Last month, Whoop the fitness wearable company, released an article detailing their data on tens of thousands of athletes — specifically what heart rate zone is optimal for losing weight. You can read the full article here.
I wanted to outline specifically two pieces of the article that I found fascinating: Burning Fats vs. Carbs and Burning Calories.
Burning Fats vs. Carbs
The more active you are, the greater percentage of carbs your body will use. This is because carbs are a less dense form of energy, so when your body needs energy during your workout (or even to repair your muscles after your workout), it will turn to the source that can be accessed easier.
Contrastly, your body will use a greater percentage of fats the less active you are. But don’t be fooled, because your “body requires less energy and burns less fuel as activity decreases, the fat burned is just a larger percentage of a smaller number.”
However, weight loss is not determined by the percentage of fat you burn relative to carbohydrates. Weight loss is simply determined (as we have always thought), by creating an energy deficit — which simply means to burn more calories than you consume.
“The more frequently you exercise, and the harder you push yourself while exercising, the more calories you will burn.”
High heart rates caused by intense exercise burn calories faster than long and slow aerobic activities. Additionally, “more strenuous workouts (including weightlifting) can contribute to losing weight even after you’re done exercising. Your metabolism often keeps working for up to 2-3 hours to repair damage done to your body.”
In other words, constantly vary high-intensity exercises in order to burn more calories.
The more active you are, the greater percentage of carbs you will burn relative to fats. But this relationship isn’t what causes weight loss. Simply burning more calories than you consume causes weight loss.
The most effective way to exercise in order to lose weight then is to perform high-intensity workouts.
Intensity raises the heart rate, which burns calories faster, not to mention the additional calories your body will burn hours after your workout when your back home on the couch.