Have you ever found yourself 3/4 deep into a box of Samoas, Thin Mints, or those insanely delicious Peanut Butter Patties—in one sitting? You're not alone. When the sugar cravings come knocking and you have Girl Scout Cookies in the pantry, it's nearly impossible to not eat the whole box. After falling prey to one too many cookies this past month, we reached out to Chelsea Aguiar, trainer at The Fhitting Room, and Ethan Marine, trainer at Barry's Bootcamp Miami Beach, for the best exercises to work off Girl Scout Cookies, or any sweets for that matter.
According to Aguiar, "Your sugar intake directly affects your waistline." She adds that "our bodies are incredibly sensitive to sugars, and when we don't burn them up throughout our day, they get converted into fat and stored as backup fuel." And while avoiding refined sugar altogether is the best-case scenario, Marine has a great tip for those of us who just can't seem to give up sweets. Instead of banishing cookies from your diet, Marine recommends eating them after a workout, as he says, "It's nearly impossible to store excess weight directly after a workout. Your body is much more likely to use that sugar to help restore glycogen stores in the muscle and disperse it through the body where it is needed for recovery, rather than store it as fat."
Although studies show that sugary foods in moderation can be beneficial after working out, this doesn't mean you should eat an entire box of Girl Scout Cookies after a particularly grueling sweat sesh. Instead, try opting for these healthy after-workout treats. And if you want to work off some sweets (or are looking for a good excuse to treat yourself), keep on reading for the best workouts to combat weight gain associated with sugar.
According to Marine, sprints are "the very best way to target your fat-burning zone without causing any significant muscle atrophy" as "[they use] a very short explosive energy system that helps burn off excess sugar intake." If you want to ease into this intense workout, Aguiar suggests doing sprints on the rower, as she says "it is low impact and works the whole body."
If you are serious about burning off those cookies, Aguiar says, "HIIT is your best option." While intense, this workout can be mixed and matched to fit your personality and strength level. She adds that you can mix "dumbbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, ropes, and cardio equipment to create workouts that are fast, a little furious, and always fun." To get started, invest in a GoFit Cable HIIT Jump Rope ($14) and Crown Neoprene Hand Weights ($17) to do some interval training at home or find a local class with the help of ClassPass.
Looking for an at-home or on-the-go exercise? Marine suggests compound-movement workouts such as squats, push-ups, and lateral lunges, as he says "the more muscles involved, the more energy required, the greater calorie burn."
If you're looking to burn off your dessert from last night, grab a pair of Everlast Pro Style Training Gloves ($26) and hit the gym. Like all exercises above, a boxing class demands high levels of physical and mental intensity which can shock your system and boost your metabolism, ultimately "increasing our body's ability to convert food and fats into fuel," says Aguiar.