Best workout to burn fat - Best workouts for fat burning
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Updated: May 12,2023





Shed Fat with These 4 Best Fat-Burning Workouts for Men. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who wouldn’t like to lose some body fat and put on muscle. Even if you don’t want to lose weight, most people are interested in shifting their body composition so that they burn body fat and get more shredded with muscle and lean body mass. Moreover, losing fat isn’t just a point of vanity, as excessive body fat increases the risk of metabolic disease, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. When paired with a nutritious, calorie-controlled diet, exercise is a highly effective way to lose weight and burn fat. A workout burns calories and can also impact your metabolic rate. However, when it comes to fat-burning workouts and weight loss, not all forms of exercise are created equal. Certain workouts and exercises will help you torch calories and shift your metabolism into a fat-burning mode more than others, so if you have big weight loss goals, keep reading for a list of the best fat-burning workouts. How Does Exercise Burn Fat? Before delving into the specific exercises and workouts that burn fat, it’s helpful to address what is meant by “fat burning.” When most people say they want to lose weight, they mean they want to lose body fat. “Weight” refers to lean mass as well, which includes muscle, bone, organs, etc., so fat-burning workouts are designed to help you lose body fat. Importantly, exercise can help you lose body fat in several ways, as described below. Exercise Burns Calories. Body fat is essentially stored energy. Every pound of body fat provides approximately 3,500 calories of energy, meaning that when you consume more calories than you expend, you’ll put on body fat at the rate of one pound per 3,500 excess calories. Similarly, you’ll lose fat at the rate of one pound per 3,500-calorie deficit you create. All forms of exercise burn calories, so your workouts and physical activities contribute to the expenditure side of the equation. Whether you choose to walk, swim, lift weights, take a yoga class, or do jumping jacks, you’ll expend a certain amount of calories based on the intensity of the workout, the muscles involved, your body weight and composition, and the duration of the workout. Exercises performed at high intensities and that involve your entire body or large muscle groups will burn more calories than low-intensity exercises or those working isolated muscles. Certain Exercises Burn Fat. Here’s where things can start to get a bit confusing. While all exercise burns calories (and burning calories can contribute to weight loss), exercises performed at a lower intensity actually burn a greater proportion of calories from fat cells while more vigorous workouts are fueled predominantly by glycogen, which is the storage form of carbohydrates. Because of the way the energy production pathways work, fat oxidation slows when the intensity of your workout increases, but this is not to say you’ll ultimately burn more body fat walking versus running, for example. You’ll burn a greater percentage of calories from fat by walking, but the total number of calories burned with a running workout of a similar duration of time will be much higher, so the fat loss will still exceed that of the walk. However, this isn’t to say that low-intensity exercises cannot be effective fat-burning workouts; however, they are less efficient than high-intensity activities. Exercise Increases Your Metabolic Rate. Lastly, exercise increases your metabolic rate. While you certainly burn calories during the workout, depending on the intensity of the workout, you’ll also continue to burn more calories than your baseline rate for several hours after the workout. Known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), this revving of the metabolism is due to your body trying to repair and restore everything back to baseline. Furthermore, over time, a consistent exercise program can increase your overall metabolic rate as long as you’re building muscle because muscle is nearly ten times as metabolically active as fat. Putting on muscle thus helps you torch through more calories day in and day out, which can create that deficit you need to lose fat. Best Fat-Burning Workouts. The best fat-burning workouts either torch a significant number of calories during the exercise, boost your metabolic rate afterward, or help you become a fat-burning machine by putting on lean body mass. Below, we share the four best fat-burning workouts. