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Weight Loss Tips: 5 Ways to Get in Shape this Summer

By Sophie Pettit 13 June 2017
We're all familiar with the generic advice on know how to lose weight and get in shape (drink more water, eat less carbs etc) and for some that works a treat, but sometimes we need to shift it up a gear to shed those stubborn pounds. To help get you on the right track, we catch up with five fitness pros around Hong Kong to find out the secrets to effective and long-term weigh loss that go beyond counting calories.
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1. Take a HIIT Class

[caption id="attachment_93860" align="aligncenter" width="660"] Photo credit: TORQ Cycle[/caption] High intensity interval training (HIIT) has Hong Kong buzzing because of its potential to beat the belly. Fitness instructor Christina Hudson from indoor spinning studio, TORQ Cycle, tells us why. "Incorporating high intensity interval training (HIIT) into your workout schedule, which are usually two minutes or less interspersed with rest intervals, are the perfect addition to a weight loss routine as they don't only rely on oxygen, they also use stored carbohydrates as fuel. Research has shown that they can burn fat more effectively than steady state cardio only routines. "Our TORQ bikes are perfect for these workouts, as you can measure and compare your workout intensities during the class, while recording your performance data in your online personal profile which can be sent directly to your email." Keen to try it out? Take a look at the classes on offer at TORQ.

2. Go Circuit Training

[caption id="attachment_93855" align="aligncenter" width="660"] Photo credit: BoomFit[/caption]

According to Toby Yu, trainer at Hong Kong's first on-demand fitness service, BoomFit, hours of running or jogging fails to achieve what circuit training can in a much more efficient way.

"The purpose of circuit training is to burn fat, become toned, build functional muscle, and speed up metabolism. A circuit includes bodyweight workouts, resistance workouts, and cardio based workouts, which shouldn't take more than 10 to 15 minutes, yet burn as many calories as an hour of jogging or a regular workout consisting of four to six exercises at the gym. A simple example of an effective circuit would be four to six rounds of 10 burpees, 10 bodyweight squats, and 10 push-ups done in a continuous manner with very little to no rest.

"Exercising and weight loss is also about consistency. The preferred frequency of exercise should be three to four sessions a week at 30 minutes to an hour per session (e.g. two to three circuits per workout, three to four exercises per circuit, each circuit consisting of three to four rounds). As long as the individual keeps up the consistency and intensity of their workouts, visible results should be observed within three to four weeks of training."

Want to hit the circuit? Check out the services on offer at BoomFit.

3. Work those Muscles

[caption id="attachment_93934" align="aligncenter" width="660"] Photo credit: Primal Strength[/caption] No pain, no gain - right? If you want to shape up, you've got to beef up, says Ian Wilson, director and head coach at Primal Strength. "We are big advocates of focusing on larger muscle groups during workouts by including variations of squats, deadlifts, and chin ups. Apart from the acute effect of burning massive amounts of calories (when using compound lifts, not the single-joint approach) during the session itself and the associated recovery process, strength training also elevates anabolic hormones which increases fat burning. "We strongly believe that for optimal health you should make resistance training your focus, but we’re not against cardio - just against steady state cardio forming the only foundation of your program. Improving body composition and achieving sustainable fat loss can only be achieved with a significant amount of dedication and time. Working with exercise professionals who are passionate and knowledgeable can bring a sense of clarity to your training regime in assisting you with your goal." Keen to give it a go? Check out what Primal Strength can offer.

4. Be Individual

[caption id="attachment_94103" align="aligncenter" width="660"] Photo credit: Studio Fitness[/caption]

Everyone is unique, and therefore their fitness regime should be too, according to Acton, trainer at premier gym, Studio Fitness.

"Going into the gym and hitting the typical three sets of 10 reps will only get you so far. You need to vary your overall training volume and frequency so that you are optimising your training time and stimulating all of your muscle fibres. Fitness classes should be tailored to your level and the class schedule should be designed as a personal training program in order for you to achieve your individual goals, like the service we provide at Studio Fitness. From spin bikes to 300kg deadlifts, we cater to all extremes in all divisions of fitness to find what best suits each individual."

See what Studio Fitness can offer you.

5. Avoid Eating Out

[caption id="attachment_94088" align="aligncenter" width="660"] Photo credit: Eatology[/caption]

As well as being a firm believer in the HIIT approach and strength training, head coach at Orangetheory Fitness, Ken Roos, thinks that restaurants have a lot to answer for.

"As tempting as it is in a city like Hong Kong, eating in a social environment can be disastrous to your weight loss goals. Try to avoid eating out when possible, but if you do then stick to lower carb and higher protein options. Include lots of vegetables in your diet, as they are very nutrient dense without being calorie dense, and are filling so you won't crave the things that would be counter productive to weight loss. "Also, try and plan ahead for the day - meal prep companies are great for this, and there are many to choose from in Hong Kong that deliver right to your door-step every morning. I use Eatology and pack their meals for the day in my 6-pack bag. "Finally, don’t let yourself get hungry - snack frequently to avoid becoming so hungry that you binge on your cravings, and when you do snack, eat healthier options - a go-to for me is hard-boiled eggs. If you're a bread lover, then avoid the bakeries, they are everywhere and they are super convenient, but will most definitely set a person back in the quest for shaping up for the summer." Find out more about Orangetheory Fitness.

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BONUS Tip: No Carbs after 6pm

Love your rice and pasta? Better get your carb fix early, according to Toby Yu of BoomFit.

"A diet tip that is very effective for weight loss is zero carbs after 6pm or 6 hours before bed. Substitute carbs for healthy fats found in fish oil, avocados, nuts, and fat from meats. When ingesting carbs, always choose complex carbs, such as brown rice, whole wheat pasta, and whole wheat bread, over simple white carbs like white rice, regular pasta, and white bread. Complex carbs have more micronutrients and protein and are much more sustaining, while white carbs add water weight to the body and cause bloating.

"Also, keep a healthy and set schedule and try to limit alcohol consumption to once every two weeks, as consuming alcohol, especially heavily, negatively affects the hormonal balance in your body, resulting in unwanted weight gain and muscle loss as well as organ damage and other health issues."


Read more! Explore the rest of our Sports & Fitness section.

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Sophie Pettit


Sophie is always on the lookout for a great story and her next big adventure and loves nothing more than discovering the city’s hidden gems—and most delicious cocktails. When she’s not exploring new places, she’s off travelling and ticking countries off her bucket list.