I have a new lecture called Stop the Confusion. I think this lecture is important because there seems to be so much confusion these days when it comes to health, fitness and longevity topics. What are the best foods to eat? What really are the causes of disease and obesity? Why are we dying too young? What exercises are best for burning fat? What supplements do we need and which ones are best? How much exercise and rest do we need and on and on. So as I am preparing more information for these lectures I thought I would use some of the topics for your info letters.
I have been asked allot about fat burning exercises lately, so let’s end the confusion about this.
What exercise is best for burning fat?
We are always burning calories even at sleep, it takes energy to digest food, make repairs, grow hair and to breathe, about 60 per hour. We are also always burning a mixture of fat and carbohydrates and sometimes a small amount of protein. At rest and low level activity we do burn a higher percentage of calories from fat than from carbs, up to 70 %, but very few total calories are actually burned. At high level activity the percentage of fat calories being burned goes down but the amount of calories being used goes way up.
The conventional advice about exercising at a lower heart rate to burn more fat probably came from confused aerobic instructors. They thought that the most important thing was to do exercise that burn the highest percentage of fat calories, not realizing that you actually can burn more fat calories and total calories with high intensity exercise.
Do the math
At a high level of exertion, you might be burning as many as 12 calories per minute, or 720 calories per hour. At that level of exertion, 30% of your calories are probably coming from fat. That sounds like a pretty low percentage, but the number of fat calories burned is actually 216 calories (30% of 720). Now at a very moderate rate of exertion you might burn only 5 calories per minute, or 300 calories per hour, and yes at a greater percentage, say 50% of those 300 calories is coming from fat. However 50% of 300 calories is only 150 fat calories. So you actually burned 420 less calories and 66 less fat calories.
A high intensity 30 minute weight training session can also burn more total calories than a low intensity 60 minute aerobic session. You may burn more calories in the hour of aerobics but throughout the day you will burn more from your weight training session. Studies have shown that weight training keeps your metabolism revved up for a longer time after the session than does aerobic exercise .
The bottom line
Don’t get too caught up in the concept of where the calories are coming from during the exercise session, in the long run it doesn’t much matter. I hope I made this clear, I’m sure tired of typing the word calories
Ultimately, to reduce body fat, you want to burn or spend more total calories during your exercise sessions, so you want to work out as hard and as long and as frequently as you can.
For more detailed information on reducing body weight and fat check out :