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What are the best exercises for burning calories and fat?

Aerobics exercise or resistance training?

To have a positive effect on fat burning, aerobic exercise should be performed at least 3 times a week for at least 20mins at a time at approx 60 - 70% of the working heart rate.

This has always been the advice given, but new research shows that it is just as advantageous to get short bursts of energy throughout the day and thus accumulate 20mins of exercise. Furthermore this should be done everyday and not just 3 times a week. Remember lots of other factors come into play in the energy balance equation so get active - it is all good. Don't get caught into thinking you must do formal exercise try to think in terms of activity.

Important point:

But aerobic exercise does burn more fat than anaerobic exercise, but that does not necessarily mean it is the best type of exercise for weight loss. Studies have shown that weight training will increase the body's fat free mass and therefore more calories will be burnt

If aerobic exercise is taken with a calorie-restricted diet the body will also loose some lean muscle, reducing the BMR! What a pain!! So the best combination has to be a mixture of weight training and aerobic exercise.

Fat burning during exercise

When the body needs energy it can obtain it form carbohydrate, fat or protein. Although proteins tend only to be used during very long bouts of exercise when glycogen stores have been depleted. Fats and Carbohydrates are the main sources of energy.

The percentage of carbohydrates to fats being burnt will depend on the following:

Type of exercise
Intensity of exercise
Duration of exercise
Fitness of individual
Diet of individual

Duration - Aerobically exercising the person will burn more fat and the body will try to conserve its carbohydrate stores

Fitness - As the body becomes fitter it will become better at burning fat and better at conserving its energy stores. It will be able to break down the fat stores earlier in the workout, hence using less carbohydrate. By using less carbohydrate the body will tire less readily

Intensity - As intensity increases the percentage of carbohydrate increases


To loose about 1lb a week you need to have an energy deficit of about 500Kcal a day, so try to increase activity by 250 Kcal a week and also try to reduce your Kcal intake by 250 Kcal.

Extra calories from exercise

Quota) to cover your needs for normal day-to day activity.

How many calories you use whilst doing an activity is directly related to your consumption of oxygen - so activities that make you breath faster/deeper will use more calories than those during which you continue to breath fairly normally.

For example, 30 minutes of jogging will use more calories than 30 minutes of lifting weights. The other side of the coin here is that lifting weights regularly will develop your muscle tissue, and muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue all of the time - even when you are asleep!