What Is The Best Heart Rate Zone To Burn Fat
Wearable technology has taken over the fitness industry over the last few years, and people are using this technology daily to track various fitness metrics. One popular metric is heart rate tracking. Entire fitness franchises have been built on HR tracking and staying in the infamous fat burning zone. But what actually is the best heart rate zone for burning fat?
First, lets define the different heart rate zones. We can categorize different heart rate zones based off a percentage of your maximum heart rate. Your max heart rate is the greatest number of beats per minute your heart can possibly reach during all-out strenuous exercise. To find your estimated maximum heart rate, we use a formula called the Fox Formula, 220 age = Maximum Heart Rate . For example, if you are 45 years old then, 220-45 = 175 estimated maximum heart rate. Using this data, we can then establish different heart rate zones based off of a percentage of our estimated maximum heart rate.
The optimal heart rate zone for burning fat is generally considered to be around 70% of your maximum heart rate. Above youll see a chart defining the 6 different heart rate zones based off of a percentage of your MHR and the goal associated with each HR Zone.
While the fat burning zone isnt the most useful for losing weight, it is extremely important in building endurance, aiding with recovery, and also improving cardiovascular health. Think longevity.
What Is The Target Heart Rate For Burning The Most Fat
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Theres no bigger factor determining the results of your workouts than intensity. But how can you tell if youre exerting the right amount of effort for your specific goal? One method is identifying your target heart rate for that objective, and exercising to that intensity. Read on to find out how.
What Burns Fat Overnight
Lose weight while you sleep with these 5 amazing fat burning
- Greek yoghurt protein shake. If you are someone who works out, then having protein before bedtime is a good idea.
- Chamomile tea. Weve all heard how chamomile tea helps with better sleep.
- Cinnamon tea.
- Youre going to the bathroom more or less frequently.
- Your blood pressure is coming down.
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Target Heart Rate Zones
Your resting heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute while at rest. You can determine this rate by placing your index finger on your your wrist or neck and counting the beats you feel for 60 seconds. A healthy RHR is usually between 60 to 100 BPM.
Your maximum heart rate , or the maximum number of times your heart can beat in a minute, is calculated by subtracting your age from the number 220. For example, if you are 30-years-old, your MHR is 190 .
When it comes to exercise, particularly cardio exercise, there are different heart-rate zones that equate to different levels of intensity. These levels are based on MHR and determine which energy systems your body uses during exercise, directly affecting how many calories you burn.
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Intense Heart Rate Zone
This zone feels like when your PT tells you to push through the last 30 seconds of your 3 rounds of HIIT!
In this zone, youre working out at about 90 to 100 percent of your maximum heart rate.
Youll probably only be able to stand this zone for a few minutes. Your bodys respiratory and blood system will be working as hard as possible, and youll be panting and unable to talk.
Doing interval training in this zone will make it easier for your body to burn both carbs and fat. Youll also continue to burn calories after the workout is over, and your metabolism will temporarily increase.
If youre new to exercising or havent done much high-intensity workouts, you might find that you cant handle this intensity at all. So its important to listen to your body and take it easy.
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Chart And How To Calculate
There is an equation for figuring out a persons maximum heart rate and fat burning heart rate. The fat burning heart rate is based on the maximum heart rate.
It is important to note that these equations are not suitable for determining safe heart rates for children.
To calculate the maximum heart rate, a person should subtract their current age from 220. For example, a 40-year-olds maximum heart rate would be 180 beats per minute.
To calculate the fat burning heart rate zone, a person should determine the upper and lower limits. The upper limit is 70% of the maximum heart rate. The lower limit is about 50% of the maximum heart rate.
Using the same example, a 40-year-olds fat burning heart rate is between 90 and 126 beats per minute.
People interested in increasing their endurance and cardiovascular strength often train at higher levels. Sometimes called the cardio zone, people training for performance increases often train at 7085% of their maximum heart rate.
The following chart shows the breakdown of heart rates based on a persons age.
How To Find Your Fat
There is a perfect heart rate zone tailored to each individual, which burns the most fat.
Stay below this zone and you arent maximizing fat burn. Go above this zone and youre only burning the food in your stomach, not getting rid of your body fat. And you might be surprised to learn the intensity level is fairly low, and you should aim to workout slightly longer at that lower intensity.
Max Heart Rate = 220 your age x .66
To use heart rate in your own training, start by calculating your maximum heart rate. Multiply your age by .66. Then, subtract that number from 220 and you have your estimated max heart rate. For example, if youre 30, your maximum heart rate is roughly 200. This is the most accurate way to calculate max heart rate without using technology, according to a 2017 study published in the Chinese Journal of Sports Medicine.
