What is the best cardio to burn fat?
Your at the gym and you hop on a treadmill. In front of you there is a chart where you can evaluate your fitness by your Heart Rate. There is a zone called Fat Burning Zone and you figure this is what will help me lose weight and burn fat.
Fast Forward to 2 months from now. You've been on the "healthy lifestyle" kick. You've been able to lose some weight but your overall appearance and fitness hasn't really changed. The scale is stuck and you aren't even losing inches. You've been doing your cardio in the Fat Burning Zone, machines come to this conclusion based on the intensity you are doing. It is not that your doing anything wrong; your HR should be in this zone in order to burn fat. Fat Burning zone is a light-medium intensity( think walking). The problem with this and why you stopped seeing results is that your body adapts rather quickly. Doing light-medium intensity cardio will only have you burning fat while you are doing the fitness activity. Your EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption) which is how long you have after you workout to still burn fat, is very little.
What is the best cardio to burn fat? HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). This is a short duration (no more than 20 minutes), high intensity and carb driven type of cardio. Why is HIIT better? You enter into an Oxygen deficit during this type of training which allows you to burn more fat at rest post exercise.
Oxygen Deficit means that your going to have to have excess oxygen, after the fact, to catch up to the metabolic demands the exercise has placed on your body. You can relate oxygen to burning fat. This is a necessary step in using fat as an energy source, because if you are using more oxygen post exercise then you are burning more fat at rest. With HIIT you can continue to burn up to 48 hours post exercise....SAY WHAT?!?
There you have it folks? Would you rather be resting on your couch and burning fat or only burn fat while at the gym working on your fitness?? I think this is an easy one...wink wink.