Getting lean, tight, healthy and sexy doesn’t have to be an act of deprivation and boredom. With these Oxygen options, dropping unwanted pounds has never been easier or more fun.
1. TAKE IT OUTSIDE
Because of the changing terrain, exercising in the great outdoors burns more calories than same activity indoors. So lace up your shoes or strap on your Rollerblades to explore the twists, turns and winding roads of your ‘hood.
Your metabolism stays elevated for several hours after a tough workout such as circuit training or kickboxing. Hourly calories burned post workout equals up to 20 percent of the total calories burned during your workout. So if you burned 600 calories during a kickboxing workout, you could burn up to an additional 120 afterwards.
3. HYDRATING YOURSELF
Oxygen reader Marissa Shams drinks a gallon of water a day. She knows that you can burn 50 to 100 calories a day by drinking half a gallon to a gallon of cold water. “If I drink two large glasses of water, I feel better within minutes!” Try drinking water before every meal, because when your tummy growls, you’re often more thirsty than hungry.
4. REGRESS TO CHILDHOOD
Active kids are lean kids. Check out these typical childhood activities and the calories they burn and you’ll see why. Now go outside and play!
100 CALORIES =
10 minutes of Jump Rope
20 minutes of Ping-Pong
20 minutes of Playing Tag
20 minutes of Shooting Baskets
25 minutes of Playing Catch
30 minutes of Playing Frisbee
35 minutes of Croquet
60 minutes of Playing Monopoly
5. PACK YOUR BAGS
Stock your cooler with clean and easy on-the-go eating. Carrying it on your daily trek will also help you blast calories.
6. GET IN YOUR GROOVE
Whether you’re running, lifting or dancing, research shows that high-speed music increases your pace. Create your own playlist packed with high-energy dance tunes and get moving.
7. BE INTENSE
Most people underestimate their level of intensity according to Juliet Kaska, owner of Emerson Hall Fitness in West Hollywood, California. To gauge if you’re working intensely enough, wear a heart rate monitor, especially when doing cardio. For cardio workouts, stay at about 70 to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate; intensity is more important than duration, says Kaska. To increase your heart rate during strength training, move quickly from one exercise to the next or integrate bursts of cardio between strength moves, such as jumping jacks between sets of biceps curls.
8. SKIP IT
Jumping rope isn’t just for boxers anymore. It’s also a great way to cross-train. Not only will you improve your cardiovascular endurance, but you’ll also melt fat just as fast as running and without the jarring impact.
9. KEEP IN MIND
Pay attention to your hunger and eat only when your body says it is hungry; eating when you aren’t really hungry is simply extra calories you don’t need.
10. IN TIME
According to Melinda Johnson, MS, RD, and ADA spokesperson, if you feel an energy slump in the afternoon, but you don’t feel hunger pangs, your body isn’t asking for food. Your waning energy likely means you need a nap, walk or change of activity.
11. FASTER, FASTER
“When doing your regular cardio routine, pick it up a notch and increase your speed,” says Jodi Schmidt, a personal trainer and fitness instructor based in Toronto, Ontario. But don’t forget your weight training routine either.
12. KICK IT
To get out pent up aggressions (your boss, your cheating boyfriend, your bratty sister), nothing beats punching the heavy bag at the gym. But to burn more calories, give that bag a few swift kicks to the liver. Kickboxing burns 200 calories more per hour than simply punching a heavy bag, brings its burn potential up to a whopping 680 calories per hour!
13. SPORTY GIRL
Summer’s here! Take up a new sport like rowing, beach volleyball or tennis. A record number of girls are now participating in sports, according to research released in April 2008 by the University of Minnesota Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport.
14. MAKE LIKE GUMBY
Most of us forego stretching in favor of other active pursuits. However, not only can flexibility training improve your range of motion, decrease soreness and lessen back pain, but it can also burn calories. A mere 30 minutes of gentle static stretching or Hatha yogo burns up to 100 calories.
Bonus Burn: Take a powerful yoga class and burn double the calories while stretching the limits of your mind and your body.
15. LISTEN TO YOUR TUMMY
Eat to the point of satisfaction and no more. It can take some time before you realize you’re full, so eat slowly instead of scarfing down your food.
