Something everyone wants to know – “What’s the best way to lose fat?”
Well, I apologize in advance – there is no simple one-size-fits-all easy answer.
However, let’s explore this question!
Every individual responds differently to different training modalities. That being said, “activities that incorporate many muscle groups and are weight bearing use more calories per minute and are therefore better suited for fat loss than non-weight-bearing activities that do not use many muscles.”
You’ve probably heard that low-intensity exercise (think: walking) over a period of time will burn fat. While fat does account for most of the energy expenditure during this type of exercise, when taken to a moderate versus a low intensity, fat will only account for 50% of the energy used (a majority of the other 50% is carbohydrates/glycogen in the muscles).
Here’s the catch: You don’t necessarily need to burn fat during exercise with certain types of workouts – high-intensity emphasized here – the calorie expenditure lasts far longer than the workout itself. Basically, you burn AFTER you work out.
“Much of the fat from adipose tissue (as opposed to intramuscular fat, which is primarily used during exercise) is lost in the hours following exercise. Moreover, the amount of fat lost after a workout depends, in part, on the exercise intensity during the workout. Following high-intensity exercise, the rate of fat oxidation is higher than it is following low-intensity exercise.” (Read more from this article I referenced here!)
You can perform a greater intensity of work if the work is broken up with periods of rest – making interval training a great way to perform high-intensity work and help decrease body fat percentage.
In the end, “Both strength training and endurance exercise have been shown to decrease body fat percentage. However, aerobic exercise appears to have a greater impact on fat loss than does strength training (Ballor et al. 1996; Dolezal & Potteiger 1998; LeMura et al. 2000). A combination of endurance and strength training results in more fat loss than either exercise regimen alone (Dolezal & Potteiger 1998), possibly because clients who perform both activities spend more time exercising.”
So – my personal recommendation, which is backed by my experience with my clients as well as my own personal experience, as well as the research above, is to do both endurance and strength training.
A balanced, fit individual, is one who performs strength workouts as well as cardio workouts – whatever those may look like, be it intervals of jogging/walking, sprinting/jogging; or performing prolonged endurance cardiovascular exercise (steady-state running or walking) AND strength training.
If you have any questions for your personal health and fitness journey, I would love to hear from you! Reply to this email and let me know your thoughts/challenges. I’d love to help you create and follow a plan that takes you to the results you want for the time you invest in your exercise. I want you to be and feel confident in your own body and what you’re doing to keep it so!
Have a great rest of your day!