Ok.  So if there was a simple way you could triple the amount of calories you burned per workout, would you do it? 

How about if there was something you could do in your routine that diminished your results, would you avoid it?

As stated in an earlier post, burning calories is burning calories and it is much better to move than not.  But what if you could do something really simple and burn not just a little, but A LOT more calories?  You’d be foolish not to. 

The easiest thing to do to possibly triple the amount of calories you burn per workout is to train on an empty stomach and wait an hour after your exercise to eat.  If possible, the first thing in the morning.  The reason for this is when you work out on an empty stomach, your body is forced to burn stored energy – up to three times the calories as if you had food in your stomach.  If doing it first thing in the morning, wait to do your cardio four hours after you’ve eaten last.  Let’s look at the numbers:

You work out on a Precor Elliptical trainer for 35 minutes.  (This is my machine of choice, but there are many great machines like it.)  You tprogram in the “Options” button your weight and age.  The machine is able to adjust to tell you how many calories you burn during the time spent on it.  I typically burn an average of 350 calories.  But because I workout on an empty stomach, my body is forced burn the fat stores.  If I end up tripling my burned calories, that will be 1050 cals! 

Here’s where the numbers get really exciting.  It takes approximately 3500 calories to burn one pound of fat.  It will take only about 3 elliptical sessions to burn one pound of fat doing this method.  If I were to do it with food in my stomach, it would take about 10 trips to the gym to have the same effect.  That’s HUGE!  In the same amount of time, I have burned 3 pounds to 1.

At first, this may be very difficult.  Your body may not like your choice of working out without anything in your belly.  You will get over this quickly.  Make sure to drink water before and after.  Remember to wait an hour after to eat.

Now, what could you do that would dimish your returns?  Establish a predictable routine.  Let me explain…

Going back to the Precor machine.  If you have never used it before, the first few times or even first few weeks it will seem very hard.  Over time it will get easier and easier.  You will notice that your average heart rate for the 35 minutes will decrease.  Your body gets used to it and doesn’t have to work as hard.  You develop musculature around that exercise. 

The key is to change up your routine.  Vary your excerises.  Elliptical one day.  Bicycle the next.  Then treadmill.  Back to bicycle, etc.  The idea is to shock your body.  Your mind knows what is going on, but your body doesn’t.  You will naturally get better at each, but you want to keep your body as off balance as possible.  If you’re like me and you can’t do jarring exercises like stairs, treadmill, and so on; it does get tricky.  But you can keep you workout varied enough to avoid reaching the point of diminishing returns.

When we were young, we didn’t have to be too smart in how we devised our routine.  We could lose weight thinking about exercise.  The older you get, the smarter you need to be to get the results to lose your love handles and show off your flat stomach.

To your Health and Success!

David