16. POWER YOGI
You don’t have to be Buddha on a mountain to benefit from the added flexibility offered by yoga. Practice a class a week and you’ll learn deep breathing techniques that you can take from the studio to the weight room.
17. YARD DUTY
Cooler temperatures may make you feel like hibernating indoors. Fight the urge to hunker down; instead, grab a rake and start to bag your fallen leaves to blow off those extra calories.
18. SHOP AROUND
When you’re cruising the aisles of the supermarket stick with the perimeter track. Unlike the maze of interior aisles, the outer aisles are filled with fresh whole foods that are your clean eating staples.
19. GOT MILK?
Milk’s not just good for your bones anymore. McMaster University’s Exercise Metabolism Research Group found that drinking milk after lifting weights helps burn more fat!
20. SERVE IT
Putting food on a plate makes you more aware of what you’re putting in your mouth. In fact, research proves that you’ll consume about 43 percent smaller portions than if you were standing in the kitchen, eating out of an open carton of Ben & Jerry’s.
21. SCORE ONE FOR CUPID
A new study from Brigham Young University reports that happily married people have lower blood pressure than unhappily married people or singles.
22. DON’T SHOP HUNGRY
If you buy it, you’ll eat it, so avoid hitting the aisles on an empty stomach. Plus, always bring a shopping list to ensure you make healthier food choices.
23. PEDAL PUSHERS
According to public health leaders, using pedal power creates more active and healthier communities. Ditch your car in favor of your bike for an extra calorie burning session.
24. WHAT A RACQUET
If ditching your doubles tennis partner won’t end in divorce, opt to play solo. You can burn 144 calories more by playing one-on-one tennis than you can playing team doubles.
25. TAKE NOTES
Plan your meals and track your progress. When you log what you eat, you’ll be more successful at losing weight.
26. ONLY EAT WHEN YOU ARE HUNGRY
Being bored is not a good reason to eat. Take a walk instead – your waistline will thank you later.
27. DON’T SKIP MEALS
Missing a meal is worse than skipping a workout!
28. GET SOME REST
Lack of sleep affects leptin and ghrelin, the hormones tied to your appetite, and may cause cravings. “Sleep releases a growth hormone which helps with recovery and weight loss,” says Lisa Alstrup, a personal trainer in Toronto, Ontario. “You may be getting eight hours, but it’s the quality of sleep that’s so important.
Yogurt is a handy snack; just make sure yours isn’t loaded with hidden sugar. Go for plain and mix in one teaspoon of honey to save three to four teaspoons of sugar.
30. DATE BURN
Take your significant other on an exer-date. Here are a few fun ways to burn calories while having fun with the opposite sex – outside the bedroom!
100 CALORIES =
20 minutes of Paddle Boating
20 minutes of Swing Dancing
30 minutes of Bowling
20 minutes of Ice Skating
90 minutes of Movie Watching
31. GET SUPPORT
Food is a social activity, so seek out healthy choices with your friends and family. Lean on those around you who inspire you to create healthy habits.
32. WHITE IS OUT
Avoid white pasta and white bread; choose sprouted whole grains and multi-grains instead. Ditch white rice; eat brown rice for a mega-dose of fiber and nutrients.
33. AT YOUR LEISURE
Blasting calories can be as carefree as tossing a Frisbee with friends on a sunny afternoon. For even more fat-blasting powers, team up to give Ultimate Frisbee a go.
34. GET OUTSIDE
Burn extra calories on Mother Nature’s tread mill. Uneven ground takes your workout to the next level by working your core and lower legs. The more muscles you involve in your workout, the more calories you burn. “And don’t use the fact that you can’t get to the gym as an excuse,” says Alstrup. “You can always use a park bench for step-ups, dips, push-ups or the plank.”
35. THE OLD SOFT-SHOE
Snowmobiling is fun, for sure. But it does little to improve your overall fitness. If you’re not in a hurry to get somewhere (like to the lake for some ice fishing), ditch the motorized vehicle and strap on some snowshoes. A mere nine minutes of snowshoeing burns up to 100 calories!