Once you know your max heart rate, you can calculate heart rate zones. These zones are designed to give you an idea of how hard to work during your training session. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends sticking to 6476% of your max heart rate for moderate-intensity activity in your fat-burning zone.
Endurance athletes who dont want to push themselves should stay in this range. Most weightlifting workouts stay in this range as well. For a 30 year-old with a max heart rate of 200, the range extends from 128152 beats per minute.
Read Also: How To Calculate Target Heart Rate Zone
Increase Your Iron Intake
Iron is an important mineral that has many vital functions in the body.
As with other nutrients such as iodine, a deficiency in iron may impact the health of your thyroid gland. This small gland in your neck secretes hormones that regulate your metabolism .
Multiple studies have found that low levels of iron in the body may be associated with impaired thyroid function and a disruption in the production of thyroid hormones (
Unfortunately, many people dont get enough iron in their diets.
Women, infants, children, vegans and vegetarians are all at a higher risk of iron deficiency.
Be sure to incorporate plenty of iron-rich foods in your diet to help meet your iron needs and maintain your metabolism and energy levels.
You can find iron in meat, poultry, seafood, fortified grains and cereals, leafy green vegetables, dried fruits and beans.
Summary A deficiency in iron may be associated with impaired thyroid function and can cause symptoms like fatigue and shortness of breath. One study found that treating iron deficiency aided in weight loss.
The Link Between Heart Rate And Fat Loss
During a workout or ride, your body requires more energy. Thus, your heart pumps faster and harder to send oxygen to your muscle cells to break down more glycogen and fat to fuel your muscles.
While 1 gram of carbohydrate contains 4 calories of energy, 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories. This makes glycogen a less dense form of energy storage that is readily broken down into glucose, as compared to fats.
As such, glycogen is your bodys first source of energy during exercise. Since high-intensity workouts require more energy quickly, you tap on glycogen rather than fat in your body for fuel. Your body only taps on to the next fuel, fat, when you start to run out of glycogen.
Workouts That Get You In The Zone
Which types of exercise will help you achieve your target heart rate so you can torch serious calories and get closer to your weight-loss goals? You’ve got plenty of options, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health:
Moderate exercise: 50 to 70 percent of your MHR
- Walking at 4 mph
- Heavy cleaning
- Playing badminton
- Playing tennis singles
- Playing soccer or basketball
Either a moderate- or vigorous-intensity workout will lead to calorie burn. But since vigorous workouts are harder, they enable you to burn more calories in less time. You can burn a lot of calories at a moderate pace too you’ll just need to extend the length of your workout, Richards says.
For instance, a 150-pound person will burn around 660 calories jogging at a fairly vigorous pace of 5.5 mph for an hour. To burn the same number of calories walking at a moderate pace, the person would need to walk for close to two hours, according to the AHA.
Why Is Target Heart Rate Important
Your heart is like a tachometer for your body. Metaphorically encircling this gauge are five heart rate zones, the low end of which reflects very light activity , explains Trevor Thieme, CSCS, director of fitness and nutrition content for Openfit.
At the highest RPMs you approach your maximum heart rate. The more work youre able to do at the upper reaches of this level, the more efficiently youre able to utilize your bodys cardiorespiratory and metabolic processes to perform activity.
Somewhere in the middle of all this is your target heart rate, which fluctuates depending on your goal and your level of fitness.
Using a target heart rate is usually the easiest and most accurate way to gauge intensity compared to other methods, because how much you sweat or how hard you think youre working are very subjective, says San Diego-based trainer Matt Pippin, CSCS. However high or low, your heart rate is trackable and leaves nothing to debate.
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Give Intermittent Fasting A Shot
Intermittent fasting is a diet pattern that involves cycling between periods of eating and fasting.
Research shows that intermittent fasting may help enhance both weight loss and fat loss.
One review looked at the effects of intermittent fasting, including alternate-day fasting a method that involves alternating between days of fasting and eating normally.
They found that alternate-day fasting over a period of 312 weeks reduced body weight by up to 7% and decreased body fat by up to 12 pounds .
Another small study showed that eating only during an eight-hour window each day helped decrease fat mass and maintain muscle mass when combined with resistance training .
There are several different types of intermittent fasting, including some where you eat only on certain days of the week and others where eating is restricted to specific hours of the day.
Popular types of intermittent fasting include Eat Stop Eat, the Warrior Diet, the 16/8 method and the 5:2 diet.
Find a variation that fits in with your schedule and lifestyle and dont be afraid to experiment to find what works best for you.
