Weight Loss Q'n'A: Alcohol & Fat Burning

Q: What is the best kind of alcohol to drink so that I do not gain fat?

Answer: The easiest answer is none.

Booze contains calories that do not contribute to the improvement of your body in appearance or health.

Always remember, each serving of booze (1 shot of hard liquor, 1 beer, or 1 glass of wine) generally provides 100-150 calories.

Mixed drinks can be a huge source of calories, plus alcohol lowers your inhibitions to food intake. It is a 1-2 punch against fat loss. Staying away from the popular mixed drinks of summertime will help you stay lean despite summer outings.

If you choose to drink, please drink responsibly.

Q: Do I really need to drink Green Tea?

Answer: Absolutely.

First, it will help you cut back on the liquid calories you consume as juice, soda, and whatever you put in your coffee.

And second, the most recent research* from Europe shows that Green Tea helps dieters lose weight and maintain their weight loss while on a low-caffeine intake.

*Westerterp-Plantenga, M.S., et al. Body Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance in Relation to Habitual Caffeine Intake and Green Tea Supplementation. Obes. Res. 13: 1195-1204, 2005.

Q: What is a good fat loss workout for someone that sometimes only has 15-20 minutes per day to workout?

Answer: With all good fat loss workouts, an intense session using weight and interval training is best. You only need about 15 minutes to get in either an interval workout or weight training session. So in this case, just do weights on one day and intervals on the next day.

You can get a lot done with weights in 15 minutes. Beginners will be impressed by the gains they can make and advanced trainees will easily maintain their physique by training with weights for 15 minutes a couple of times per week.

It is easy to put together a weekly training schedule comprised of a weights plus interval session (or doing alternate days of lifting and intervals). A 5-minute warm-up and a 10 minute workout or 10-minute interval session followed by 5 minutes of cool-down will go a long way (when combined with proper fat loss nutrition).

So if you are running behind, don't forego your workout even if you only have 15 or so minutes.
It is all about efficiency of exercise. You are going to have to work hard, but you will be thankful when you still manage to do some type of workout.

A fat loss routine should also have balance. Most people in the gym like to train the chest, biceps, and quadriceps, but by doing so they neglect the muscles that ultimately define their physical appearance!

You have to target the exercises and muscles that don't get a lot of appreciation in regular training programs. These include rowing for the upper back, deadlifts for the entire posterior chain, and reverse lunges for the glutes and hamstrings.

Q: I am a female and I have been doing a lot of running and cardio for fat loss. What can I do to improve my results? I feel like I am stuck at a plateau.

Answer: Drop the slow cardio and switch to interval training. Do a regular warmup, then run at a faster than normal pace for 1 minute. Then walk for one minute. Repeat up to 6 times, running almost as fast as you can during the 1-minute intervals. That will boost your metabolism by putting more turbulence on your muscles.

Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Men’s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit http://www.TurbulenceTraining.com

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