36. JUMP FOR JOY
In between sets of strength moves, do one minute of jumping jacks, suggests Kaska. Ten sets of those and you’ve got 100 calories, easy! (Jumping jacks burn 544 calories per hour.)
37. MOVE YOUR BUTT
“Park far away from the front doors when you shop, always take the stairs instead of the elevator and go for a brisk walk after dinner,” says Schmidt.
38. ROAD RAGE
Here’s a reason to cool off while stuck in traffic: For every 40 minutes you sit, you burn up to 100 calories.
Bonus Burn: Crank up the music while stuck on the freeway and head bang. Research shows that fidgeters burn up to 350 calories more per day than passive sitters.
39. MAKE SMART PURCHASES
Look at the ingredients and nutrition facts of every food you purchase. “It’s an easy way to decide between the choices at the grocery store and educate yourself on what you’re putting in your body,” says Oxygen reader Natalie Greenberg
40. BULK UP –A BIT
For every pound of muscle you add to your frame, you’ll burn 35 to 50 calories more per day without doing anything differently! Unlike fat tissue, muscle tissue requires calories to exist, increasing your basal metabolic rate and your daily calorie burn. Do at least 30 to 45 minutes of resistance training up to five days a week for the best results, says Kaska.
41. CANINE CORPULENCE?
Dogs do resemble their owners, and if your dog is fat, you probably are too! Do your dog and yourself a favor and go for a walk. A 30-minute leisurely stroll with Fido will burn at least 100 calories for you – and double for Fido, since he has twice as many legs! Amp up your stroll to a powerwalk, and double the calories burned in the same amount of time.
42. SAY NO TO SUGAR
If you replace sugary cold cereals with hot breakfasts, you’ll stay fuller, longer. Giving up processed sugar was the hardest thing Oxygen reader Susan Dion ever had to do. “I was irritable, had the shakes and a runny nose. But one week later, I was cured!”
43. JUST A SPLASH
In every four-ounce glass of juice, you’re getting added calories from the sugar. Try combining half water and half juice.
44. GO CASUAL
A recent University of Wisconsin-La Crosse study shows that people take almost 500 more steps and burn 25 more calories on days that they wear jeans to work!
45. WATER PLAY
Water is a great medium for exercise: you get a great workout from the resistance of the stuff, and it keeps you nice and cool in the process.
100 CALORIES =
30 minutes of Canoeing
20 minutes of Snorkeling
15 minutes of Water Skiing (Or 408 calories per hour)
12 minutes of Swimming, Freestyle
11 minutes of Synchronized Swimming
46. EAT HEALTHY FATS
Canada’s Food Guide recommends eating healthy fats because studies show that cells burn more fat when they’re fuelled with essential fatty acids, “You want to have a low percentage of visceral fat around the organs,” says Alstrup. “Essential fatty acids in omega-3s (not omega-6s) will help to break down fat.”
47. PEAR-FECT SNACK
The US Food and Drug Administration states that a medium-sized pear contains six grams of fiber. Apples come in second with three grams. So eat a fruit before every meal. The high fiber content will curb your appetite so you can avoid snacking between meals.
48. GET IN TOUCH
Research shows that having social interaction makes continuing with a fitness activity for a longer period of time easier than it would be otherwise. Rather than sacking out on the couch at your next family gathering, get the gang together for a game of touch football.
49. SIX-PACK POWER
Burning abdominal fat will help reveal your middle muscles. While training your abs isn’t easy, spending five minutes a day doing the plank pose is a relatively simple way to carve your core and it can be done anywhere.
50. ON THE ROAD
Between trekking from your home to the gym then the office, it’s no wonder you sometimes find yourself eating in your car. But according to Johnson, not paying attention to what you eat means you’re likely eating more than you should. Keep calories under control by hitting the breaks until you have the time to be mindful of what you’re eating.
51. 90s FLASHBACK
Relive your collegiate years of slouching around on campus: break out that hacky sack and give it a whirl! Twenty minutes of heel-popping, flipping and tossing can burn more than 100 calories. Don’t forget to wear your Chucks and jelly bracelets.
52. CAMP OUT
From pitching a tent to portaging your canoe you’ve got to be fit to make the most of an Indian summer and get in the last of your camping season.
