Archive for the tag - burn fat

5 Tips: How to Get Rid of a Muffin Top.

Hi Davey,

First off, I just want to say you’re such an inspiration. I read your blog and watch your videos as if they were the bible.

I have been working out and eating as healthy as I can, and I’ve been noticing good results. But how do I get rid of that horrible muffin top? Any tips would be appreciated.

Chris

Dear Chris,

Thanks for the kind words – and for following my blog posts and videos so religiously!

For those of you who don’t know what a “muffin top” is, Wikipedia defines it as:

A generally pejorative slang term used to describe the phenomenon of overhanging fat when it spills over the waistline of pants or skirts in a manner that resembles the top of a muffin spilling over its paper casing.

With the majority of Americans overweight, muffin topping is not an uncommon phenomenon – but there’s plenty that we can do to reduce excess body fat. The general prescription is pretty straightforward: A healthy lifestyle that combines a balanced diet with cardiovascular exercise and strength training. It’s not a gimmick or a quick fix, but – if you put in the time and energy – you will have real and lasting results.

But what are some more specific tips?

  1. Don’t skip breakfast – or any other meals. Many people try to lose fat by cutting meals. Unfortunately, this method backfires. The body will respond by releasing a nasty stress hormone called cortisol. A big and undesirable side effect of cortisol is the retention of fat in the body’s midsection. Cortisol also makes you crave fatty and sugary foods – which, once eaten, can lead to fat gain. Moreover, skipping meals slows down your metabolism, thus resulting in fewer calories burned each day.
  2. Get regular sleep. Cortisol can also be released as a result of insufficient sleep. Ensure that you’re getting 6 – 8 hours of sleep per day, and that your sleep schedule follows a regular pattern.
  3. Cut back on booze. They call it a “beer belly” for a reason. In addition to flooding your body with empty calories, lowering testosterone and causing blood sugar swings, alcohol hinders the process of protein synthesis (i.e., the production of muscle proteins needed to grow your muscles). By preventing muscle growth, you’re not going to make gains at the gym. It also prevents proper muscle function.
  4. Engage in high intensity interval training. Longer cardio sessions aren’t necessarily better. After about 45 minutes, your body will release cortisol as a result of the stress it’s experiencing – undoing all your hard work. Stick to short, effective and efficient cardio sessions. High intensity interval training, as featured in my new workout program, is the best bet.
  5. Clean up your diet. Avoid simple carbs like those found in sugary drinks and processed foods. Complex carbs, like those found in fruits and vegetables, are a much better bet. Eat lean meats, cut back on saturated fats and consume lots and lots of fiber.

Again, I’d caution against trying quick fixes or fad diets to get rid of your muffin top. Such gimmicks often yield no results or are entirely unsustainable. Be in it for the long haul!

Love,
Davey

P.S. In case you missed the big news, this week marked the launch of my brand-new fitness program: Davey Wavey’s Get Ripped Workout! Thank you for making it my most successful launch ever! If you don’t yet have a copy, use discount code “blog” to save 25% before June 7!

What the Fat-Burning Zone Really Means?

Hey Davey!

I have a cardio conundrum. I’m 32 at 174 pounds, and I have a goal of losing weight. Because I can no longer run, it’s been suggested that I walk briskly on the treadmill at a high incline. I tried this today on the fat-burn setting, but the machine kept re-setting the incline and pace to get my heart rate in the “fat-burning zone” for my age and weight class. I continued the workout for 30 minutes, but I barely broke a sweat and didn’t feel like I worked out at all. I desperately wanted to return to the high incline and brisk pace, but I figured the machine knew what it was doing.

Should I stick with what the machine dictates?

Thanks,
Will

Hey Will,

Machines often target two different zones: Fat-burning and cardio.

The cardio zone programs are higher in intensity while the fat-burning zone programs are lower in intensity. When in the fat-burning zone, you burn fewer calories – but the idea is that a higher percent of those calories come from fat. Hence the name. When in the cardio zone, you burn a greater total number of calories.

Sounds like you should continue to work in the fat-burning zone? No. Consider the chart below which represents a 130 pound woman:

Even with a smaller percentage of calories coming from fat, you still burn more fat in the cardio zone.

But really, there’s a fundamental issue with relying on the treadmill to determine your “zone.” Fitness machines use a very simple formula to calculate your target heart rate involving only your age and weight. It doesn’t take into consideration your individuality – and the host of other relevant variables. The result is an overly generalized heart rate which usually isn’t accurate.

If you’re comfortable working out, I’d encourage you to think outside the treadmill’s zones and develop your own cardio routine that leaves you hot and sweaty. And, if you have issues running, it need not involve the treadmill.

Intervals are a great way to burn fat and they can be performed on many different types of cardio machines. I’d recommend trying intervals on a rowing machine. Row at a moderate pace for 90 seconds – and then switch to a sprint pace for 60 seconds. Do this for 15 minutes and you’ll be soaked in sweat. And, you’ll have boosted your metabolism.

You can also incorporate gut-busting intervals into strength training by moving between various exercises at differing speeds.

The bottom line: The zones on cardio machines are misleading and often inaccurate. Don’t give them more credit than they deserve – and certainly don’t base your weight loss program on their calculations.

Love,
Davey

P.S. If you have a fitness question for Davey Wavey, send it on over!