Summary Intermittent fasting has been shown to reduce body weight and body fat and may help preserve muscle mass when combined with resistance training.
How To Exercise In Your Fat Burning Zone
The first way of checking if you’re exercising in your fat burning zone would be checking your pulse with your fingers on your neck or on your throat.
You have to find the exact spot on your neck, right below your jaw on the left or the right side of your throat.
I don’t recommend you try to feel your own pulse on your wrist, because finding the right spot on your wrist can be even trickier than on your neck.
Once you find the pulse, you need to count the beats for exactly sixty seconds .
If the number of beats falls somewhere in between the low and the high end of your fat burningzone, you are good.
If you counted too few beats you need to speed up the pace.
If you counted too many beats you need to slow down.
While this is a free method, it is not really practical, because you will probably need to stop exercising, just to be able to check if you were exercising in the fat burning zone.
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Your Expert Guide To Target Heart Rate And Weight Loss
Climb on an elliptical machine or check your wearable fitness tracker, and youll likely find an array of settings aimed at helping you optimize your workout. Toggling through the menu, you might see a prompt to pick a fat-burning or cardio mode for your sessionand then scratch your head in confusion. Whats the difference? And is one mode more effective than the other at helping people lose weight?
These labels, which reflect workout intensity and are usually tied to heart rate, can be puzzling, acknowledges cardiologist Nieca Goldberg, MD, medical director of the Womens Heart Program at New York University. Read on as Dr. Goldberg and other leading experts decode what each zone really means in terms of weight loss, fitness, and healthand offer evidence-backed reassurance that the best workout is the one that works for your life.
The difference between fat-burning and cardio zones
First things first: Your body needs fuel for physical activity, whether youre biking, swimming, or rearranging living room furniture. That fuel comes from two main energy sources: stored fat, or stored carbohydrates in the form of glycogen released from muscle tissue.
In marketing-speak, the fat-burning zone is generally billed as the setting for people hoping to lower their percentage of body fat. Meanwhile, the cardio zonein which the body uses glycogen for energyis billed as a way to boost cardiovascular endurance.
How maximum heart rate factors in
The Truth About The Fat Burning Heart Rate Zone
Reality Fat Burning Heart Rate Zone: Theres No Target Heart Rate for Weight Loss.
While there is a specific heart rate zone for working out that will technically burn more fat than others, it is not necessary to try to target this HR zone in order to lose weight.
Below well explain a bit about how heart rate zones work, what the fat burning HR zone is, what its useful for, and why when it comes to weight loss and exercise, what really matters is burning calories.
WHAT IS THE FAT BURNING HEART RATE ZONE?
When training, athletes often aim to work out at certain percentages of their max heart rate in order to accomplish different goals. The various percentages are referred to as heart rate zones. For the most part, the optimal heart rate for fat burning is considered to be about 70% of your max HR.
HOW THE FAT BURNING ZONE WORKS
Your body gets most of its fuel by burning a combination of fat and carbohydrates. The more active you are, the greater percentage of carbs it burns as opposed to fat. Why is this the case?
Carbohydrates are a less dense form of energy than fats, which makes them easier to break down. When the intensity level of your exercise increases, your heart rate rises and your body needs energy more quickly, so it turns to the source that can be accessed faster.
HEART RATE ZONE FOR WEIGHT LOSS?
We all know exercise promotes weight loss, and what you have to do is burn calories.
ELEVATE YOUR HEART RATE TO BURN CALORIES AND LOSE WEIGHT
Use The Manual Setting On Workout Machines
You can still use the zone settings on a treadmill or stationary bike as a guide, but dont zone out after that. Assess how you feel during your workout. Is it too hard? Too easy? Manually change speed and elevation to challenge yourself. Hint: If you can carry a conversation while moving, bump up the intensity!
How Do You Measure Your Heart Rate
The best places to measure your own heartbeat are:
- Top of the foot
- Inside of your elbow.
The simplest way to measure your heart rate is usually on your wrist or neck. Youll need a watch with a second hand or a stopwatch.
At the start of a minute, start counting your heartbeats. Count the number of heartbeats you feel in a minute and, there you have it: your heart rate.
When you are at rest and calm, your heart rate is called your resting heart rate. The other zones are moderate heart rate, target heart rate, and maximum heart rate as youd expect, the more you move, the more your heart will beat, pushing you from resting to moderate, then target to maximum.
Your target heart rate, which well describe in detail in the next section, is your ideal heart rate to reach your fitness goals and depends on your age, sex, activity level, and resting pulse.
The target heart rate is the root of the idea of a fat-burning heart rate.
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