53. GO GLUTE
Glutamine is an amino acid that is odorless and tasteless – simply mixing it into your oatmeal in the morning can help sustain growth hormone levels and promote muscle recovery. As Jennifer Bowman, MS, RD, reminds us, muscle is the driving force behind your metabolic rate.
54. PACK PROTEIN
Including a good source of lean protein with every meal or snack will prevent cravings and overeating while providing necessary amino acids for muscle repair. Check out oxygenmag.com for quick and easy protein-powdered recipe options.
55. WII THE PEOPLE
Kids who played with Wii burned 40 percent more calories than those playing other types of consoles or watching TV. While “wii” at Oxygen suggest outdoor activities in favor of electronic ones, for video addicts, a Wii is a good alternative.
56. TEAM PLAY
Get your friends and family onto the field and play a few team sports. Nothing makes the time fly by and the calories burn quickly like a good game of:
100 CALORIES =
12 minutes of Kickball
12 minutes of Flag Football
10 minutes of Soccer
15 minutes of Softball
15 minutes of Beach Volleyball
57. GET YOUR FILL
Fiber keeps you fuller longer and helps you to avoid sugar cravings through your day. Susan Farrell, MS, RD, owner of Cherry Creek Nutrition in Colorado, suggests munching on apples, broccoli or beans.
58. TAKE A DIP
While swimming may not be the fastest way to lose weight, the women of the United States Masters Swimmers know its rigourous fitness benefits will pay off over the long haul. Swimming lengthens your muscles, plus just suiting up is enough motivation to keep off those extra pounds.
59. ALL A WASH
Get your body – and your car – ready to roll by making the most of sunny autumn days and forgo the carwash. Detail the interior windows, dashboard and wax the exterior and you’ll be cruising clean.
60. DRINK UP
Even just being slightly dehydrated can make you feel tired and falsely hungry. Before your reach for a snack, Farrell suggests downing an eight-ounce glass of water. If your stomach is still grumbling then you’ll know you’ve got the real thing.
61. AT THE OFFICE
Need to confer with a colleague? Forget email. Powerwalk down the hall to shape your legs. And if you wear stilettos your calves will feel the benefits all day long.
62. GO GREEN
Did you know that green tea fights fat? The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition says that the catechins in the tea are chemicals known to increase the metabolism. Learn to drink it black.
63. DITCH FATTY DRESSINGS
You order salad instead of French fries. Good for you! Here’s the next step: Instead of reaching for the Caesar dressing, try a splash of lemon juice or a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Both provide plenty of flavor, but little or no calories and fat.
64. GET SOME LAUGHS
Go see a stand-up comedy act or rent your favorite funny movie. According to the European Congress on Obesity, 10 to 15 minutes of laughter can burn up to 50 calories!
65. THE FACTS ON FAT
Canada’s Food Guide recommends eating healthy fats. Studies show that cells burn more fat when fuelled with essential fatty acids. Says Alstrup, “Essential fatty acids rich in omega-3s will help break down fat.”
66. SHOP TIL YOU DROP
Buying clothes (a few items anyway) that are the size you want to be, instead of the size you are, is a great way to motivate you.
67. BAG IT
use the self check-out to ring up our own groceries, then lug your load from the store to the car and into your kitchen.
68. CHOPPING BLOCK
Loaded with beta-carotene, acorn squash is also rich in vitamin C and potassium. With a hard skin that is difficult to pierce, you’ll exercise your muscles as you wash, halve and seed two, then bake for 30 minutes.
69. CLEAN THE CUPBOARDS
Before you put your food away when you get home from the grocery store, clean out your cupboards and remove all the foods that won’t help you lose weight.
70. BE A HOE
Gardening outdoors (including raking, digging and hoeing) burns up to 400 calories an hour – that’s 100 calories every 15 minutes!
Bonus Burn: Ditch the motorized lawn mower and hedge clippers and do it by hand. (Yes, they still sell old-fashioned push mowers and pruning shears!)