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) HIIT workouts, which involve repeated bouts of very vigorous exercise and recovery periods, are far and away the best way to burn fat. Research indicates that HIIT workouts burn as many calories as a moderate-intensity, steady-state workout in one-third to one-half the time. Moreover, the high intensity of HIIT significantly increases the EPOC afterburn, revving your metabolism for up to 24 hours after exercise. Great fat-burning HIIT exercises include burpees, box jumps, squat jumps, jumping jacks, jumping rope, boxing/speed bag punching, sprinting, and running stairs. Strength Training. Depending on the exercises you choose and the loads you lift, strength training workouts can burn a lot of calories. Total-body exercises and compound moves like squats, deadlifts, and power cleans, especially with heavy weights, expend a lot of energy. However, the real payoff from strength training workouts comes from the metabolic benefits reaped from building muscle mass. To best support muscle hypertrophy, use heavy weights for fewer reps. Plyometrics. Plyometrics involves explosive movements and rapid force development. You can think of plyometrics as “jump training,” with these plyometric exercises like squat jumps, burpees, and box jumps. These exercises are not only demanding on your cardiovascular system, but also involve large muscle groups. Like HIIT workouts, plyometrics rev your metabolism for hours after the workout is over. Steady-State Cardio. Exercises like running, cycling, spinning, swimming, rowing, hiking, and elliptical training definitely burn a lot of calories, especially if your workouts are long. The afterburn will be less than a more intense workout, but consistent cardio workouts can certainly contribute to generating the calorie deficit you need to burn fat. When doing cardio, going up an incline will also increase your calorie burn. Whether hiking , running, or walking on the treadmill or outside, head for the hills or stairs or bump up the incline to boost the effectiveness of the fat-burning. Final Takeaway. Exercise can certainly help you lose fat and improve your body composition, though the importance of the dietary contribution to weight loss can’t be overstated. The best fat-burning workouts will help you efficiently burn calories and optimize your metabolism for mobilizing stored fat. That said, any type of exercise can support your weight loss goals, so pick an activity you enjoy—or ideally, mix it up.


The 8 Best Exercises for Weight Loss. Estimates state that around half of all American adults attempt to lose weight every year ( 1 ). Aside from dieting, exercising is one of the most common strategies employed by those trying to shed extra pounds. It burns calories, and this plays a key role in weight loss. In addition to helping you lose weight, exercise has many other benefits, including improved mood, stronger bones, and a reduced risk of many chronic diseases ( 2 , 3, 4 ). Here are the 8 best exercises for weight loss. Walking is one of the best exercises for weight loss — and for good reason. It’s a convenient and easy way for beginners to start exercising without feeling overwhelmed or needing to purchase equipment. Also, it’s a lower-impact exercise, meaning it doesn’t stress your joints. According to Harvard Health, a 155-pound (70-kg) person burns around 175 calories per 30 minutes of walking at a moderate pace of 4 mph (6.4 km/h) (5). A 12-week study of 20 women with obesity found that walking for 50–70 minutes 3 times per week reduced body fat and waist circumference by an average of 1.5% and 1.1 inches (2.8 cm), respectively ( 6 ). It’s easy to fit walking into your daily routine. To add more steps to your day, try walking during your lunch break, taking the stairs at work, or taking your dog for extra walks. To get started, aim to walk for 30 minutes 3–4 times a week. You can gradually increase the duration or frequency of your walks as you become more fit. Summary. Walking is a great exercise for beginners. You can do it almost anywhere, it doesn’t require equipment, and it puts minimal stress on your joints. Try to incorporate more walks into your day-to-day activities. Jogging and running are great exercises to help you lose weight. Although they seem similar, the key difference is that a jogging pace is generally between 4–6 mph (6.4–9.7 km/h), while a running pace is faster than 6 mph (9.7 km/h). Harvard Health estimates that a 155-pound (70-kg) person burns approximately 288 calories per 30 minutes of jogging at a 5 mph (8 km/h) pace or 360 calories per 30 minutes of running at a 6 mph (9.7-km/h) pace (5). What’s more, studies have found that jogging and running can help burn visceral fat, commonly known as belly fat. This type of fat wraps around your internal organs and has links to various chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes ( 7 , 