Must Reads: Why Strength Training Is a Dieter’s Best Friend

Good news for those who lift: Strength training can help you maintain your weight loss by increasing energy burned, suggests a new study. Plus, those who work from home may be more productive…but are they happier? Read on to get the full scoop on these stories and others that have caught our eye this week.

Strength Training for Weight Loss

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Let’s Hear it for Strength Training

Can’t figure out whether you’re better off logging treadmill miles, or hitting the weights to maintain weight loss? Trying to find the right balance between your diet and exercise routines after you’ve shed pounds can be like navigating a complicated web. Luckily, a new study decided to get to the bottom of this complex dilemma.

Researchers tracked three sets of women who recently lost 25 pounds through a strict diet and followed one of three exercise regimens: none, aerobic exercise or weight training. Good news for the lifters: Those who strength trained increased their N.E.A.T. (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) which measures how much energy people use to move even when they’re not in the gym. This extra burn could lead to sustained weight loss. (The New York Times)

13 percent more productive working from home

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13 Percent More Productive at Home

Many East Coasters logged some work-from-home hours this week thanks to Winter Storm Juno. We did, and we were ridiculously productive. Turns out our extra output wasn’t just a fluke: Stanford University professors studied a group of home and office employees for nine months, measuring their productivity. The pajama-working set was found to be significantly more productive, and the entire company was given the option to work from home if they chose. Yet 75 percent of the office workers chose to stay on site. Turns out hanging with your cubemates is more appealing than working in your PJs all day. (Self)

Best Time to Burn Fat

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The Best Time to Burn Fat

Big news: If your exercise goals revolve around burning fat, researchers have finally pinpointed the best time of day for you to sweat. And you better set your alarm! A new study from The Journal Physiology reports that fasted cardio causes our bodies to blast more fat and can help prevent weight gain. Among three test groups, one group remained sedentary, another began strenuous exercise after breakfast, and a third worked out on an empty stomach. The fasted group gained almost no weight and torched more fat during the day; the other groups gained weight. OK, OK, we’ll wake up early tomorrow. (Men’s Fitness)

Ski or Snowboard

Photo: Trysil

The Winter Sport That Burns The Most Calories Is…

‘Tis the season for snow sports! According to Snowsports Industries America, skiing burns about 500 calories an hour to snowboarding’s 450. If you’re advanced and incorporating lots of jumps and tricks into your run, you may get some serious cardio in. But where you’ll feel the burn depends on the sport. The front-to-back movements of snowboarding will hit your quads, calves and lower abdomen; skiing will strengthen your glutes and hips from the piston-like action of your legs. That’s right, your lift ticket may be the key to a better butt. (Outside)

7 Wake-Up Tips from a 4:30 A.M. Riser

You’re still snoozing despite your best efforts to become a morning person this year. Though she doesn’t have kids yet, this blogger gets up at 4:30 AM. Before she even gets to work, she’s already worked out, meditated, blogged and eaten breakfast. She shares her tips and tricks so you can get yourself up and out, too. One tip: A coffee timer definitely helps. (Sweet Life Ericka)

Spring Cleanse Salad

Photo by Renee Blair

Your Cravings Eraser: Being Nice to Yourself?

If you’ve ever tried to eat a little ice cream…but ended up scarfing the whole pint, blame it on “cognitive narrowing.” This science-y term is a fancy way of saying that the short-term pleasure you get from diving into Ben & Jerry’s is easier to focus on than the uncomfortable emotions associated with breaking your diet. Luckily, a simple trick can help you resist the urge to indulge. In a study, participants who heard messages of self-compassion, like “everyone eats unhealthily sometimes” ate less than those who were alone with their thoughts. Be kind to yourself — you’ll love the results! (Sonima)