71. PLAY SOME VIDS
Go over to your boyfriend’s place and get on his Playstation 3. Forty minutes of playtime will cut 100 calories and the British Medical Journal found that you’ll burn more on a Wii than on an Xbox. Better yet, play Dance Dance Revolution in workout mode to count the calories burned.
72. BRUSH UP
While brightening your bite alone won’t blast calories instantly, brushing up can help you keep calories in check. Practice your brush, floss and rinse routinely after every meal and the minty freshness will make you less likely to reach for seconds.
73. ORDER OFF THE MENU
Restaurant portions are much bigger than you need. According to Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD, you should ask the waiter to cut the portion in half, and bring the rest home in a doggy bag. Also, ask for sauces and dressings on the side, and don’t be afraid to send your meal back if it’s swimming in butter and fat.
74. POLE POSITION
Have you seen people walking or hiking around with ski poles? They may be on to something. Research done at the Cooper Institute shows that those walking with trekking poles (their official name) not only reduced the stress of the activity on their lower bodies, but they also burned up to 20 percent more calories than walking alone at the same pace. So if in a typical walk you burn 300 calories, add the poles and burn an additional 60 per walk!
75. EAT PLENTY
It may seem backward, but you have to eat if you want to lose weight. Instead of starving yourself, consume six small meals every two to three hours. Doing so hypes the metabolism and prevents the urge to binge.
76. SOUP IT UP
Go for broth-based soups chock-full of veggies to save on calories. Creamy or pureed soups often contain huge quantities of butter, full-fat milk, cream or sour cream.
77. SPEED IT UP
We know it’s easy to get into a running rut, especially if you’re a treadmill junkie. But for every mile-an-hour you speed up the belt, you burn nearly 100 calories more per hour. Check it out:
100 CALORIES =
5 MPH: 544 calories per hour
6 MPH: 680 calories per hour
7 MPH: 782 calories per hour
78. LET GO ALREADY!
Although the treadmill/elliptical/stair climber in the gym is telling you that your calorie burn is 800, if you’re dangling between the machine’s handrails, it’s probably more like 400. Research has shown that holding on to the handrails of cardio machines can reduce your calorie burn by up to 50 percent! So for heaven’s sake, leggo!
79. CHOOSE YOUR BOOZE
All alcohol contains sugar, so avoid it at all costs. But if you must have a drink, opt for an antioxidant-rich white wine spritzer instead of a bottle of beer (150 calories), daiquiri (250 calories) or martini (300 calories). One ounce of white wine mixed with four ounces of seltzer water is just 20 calories!
80. PACK IT UP
When walking, burn twice as many calories while wearing a loaded backpack as you do without. Walking on a treadmill for 30 minutes at 3.0 burns only 100 calories, but n that same 30 minutes, walkers who wear backpacks can burn up to 230 calories!
Bonus burn: Take your backpacking on an incline and nearly double that calorie burn. Hike around in some nearby mountains, or if your area is mountain-free, use any nearby stadium stairs.
81. GET YOUR FREAK ON
One hour of “athletic” sex can burn up to 100 calories. Surely we don’t have to outline this for you - use your imagination!
82. SPICE IT UP
Research conducted at Oxford Polytechnic Institute found that eating capsaicin, found in hot sauce and chili peppers, leads thermogenesis (heat generation), increasing the body’s caloric burn rate by 25 percent.
83. TORCH & MOVE
Circuit training is the ideal way to double your calorie burn in half the time, according to fitness expert Kim Lyons. Circuit training burns 544 calories an hour as opposed to 204 calories from lifting weights alone. Alternate lower body moves with upper body moves, or combine upper and lower body exercises for the best results possible, says Lyons.
Bonus Burn: For some great fat-blasting circuits, check out our website at oxygenmag.com.
Golfers who walk the course carrying their own bags burn 150 calories more per hour than those who cart around.
Bonus Burn: Take your family to play mini-golf tonight and burn an additional 204 calories in an hour!
85. DON’T FAD DIET!!
A UCLA study found that most people who go on diets soon gain back all lost weight. Even worse, one- to two- thirds of dieters gain back more weight than they had originally lost.
