enjoy while working for major diet companies the past 11 years.
For this month's column, I turned to time-tested advice on fat-burning that was given to me a few years back by the late Wendy Chant, a respected fitness expert and bodybuilder, and the author of the bestsellers Crack the Fat-Loss Code and Conquer the Fat-Loss Code (McGraw-Hill).
Wendy passed this past November. She was a cancer victim who fought on until the end. Wendy may be gone but her fitness principles and fat-burning findings live on.
"To be efficient at losing fat, you need exercise," Wendy once told me in her no-nonsense manner. "You need what I call my CIA approach -- consistency, intensity and accountability."
If it's time for you to turn up the heat on your fat too, then read on and incorporate these fat-burning fitness tips into your day.
Wendy told me the secret of more efficient fat-burning is to include both aerobic (think cardio) and anaerobic (think weight training) in your fitness routine – just not at the same time.
Here are 5 great cardio exercise tips for improved fat burning.
1) You must exercise every 48 hours. Do not go more than two days without exercising!
2) Don’t exercise the same way or for the same length of time more than 10 days in a row.
3) Take one day off each week (or every fifth day).
4) Never do cardio with resistance.
5) Whenever possible, do cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
Now here are 5 great weight-training tips to boost your fat burning.
1) Weight training should be performed at least twice a week. Do not exceed this without taking off every fourth day.
2) If you are a beginner, or just starting again, hire a professional for at least a few sessions to ensure your safety and understanding of proper techniques.
3) Change your routine every few weeks to ensure your body doesn’t adapt and stop your progress.
4) Find a workout partner to help you stay motivated and ensure safety during sessions.
5) Keep workouts under one hour so you won’t trigger muscle-wasting hormones.
NOTE: There are two basic methods of weight or resistance training: A high number of reps with light weights, or a low number of reps with heavy weights. Wendy stressed that when it comes to resistance training, the key is to not obsess about reps or weights but to always strive to reach the point of muscle fatigue.
Alrighty then... now that you and I are armed with this easy to follow advice let's turn up the heat on our fat and slim down a bit before summer turns to fall.
John McGran has been a writer/editor for about as long as he's been battling his weight. During his 25-year career, John has written for several newspapers, tabloids and Web sites. You may recognize his name and style from the seven years he spent writing a Worst of the Worst Foods column as Mr. Bad Food. If you have any topics you'd like John to tackle, feel free to write him at firstname.lastname@example.org