Kick the kilos in no time at all

MIX IT UP: Combining different exercises, including weight training, is a great way to lose weight.
MIX IT UP: Combining different exercises, including weight training, is a great way to lose weight. Julia_Albul

IF YOU had just 20 minutes a day to burn as much fat as possible, what would you do? Run? Squat? Burpee like there's no tomorrow? Or stare blankly at the treadmill, trying to work out how to get the most out of your weight loss workout?

Us too. So we asked three fitness experts to explain weight loss 101 - just in time for your summer shred. Here's how they do it - and how you can too.

Back away from the fridge

So as much as we would like to think that 20 minutes a day could change our lives, the sad fact of weight loss is that it's 70 per cent about what you eat. Good nutrition is the key to losing weight, says Vision Willoughby director and personal trainer Nick Conroy.

"I wish I could say there was a magic silver bullet - but it really all starts with nutrition,” he said.

"Yes, 20 minutes is great and the more you train the better.

"To lose weight you have to be energy deficient, and because a lot of people aren't sure how much food - even healthy food - they are meant to be eating, they are often in surplus and so end up breaking even, even after they have trained.

"There's no way you can out-train bad eating - you have to work out what your body needs every day and fuel it so you have enough energy to get through the day and think clearly.

"And if you cut carbs at night, that can be a good way to get easy fat burn while we are asleep.”

On the back of healthy eating, Mr Conroy says weight training is a great way to get good results.

"You need at least two structured weights training a week, lifting some heavy stuff and about eight to 12 reps,” he said.

"Pick compound exercises of big muscle groups - something like a lat pull-down that will get bicep and your back as well so you're targeting more muscle groups in a shorter time and getting more bang for your buck.”

Change is key

A combination of exercises in the form of interval training is best for weight loss - and changing it up is key to continued results.

"You get a higher average for fat loss if you're going up, recovering and going up again,” Mr Conroy continued.

"That also burns more energy after you train - and to keep maximising that you would want to do a longer or slower session as well to get your endurance up as well.

"Also, change your program regularly so your body keeps progressing and reacting - you have to keep your body guessing.”

Build up muscle to lose fat

Personal trainer Louise Roche, who lost 25 kilos on her own weight loss journey, said weight loss training involved a combination of factors for best results - including weights.

"I like to recommend cardio training and weight resistance training for my clients as building lean muscle mass which has a positive effect on body fat loss,” Ms Roche told

"Research suggests that High Intensity Interval Training is most effective as a weight loss training technique.

"It's important that regardless of what training you undertake, you seek professional medical advice prior to starting.”

For a gym workout, she recommends a mix of cardio and resistance, including three minutes on the exercise bike at a moderate resistance, cycling 30 seconds slow, followed by 30 seconds fast.

Pull up a park bench

Personal trainer Georgia Welsman said if you're starved for time, the best 20-minute approach to weight loss is right there in your local park.

"We all get time poor but there's no excuse for not fitting in training, when it has such immense benefits to our mental and physical health, especially if you are trying to lose weight,” she said.

"The best approach is to workout with intensity and add some body weight movements.

"The higher you get your heart rate in a short amount of time, the more calories you will burn sitting on the couch that night eating your healthy dinner.

"A combination of weight bearing and cardio-based training has better results for weight loss than just cardio alone, so doing body weight-based exercises is a great place to start.

"Weight-bearing exercise helps in the production of gaining lean muscle, therefore helping the fat burning process.”

Topics:  exercise fitness nutrition training weight loss

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