8 , 9 ). Both jogging and running are great exercises that can be done anywhere and are easy to incorporate into your weekly routine. To get started, aim to jog for 20–30 minutes 3–4 times per week. If you find jogging or running outdoors hard on your joints, try running on softer surfaces like grass. Also, many treadmills have built-in cushioning, which may be easier on your joints. Summary. Jogging and running are good exercises for weight loss that are easy to incorporate into a routine. They can also reduce visceral fat, which has links to heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. Cycling is a popular exercise that improves your fitness and can help you lose weight. Although cycling is traditionally an outdoor activity, many gyms and fitness centers have stationary bikes that allow you to cycle while staying indoors. Harvard Health estimates that a 155-pound (70 kg) person burns around 252 calories per 30 minutes of cycling on a stationary bike at a moderate pace or 288 calories per 30 minutes on a bicycle at a moderate pace of 12–13.9 mph (19–22.4 km/h) (5). Not only is cycling great for weight loss, but studies have found that people who cycle regularly have better overall fitness, increased insulin sensitivity, and a lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and death, compared with those who don’t cycle regularly (10, 11). Cycling is great for people of all fitness levels, from beginners to athletes. Plus, it’s a non-weight-bearing and low impact exercise, so it won’t place much stress on your joints. Summary. Cycling is a good option for people of all fitness levels. Studies link regular cycling to increased insulin sensitivity and a reduced risk of certain chronic diseases. Weight training is a popular choice for people looking to lose weight. A 155-pound (70-kg) person burns roughly 108 calories per 30 minutes of weight training (5). Also, weight training can help you build strength and promote muscle growth, which can raise your resting metabolic rate (RMR), or how many calories your body burns at rest ( 12 ). One 6-month study showed that simply doing 11 minutes of strength-based exercises 3 times per week resulted in a 7.4% increase in metabolic rate, on average. In this study, that increase was equivalent to burning an additional 125 calories per day ( 13 ). Another study found that 24 weeks of weight training led to a 9% increase in metabolic rate among men, which equated to burning approximately 140 more calories per day. Among women, the increase in metabolic rate was nearly 4%, or 50 more calories per day ( 14 ). In addition, studies have shown that your body continues to burn calories many hours after a weight-training workout, compared with aerobic exercise ( 15 ). Summary. Weight training can help you lose weight by burning calories during and after a workout. It also helps build muscle mass, which can raise your resting metabolic rate. Interval training, more commonly known as high intensity interval training (HIIT), is a broad term for short bursts of intense exercise that alternate with recovery periods. Typically, a HIIT workout lasts 10–30 minutes and can burn many calories. One study of 9 active men found that HIIT burned 25–30% more calories per minute than other types of exercises, including weight training, cycling, and running on a treadmill ( 16 ). That means HIIT can help you burn more calories while spending less time exercising. Furthermore, numerous studies have shown that HIIT is especially effective at burning belly fat, which has links to many chronic diseases (17, 18). HIIT is easy to incorporate into your exercise routine. All you need to do is choose a type of exercise, such as running, jumping, or biking, and your exercise and rest times. For example, pedal as hard as you can on a bike for 30 seconds, followed by pedaling at a slow pace for 1–2 minutes. Repeat this pattern for 10–30 minutes. Summary. Interval training is an effective weight loss strategy you can apply to many exercises. Incorporating interval training into a routine can help you burn more calories in less time. Swimming is a fun way to lose weight and get in shape. Harvard Health estimates that a 155-pound (70-kg) person burns approximately 216 calories per half-hour of swimming (5). How you swim appears to affect how many calories you burn. One study on competitive swimmers found that the most calories were burned during the breaststroke, followed by the butterfly, backstroke, and freestyle ( 19 ). One 12-week study in 24 middle-aged women found that swimming for 60 minutes 3 times per week significantly reduced body fat, improved flexibility, and reduced several heart disease risk factors, including high total cholesterol and blood triglycerides ( 20 ). Another advantage