If you’re primary fitness goal right now is to lose weight (fat), it’s time to listen up!
The “Fat Burning Zone”
Years ago, many fitness experts believed that if you wanted to burn the most body fat, you need to just do moderate intensity exercises for long periods of time. It’s true that exercising in certain heart rate zones will allow you to burn more calories from fat in a workout, but we know that moderate intensity endurance workouts isn’t the only key to fat loss, otherwise every long distance runner would have very low body fat – which just isn’t the case.
The body will burn more calories from fat during low to moderate intensity exercises (Zone Two: 80% – 85% of Heart Rate Max). However, you burn more calories overall in higher intensity exercises (Zone Three: 86% – 90% of Maximum Heart Rate), which is what matters most when it comes to losing excess body fat because of the fat you are able to burn during and after the workout.
During the workout: If you were to burn 250 calories an hour walking, 60% of those calories burned are fat, that would mean that you would burn 150 calories from fat. If you were to burn 950 calories an hour jogging or running, 40% of those calories burned are fat, then you would have burned 380 calories from fat. As you can see, the lower intensity workout isn’t the most effective workout for overall calorie burn and ultimately, fat loss.
After the workout: You don’t need to exercise in high intensity workouts for long periods of time to see results. The wonderful side effect of utilizing higher intensity workouts is that your body is actually burning most of your calories from fat after you are done exercising, because of the body’s increased metabolism.
How To Reduce Body Fat
It all boils down to this: If you want to reduce excess body fat, you need to understand “The Law of Thermodynamics”. You need to expend (burn) more calories than you consume (eat and drink) to lower your overall body fat.
One of the best ways to burn more calories overall is to increase the intensity - not the duration - of your workouts, since it will boost your body’s metabolism and allow it to burn more fat throughout the day.
I know it’s exciting to finally learn about what you need to do to see the results you’ve always wanted, but first – it’s important that you understand how you can effectively utilize your Heart Rate Zones during your workouts to maximize your results. I highly recommend that you consider a workout program such as Interval Training, that will allow you to workout in multiple heart rate zones.
It has also been shown that if you split up your training into two sessions of equal time in a day, you will experience even more calories burned (through increased metabolism after the workout), compared to doing just one training session in a day. This means that two 15 minute workouts that include high intensity training is more effective than one 30 minute workout with high intensity training. If you can split up your workouts to twice a day, then go for it. Otherwise, exercising effectively once a day will still provide the results you are looking for.
If you want to see results, it’s all about consistency and never giving up.