Your most popular health and fitness questions answered!

Burning Fat?

What’s the best exercise to burn fat?

There is no one exercise as such, however the best exercises you can incorporate to help blitz your spare tyre are the ones, which burn the most calories by incorporating the largest, and biggest combination of, muscles in the body. Multi-joint movements, also known as compounds, are the best for this. So think lunge and squat variations as well as any standing movements.

What’s the best food to burn fat?

Again, not the glamorous, secret answer you were hoping for, but no one food is the key to burning fat. Incorporating lots of nutrient dense, single ingredient foods will provide a great base for you nutritionally to rid of stubborn fat. Certain products like green tea, cinnamon and chillies are said to have a thermogenic effect (meaning an effect whereby the metabolism is boosted, thus improving the body’s ability to burn calories), however these effects are very negligible. Although, these products do have a multitude of other health benefits so it’s always a good idea to include them in your daily diet.

How can I make time to train 4-5 times a week and make a conscious effort to work towards my health and fitness goals? Right now I feel like I don’t have enough hours in the day!

This is probably one of the most common problems people pose to me. It comes down to several things. Everyone has 24 hours in the day, no more, no less; it’s all about time management and efficiency. When it comes down to it, health should be right up there as a top priority in your day-to-day life, so it deserves time to be set aside. If you feel it is a squeeze to find time, incorporate it into your relationships, whether that means allocating a day where you and your partner go to the gym together and actively encourage one another to achieve your own personal goals or maybe a weekend hike and a healthy picnic with the kids. Think outside the box and try to hit multiple birds with one stone!

How can I overcome my low self-esteem and lack of body confidence? The idea of training in a busy gym petrifies me!

The simple solution to this is to train out of prime time hours. Most gyms will be quiet around 10.00-12.00 and then from 14.00-17.00. Great times to train if you want to avoid the hustle and bustle. The other option is private or in home personal training; this is a service that is popping up more and more so if you really can’t bear the thought of facing the gym yet, invest in a reputable PT that can train you from the comfort of your home and help build your confidence up until you feel ready to push onto the gym floor.

I mentally have the determination to get to the gym but physically I feel exhausted only a few exercises into the session. I have trained consistently the past few months and this has just started to trouble me the past few weeks. Ideas?

Always a tough one when your head and body are sending you conflicting signals! Given you have trained consistently the last few months, I would first want to look at what’s changed the last few weeks with regards to your recovery from sessions? It may be you have started a new diet involving fewer calories, perhaps a new job that you are still in the process of adapting to? Maybe disturbed sleep in a new home? A change in routine can easily throw your body off what it has been used to, and negatively effect recovery. Maximise recovery and expect those high energy levels to return.