of swimming is its low impact nature, meaning it’s easier on your joints. This makes it a great option for people who have injuries or joint pain. Summary. Swimming is a great low impact exercise for people looking to lose weight. Yoga is a popular way to exercise and relieve stress. While it’s not commonly thought of as a weight loss exercise, it burns a fair amount of calories and offers many additional health benefits that can promote weight loss. Harvard Health estimates that a 155-pound (70-kg) person burns around 144 calories per 30 minutes of practicing yoga (5). A 12-week study of 60 women with obesity found that those who participated in two 90-minute yoga sessions per week experienced greater reductions in waist circumference than those in the control group — by 1.5 inches (3.8 cm), on average ( 21 ). Additionally, the yoga group experienced improvements in mental and physical well-being. Aside from burning calories, studies have shown that yoga can teach mindfulness and reduce stress levels. ( 22 ). Most gyms offer yoga classes, but you can practice yoga anywhere. This includes from the comfort of your own home, as there are plenty of guided tutorials online. Summary. Yoga is a great weight loss exercise that you can perform almost anywhere. Pilates is a great beginner-friendly exercise that may help you lose weight. According to a study sponsored by the American Council on Exercise, a person weighing around 140 pounds (64 kg) would burn 108 calories at a 30-minute beginner’s Pilates class or 168 calories at an advanced class of the same duration (23). Although Pilates may not burn as many calories as aerobic exercises like running, many people find it enjoyable, which makes it easier to stick to over time. An 8-week study in 37 middle-aged women found that performing Pilates exercises for 90 minutes 3 times per week significantly reduced waist, stomach, and hip circumference, compared with a control group that did no exercise over the same period ( 24 ). Other than weight loss, Pilates may reduce lower back pain and improve your strength, balance, flexibility, endurance, and overall fitness level ( 25 , 26 ). If you’d like to give Pilates a go, try incorporating it into your weekly routine. You can do Pilates at home or at one of the many gyms that offer Pilates classes. To further boost weight loss with Pilates, combine it with a healthy diet or other forms of exercise, such as weight training or cardio. Summary. Pilates is a great beginner-friendly exercise that can help you lose weight while improving other areas of your physical fitness. How much weight you can expect to lose from exercise depends on many factors. Starting weight: People with a higher starting weight typically have a higher basal metabolic rate. This is the number of calories your body burns when performing basic life-preserving functions. A high BMR means you will burn more calories during activity and rest ( 27 ). Age: Older people tend to carry more fat mass and less muscle mass, which reduces your BMR. A lower BMR can make it more difficult to lose weight ( 28 ). Gender: Women tend to have a greater fat-to-muscle ratio than men, which can affect their BMR. As a result, men tend to lose weight quicker than women, even if they consume a similar number of calories (29). Diet: Weight loss occurs when you burn more calories than you consume. Thus, a calorie deficit is essential to losing weight ( 30 ). Sleep: Studies have found that a lack of sleep may slow the rate at which you lose weight and even increase your cravings for high calorie foods ( 31 , 32 ). Medical conditions People with medical conditions like depression and hypothyroidism may lose weight at a slower rate ( 33 ). Genetics Studies have shown that weight loss has a genetic component, which may affect certain people with obesity ( 34 ). Although most people want to lose weight quickly, experts often recommend losing 1–2 pounds (0.5–1.36 kg), or approximately 1% of your body weight, per week ( 35 ). Losing weight too fast can have negative health consequences. For example, it can result in muscle loss and increase your risk of conditions like gallstones, dehydration, fatigue, malnutrition, headaches, irritability, constipation, hair loss, and irregular periods ( 36 , 37). What’s more, people who lose weight too fast are more prone to regaining it (37). It’s important to keep in mind that weight loss is not a linear process, and it’s common to find yourself losing weight more quickly when you first get started. Summary. Many factors affect how much weight you can realistically expect to lose with exercise. Most experts recommend losing 1–3 lbs per week. Best workout to burn fat - Best workouts for fat burning



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