Setting goals, planning ahead and aiming big are three of the 10 key motivational hacks that could mean the difference between sticking with or ditching a workout regime.

The team behind TV show How to Get Fit Fast on UK's Channel 4 have revealed the steps that may help people who have fallen off the new year fitness wagon to get back on track, reports the Daily Mail.

Others include rewarding yourself if you achieve a goal, monetary punishments if you fail to go to the gym and going shopping to "dress for exercise success".

Presenter Anna Richardson is also thrilled that experts advise her that walking can burn as many calories as running - which she hates.

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It also reveals that more people are now forgoing high intensity, interval training (HIIT) for low intensity, steady state training (LISS).

"I discovered LISS training – it's the way forward," Richardson said.

"Forget about HIT training, it's now all about Low Intensity Steady State, which is much more suited to who I am and my body type, in a way."

Richardson has since taken up walking with her rescue dog two hours a day: "We showed how walking is as effective as running, in terms of burning calories.

"And for someone like me, who tends to skip breakfast as well, if you walk or exercise on an empty stomach, you burn twice as much fat. That blew my mind."

In the first episode, which airs tonight, experts test fasted exercise versus fed exercise and discovered that their subjects burned double the amount of fat by not eating before a workout as opposed to loading up on grub as fuel.

Bodies get energy from food and the primary source of that energy is carbs but, as we can only store so much of it, when that store has been used up your body will look to its fat stores for fuel instead.

If you've had breakfast your body will prefer to use up the calories from what you've just eaten but if you've had nothing to eat it is more likely to start burning its fat stores.

But if you've reached a plateau the team say that following simple tips and tricks to improve your fitness regime.

1. Plan ahead

By sticking to a workout schedule you're more likely to hold yourself accountable.

Channel 4's figures suggest that it gives you a 91 per cent chance of success compared to 35 per cent of those who "wing it" and go whenever.

2. Aim high

The boffins on the show claim that those who set themselves bigger weight loss goals will shed more kilos over two months than those who set smaller weight loss goals.

3. Red card

Creating a penalty jar for missing a workout or going to the gym can help you keep up with fitness programmes. Photo / Getty Images
Creating a penalty jar for missing a workout or going to the gym can help you keep up with fitness programmes. Photo / Getty Images

You should never feel guilty for missing the gym, but if you're trying to keep up a fitness regime giving yourself a little punishment, like putting money in a jar, if you skip a workout can work.

According to research from Stanford University it said that people who did are more likely to keep up their new fitness programme.

4. Reward yourself

When you do work hard don't forget to give yourself a pat on the back. Studies suggest those who reward themselves with a treat for reaching a goal or losing weight are more likely to turn up at the gym.

5. Phone a friend

Anna says that gym goers looking for an extra boost should "feel the pain and share the gain".

"Multiple studies have found that exercising with a friend or partner will stick at a new fitness plan for longer," she adds.

6. Find a gym 'frenemy'

People who exercise with a 'frenemy' are spurred on to increase their intensity. Photo / Getty Images
People who exercise with a 'frenemy' are spurred on to increase their intensity. Photo / Getty Images

And if you don't want to exercise with your best pal, they recommend exercising with someone better at it than you.

"People who exercise with a 'frenemy' are spurred on to increase their intensity and their time spent working out by 200 per cent."

7. Eat well

One of the best known ways to help stay on track and improve your fitness is by supplementing your regime with a healthy diet.

The programme states: "You can't outrun a bad diet, so give yourself a head-start. Studies show that people who pair healthy eating with exercise are more likely to keep up a fitness regime."

8. Join a team

The show suggests that joining a sports team will help you burn double the calories. Photo / Getty Images
The show suggests that joining a sports team will help you burn double the calories. Photo / Getty Images

It doesn't matter what sport you choose according to How to Get Fit Fast, but research suggests that people who exercise this way can burn double the calories.

9. Go shopping

Although working out in the gym shouldn't be about how you look, according to one US study, if you want the results you should dress the part.

It suggested that just putting on exercise clothes will make you more motivated to exercises, so "dress for exercise success".

10. Warm up

The programme's top tip is the simple warm up. A study found that people are not taking enough time to warm up their limbs ahead of a workout.

"Almost half of us injure ourselves when exercising, which leads to more time spent on the sofa," Anna adds.