Weight training is the ultimate fat-fighter: The more muscle you have, the better your body uses the nutrients you consume, and the less likely it is to store your food (even junk food) as fat. See, your muscles store energy (read: calories) in the form of glycogen. When you exercise, your muscles call on that glycogen for fuel. After you exercise, your fat-storing hormones are subdued because your body wants to use incoming carbs to restore the glycogen depleted during your workout. So the carbs you eat after exercise are stored in your muscles, not in your spare tire. Adding cardio turns up the dial on your body's fat-burning power. Follow this easy workout routine to rev up your metabolism and get rid of that spare tire.
Use this interval method. It's short and intense, so it'll save you time. And unlike traditional steady-state aerobic exercise, it'll keep your body burning fat at a higher rate for hours after you've finished. You can perform it on the road or on a treadmill, but if you're packing more than an extra 20 pounds, opt for an exercise bike to reduce the stress on your knees.
1. Start out at an easy pace (about 40 percent of your best effort) and keep it up for 90 seconds.
We're giving you two upper-body exercises, two lower-body exercises, and one core (abs and lower back) exercise. Do them as a circuit—that is, perform one after the other with no rest in between. Working your muscles in this way will allow you to progress in less time, eliminating any excuses, says Todd Durkin, C.S.C.S., author of The IMPACT! Body Plan. After all, this workout doesn't require tons of equipment, but it still provides the fast results you want.
Do 10 to 20 repetitions of each exercise; complete three circuits, resting for 2 minutes between them.