86. NO SLUMP
People who eat regular meals never feel totally famished and tend to eat about 80 calories less than people who eat irregularly. Nutrition expert Dawn Jackson Blatner suggests planning ahead to make sure you’re eating smaller meals every three to four hours.
87. MAKE A RACKET
According to USTA.com, cranking out hits on the tennis court builds your aerobic and anaerobic fitness levels, which means your body burns fat and your muscle use oxygen more efficiently.
88. PACK A LUNCH
Prepare a lunch the night before with nutritional food options like fruits, veggies, lean protein and unsalted nuts for snacking. Oxygen reader Amy Walsh packs a snack of fat-free ricotta mixed with sliced strawberries, cocoa powder and sweetener.
89. DIVIDE AND CONQUER
If you consider your plate as a pie, how well you divide each portion will help you keep your calories in check. Reserve 25 percent of your plate for lean protein, 25 percent for whole grains and 50 percent for vegetables. Giving vegetables top billing means you’ll get three to four times fewer calories per bite but you’ll still feel full longer.
90. LOAD UP
By washing, folding and ironing your clothes each week you’ll keep an eye on what you’ve been wearing. If you find you’re cycling the same outfits, now’s a great chance to check out your closet to see if other options still fit.
91. GET PACKING
Portion control is the key to your long-term weight loss. Eliminate your guesswork by chopping, dicing and slicing your choice of lean protein and vegetable into prepackaged portions for a week’s worth of clean eats.
92. DON’T FORGET TO POOP
“Proper elimination is key,” says Alstrup, “because otherwise you’re not eliminating toxins, and that will hinder weight loss.” So make sure you take in enough fiber to go at least once or twice a day.
93. FREEZE THE FRIDGE VISITS
Even a fridge stocked with healthy foods can be tempting when late-night cravings hit. Put a sign on the fridge that says “Closed after 7:00 p.m.” or hang up a picture of yourself in your worst shape. You’ll think twice before snacking.
94. MOVE MORE
You’ve probably heard this ad nausem, but getting more activity in your day, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator and parking as far away as possible at the grocery store, can help you burn more calories, says Lyons. If you walk 2,000 extra steps for about 15 minutes, you’ll cover about a mile and burn 100 calories.
Bonus Burn: Check out these calorie burning errands and chores:
100 CALORIES =
35 minutes of Driving
25 minutes of Vacuuming
45 minutes of Doing Laundry
30 minutes of Washing the Car
95. STAND AND DELIVER
If your office job has you on the phone all day, try this: instead of sitting, stand up, suggests Lyons. You’ll burn up to 30 more calories an hour. If you spend more than three hours on the phone, that is an easy 100 thought-free calories right there!
Bonus Burn: On the phone with friends? Do leg lifts, suggests Lyons. You’ll tone your lower half and burn more calories.
96. SOUP’S ON
Jackson Blatner suggests eating a broth-based soup before the main meal. She says you’ll eat at least 100 total calories less at the meal.
97. PROJECT RENOVATION
You know weight training has given you the body you want, but you may not realize just how much stronger you are too. Try adding extra lift to your home by painting, wallpapering or refinishing your dining room table and you’ll find you’re able to carry more than your load.
98. TABLE TOPPER
Maybe Martha didn’t know it, but setting the table the right way can help you eat the proper servings. Serve up food on your plate in the kitchen instead of the table to reduce your desire for seconds.
99. VIRTUAL SURFER
Just like you, there are other active women looking for a little extra motivation to push past a fitness roadblock. Swapping fitness and nutrition tips online is one way to stay connected with other like-minded fitness gals.
100. JAVA JOLT
It’s not like you have to give up your Starbucks habit – that’s just crazy talk. But you may want to switch from half-and-half to two percent milk, because that small change can help you lose at least 2.5 pounds per year!
CW: Lost 102.2 lbs (Nov. 11)
GW: 120.0 lbs (N/A)
"The beauty of the Gospel message is not that we shall not suffer, but rather that regardless of the level and intensity of our suffering, God is always there by our side, and will always give us the strength to stand and not fail. In fact I would go as far as to say that the most effective witness to the lost, is the life of a suffering Christian, that overflows with joy, peace and love, rather than bitterness and self-pity.
| Pounds lost: 44.8