Leaving the comforts of your gym can be difficult, but outdoor workouts have their own unique set of benefits. Research has shown that breaking a sweat outdoors may be more beneficial than burning calories inside. According to a study published in Environmental Science and Technology, exercising in a natural environment outdoors may improve energy levels and decrease stress more than working out indoors can.
What smells like an exotic vacation and can shrink your waist faster than your favorite Zumba class? You got it: coconut oil. A study of 30 men published in Pharmacology found that just two tablespoons per day reduced waist circumference by an average of 1.1 inches over the course of a month. However, the health benefits of coconut oil are still debated—coconut oil is high in saturated fat. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing; it’s in the form of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), which aren’t processed in the body the same way long chain triglycerides (LCTs). A study published in International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders found that when MCTs replaced LCTs in the diets of overweight women, they were less likely to gain weight.
You know that hitting the recommended five to nine daily servings of fruits and veggies can make it easier to slim down, but that doesn’t make it any easier to accomplish. A simple way to make it happen? Buy a fruit bowl. You’re more likely to grab fruits and veggies over less-healthy options if they’re ready to eat and in plain sight. Katie Cavuto MS, RD, the dietitian for the Philadelphia Phillies and Flyers, suggests keeping washed and prepared veggies like cucumbers, peppers, sugar snap peas, and carrots in the front of the fridge so they aren’t overlooked. Bananas, apples, pears, and oranges fare well as sweet snacks and should be kept on the counter where everyone can see them.
Sitting pretty in British Columbia, Canada, this boot camp vacation is a mountain-lovers dream thanks to stunning views, a wide variety of trails, and abundance of natural hot springs (eh hem, it's also the only mountain-based weight loss program in North America). Not only will you get to do daily hiking, yoga, and a slew of other fitness classes, but Mountain Trek guests also receive a personalized program of massage therapy, detox treatments, and nutrition classes all catered to your specific needs. In other words, if you're looking to stoke your metabolism, there's a fitness, food, and health class for that. Not enough? After you've been a guest once, there's the option to participate in their Adventure Trek program, which takes guests on an international adventure. The locations vary by year, but so far they've covered six to eight miles daily in Japan, the Amalfi Coast, and Bhutan. Passports ready? Check.