Here are 5 tips to help you get the most bang for your buck.

Tip #1: To lose Fat and Gain Muscle You Must Lift Weights. Sounds obvious? We often separate the two while in fact weight lifting can accomplish both. If you are a beginner, I recommend you hire a competent personal trainer to show you the basics. Stick to compound exercises (exercises that use multiple muscles). Squats, deadlift, pushups, chin ups and shoulder presses are good examples. Include some unilateral movements to address any imbalances you may have. With weight training, you can burn fat, add muscle and have a healthy body all in one session.

Tip #2: My second weapon to killing fat and improving your health is interval training. This one comes in all shapes and forms. You can do it with weights, on a cardio machine or outside. Interval training consists of doing one or multiple activities requiring different speeds and or degrees of effort. A simple example would be to sprint for 20 seconds, walk 10 seconds and repeating that combination for multiple rounds. My key word here is VARIETY. Have fun, mix it up. You can go outside, run up a hill, do 5 pushups, walk back down, do 10 crunches and run back up. Interval training workouts are only limited by your imagination.

Tip #3: Keep steady pace cardiovascular training to your “lazy” days. Jumping on a treadmill or on a stationary bike is often our first choice when we desire to lose weight. Truth be told and at the risk of offending some, it is not an efficient way of working out. You only burn calories while exercising while with weight and interval training you keep burning calories long after you have finished your session. There are 10,080 minutes in a week. If you decide to bike or run at a steady pace for 90 of those 10,080 minutes do you see how it will be hard to be efficient. Just to be clear, I am not against a steady pace of cardio, just don’t make it your sole tool to get in shape. If you have never exercised or have been sedentary for a very long time, starting with a walk or a lower intensity exercise is definitely recommended. As you get in better shape, increase the intensity to keep the workouts challenging.

Tip #4: Trick your body. Your body adapts. What worked for 8 weeks to help you lose weight will eventually stop working. In the training world, we call that a plateau. How do you avoid or even better yet, how do you never encounter plateaus. Simply keep varying your training. Lifts weights, do your cardio outside, play games, try something new like rock climbing, mountain biking or hiking.

Tip #5: Set goals and review them often. A goal that is out of sight will also be out of mind. Put your goals on your fridge or even on Facebook. A great tip I got in the documentary Hungry for Change is to set positive goals. Instead of telling yourself to stop watching television in the evening. Set a goal of going to the gym 5 evenings a week, going for walks or playing squash. Overcrowd your schedule with positive habits and the bad ones will fall off.

Remember my three favorite words: Consistency, start working towards the body you deserve. Efficiency, don’t spend more time in the gym than you need to. Variety: be the maestro of your training and create exciting and challenging workouts to be in the best shape of your life. Have fun. Keep it varied. Listen to your favorite music. Exercise with friends. Train outside, by the lake, at the park. Keep it fresh and you will keep at it. Smile. You are on your way to be the best you have ever been, on your way to get the body you deserve.