The beginning of the year is a great time to hunker down and give your training routine that much-needed refresh. If you’re not sure where to start, I have a few tips for you. These 5 techniques are key to building the strong foundation I provide for my celebrity clients—mega stars, including Lady Gaga, Kanye West, and Adam Levine. Add them to your routine to give your workout a fresh spin, and make this year the year that your resolutions really stick.
1. Stay Cool
While many people think that working out in a hot room and dripping in sweat is the key to losing fat, the opposite is actually true. Research shows that exercising in a cold environment might actuallycause you to burn more calories and body fat. A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that even mildly cold temperatures can lead your body to increase heat production and burn more calories. I tell my clients to make sure they stay cool while exercising by training indoors or, if outside, I encourage them to avoid strenuous exercise in hours of peak sunlight, stay in the shade, wear wide-brimmed hats, and keep outdoor workouts brief. I also encourage them to embrace those fall and winter walks and try and sleep in a cooler room.
2. Get Spicy
In addition to packing a flavor punch, adding certain herbs and spices to your diet could increase the rate at which you burn calories. Antioxidant-rich cumin, for example, has been shown to help balance blood sugar levels and promote weight loss by reducing fat cell accumulation. Preliminary research from Tufts University also finds that curcumin, the active ingredient in tumeric, seems to reduce weight gain and slow the growth of fat tissue in mice. When it comes to my clients, Behati Prinsloo loves a spicy kimchi, and Lady Gaga makes amazing Italian meals with garlic. When it doubt, add some spice!
3. Back It Up
While most of us focus on the muscles we see when we look in the mirror, I tell my clients it’s essential we do the opposite. Spend less time training your chest, biceps, abs, and quads, and focus more on your upper back, back of the arms, lower back, and hamstrings. That’s why Ariana Grande looks so amazing on the red carpet in those sleeveless dresses. Training lagging muscle groups is key to creating a well-rounded physique, and, by over strengthening these posterior muscles, you’ll create the illusion of a longer, leaner figure.
4. Pig Out—Occasionally
No one can be perfect all the time; create a place in your diet for “cheat” meals. In addition to giving you a break psychologically, a cheat meal can actually work to rev up your metabolism. How? The extra calories you consume in a cheat meal can help to increase your body’s levels of leptin, the hunger hormone that decreases your appetite. When you’re eating at a deficit (as you would be when dieting), leptin levels dip and your metabolism slows down to save energy. The occasional, planned calorie-laden cheat meal works to boost your metabolism by tricking your body into thinking there’s added fuel to burn. As always, moderation is key. Allowing my clients one or two free meals a week gives them a chance to enjoy life, celebrate birthdays, and indulge in the occasional party drink.
5. Get Out Of The Gym
I tell my clients to hit their step goal each day before they ever step foot in the gym. That way, fitness becomes integrated into their lifestyle—not something they reserve solely for a single sweat session. Kanye totally nails this by sweating it out on the basketball court, while comedian Amy Schumer hikes and explores the great outdoors, racking up steps before our sessions. Whether you walk your pup, hoof it to lunch, take up walking meetings, park further away from your destination, or skip the elevator and take the stairs, there are many ways to get in your 10,000 (or more!) steps a day without hopping on a treadmill or elliptical.
This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.