Things You’ll Need:
- One full deck of playing cards
- Enough space to lie down
Pop quiz: Two women go walking. One finishes quickly; the other takes her time. They each burn about 400 calories. So who sheds more belly fat? The obvious answer: It's a tie. But a surprising new study shows that the one speed walking actually loses more.
Researchers from the University of Virginia found that women who did three shorter, fast-paced walks a week (plus two longer, moderate-paced ones) lost 5 times more belly fat than those who simply strolled at a moderate speed 5 days a week, even though both groups burned exactly the same number of calories (400) per workout. Those speed walking also dropped more than 2 inches from their waistlines, pared about 3 times more fat from their thighs, shed 4 times more total body fat, and lost almost 8 pounds over 16 weeks--all without dieting!
The improvements didn't stop there. The high-intensity exercisers lost about 3 times more visceral fat--the dangerous belly fat that wraps around organs such as the liver and kidneys and has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. "Vigorous exercise raises levels of fat-burning hormones," says lead researcher Arthur Weltman, PhD, director of the exercise physiology laboratory at the university. It also increases afterburn (the number of calories your body uses postexercise as it recovers) by about 47% compared with lower-intensity workouts.
So how do you make all this science work for you? Start with our 8-week progressive walking plan, which includes both shorter, high-intensity workouts and longer, moderate-paced ones. Add in the Flat Belly sculpting moves to firm your ever-shrinking middle. In just 2 months, you could walk off 1 or 2 sizes--without dieting!
Then celebrate your success by joining Team Prevention to walk a full or a half marathon. The 8-Week Plan will prime you for the challenge while flattening your belly, and our Walk-a-Marathon (or Half) Training will keep you on track to get in your best shape possible.
Chef Rocco DiSpirito understands the allure of fast foods. Quick and flavorful, fast foods are a staple in many a standard American diet. But cheap food comes at a big price. Fast food is filled with calories and saturated fat, let alone the unnecessary sodium and other additives.
"Some of the worst food you can eat is fast food," Rocco told the Biggest Loser cast during a recent episode.
Chef DiSpirito shared these shocking stats:
* A typical stuffed crust meat pizza has 490 calories, 27 grams of fat, 1,570 mg of sodium. That's per slice. A whole pie can run 4,000 calories.
* A typical stuffed burrito with the guacamole, the sour cream and the cheese has more than 1,100 calories, 47 grams of fat, and more than 2,600 mg of sodium.
* A typical triple cheeseburger has 1,230 calories, 82 grams of fat, and over 1,500 mg of sodium. And if you add fries, fat in a typical cheeseburger with fries is 110 grams.
Don't let the allure of fast food muck up your healthy eating plan. If you must eat burgers and tacos, cook healthier versions at home using leaner ingredients like bison instead of beef and yogurt instead of sour cream.
Next time you drive by your former favorite fast food joint, do your body good, keep driving.
Biggest Loser Club fitness expert Michael Scholtz knows that many of us get our physical activity in the evening hours. Scholtz also knows exercising too close to bedtime can make it difficult to sleep. He shares these tips with BLC nighttime exercisers who need their sleep:
1) Go to bed well hydrated. Drink plenty of water during the afternoon and early evening.
2) Avoid bright light in the evening. Bright light interferes with melatonin production, a hormone we produce that helps us sleep.
3) Avoid eating two hours before going to sleep if possible.
4) Use white noise. The sound of a spinning fan can mute out harsher background noises and keep you at a deeper sleep level.
5) Take a relaxing bath or shower. Light candles if that calms you.
6) Exercise earlier. If your schedule is flexible, hit the gym as early as possible.
7) Avoid stress. Don't pay bills or watch scary movies before hitting the hay.8) Try chamomile tea. Be sure to avoid any caffeinated beverages before bedtime.