We have all heard about it the “Fat Burning Zone” and tried our damnest to stay under 45% of maximum heart rate to make sure that the majority of the calories that we are burning our coming from the fat stores in our thighs. Now what you may not know is that you are cheating yourself out of making a more effective use of your time in the gym. How so? It’s simple math. It isn’t so much the type of calories that you burn but the quantity. At lower intensities your body requires less O2 to convert stored calories into energy, which results in less calories being burnt. Now with higher intensities the amount of calories being converted into fuel increases. Indeed, physiological data supports the fact that as exercise becomes increasingly intense, less fat is burned per calorie but more total fat, and calories are burned overall. So what is the best option when it comes to fat loss? Let’s take a look at an example:
Example 1: John is exercising for 30 minutes at an intensity of 50% of max heart rate which is equal to 1.5 L of oxygen per minute. The body burns an average of 5 calories per liter of oxygen consumed.
1.5 L x 5 x 30 minutes= 225 calories
Example 2: At 70% of max heart rate
2.1 L x 5 x 30 minutes= 315 calories
Example 3: Now working at a lower intensity 50% of the total calories burned come from fat, in this case 225 x .50= 113 are fat calories
Example 4: At a higher intensity above 50% of max heart rate 40% of calories burned come from fat, in the second scenario 315 x .40= 126 are fat calories.
In the end it’s not the percentage of fat per calorie but the total calories expended that will get you to your goal of weight loss quicker. Need help with reaching your weight loss goals? Check out my free San Diego weight loss program.