1. High intensity workouts
The choice here is simple - you can either slog it out, or you can up the intensity. Sure, intense workouts are harder, but the benefits are dramatic.
Researchers who compared high and low intensity workouts found that working at high intensity, it took 51 minutes to burn 500 calories, while at low intensity it took 78 minutes. That's over 50% longer! But there's more.
When they looked at calories burned an hour after exercise, they found that the high-intensity group were burning almost twice as many calories as the low intensity group. Even three hours after the workout, the high-intensity group were still burning 24% more fat.
In another experiment that compared 60 minutes of cycling at a moderate intensity with a second group who preformed intervals (two minutes high intensity with two minutes recovery) they found that the high intensity group burned 160 more calories than the low intensity group over the next 24 hours. Do this five days each week, and you could burn an extra 800 calories per week - that's 12lbs of weight loss in a year.
The lesson is clear - on a regular basis you should include intervals, fartlek sessions, or hill repeats. You'll get fitter, and lose weight.
2. High intensity weight training
It has been long established that weight training has a powerful effect on the metabolism, but research has shown that doing the right type of weight training makes a huge difference.
One hundred minutes of intensive weight training increased fat burning for at least 16 hours - not only was resting fat-burning 62% higher, the resting metabolic rate had also risen by 4%. In other words, following the workouts, subjects were burning more calories and more fat simply sitting around.