The goal of weight loss is to lose fat. This is accomplished primarily by keeping your daily caloric intake below your own individual daily caloric threshold. Your daily caloric threshold is the number of calories you can consume each day without gaining or losing weight. Most experts are in agreement that 75% of weight loss comes from your diet and 25% from exercise. Experts also agree that aerobic exercise is the best type of exercise for purposes of weight loss. Therefore, the quickest way to lose weight is to:
- Track your caloric intake every day and keep it below your daily caloric threshold and
- To exercise aerobically every day.
In order to optimize weight loss from aerobic exercise, your aerobic heart rate needs to be approximately 60-80% of your maximum heart rate (aka Aerobic Zone). Maximum heart rates differ based on your age. A simple way to determine your maximum heart rate is to use the following formula: 220 less your age. For example, if you are age 46, your maximum heart rate is 174, or just click here to calculate your maximum heart rate: http://www.digifit.com/heartratezones/maximum-heart-rate.asp.
When you exercise aerobically at 60-80% of your maximum heart rate, 50% of the calories you burn will be fat calories and 50% will be carbohydrates. 20 – 60 minutes of exercise in this Aerobic Zone, will produce the best results for losing fat. If you go above 80% (aka Anaerobic Zone), 85% of the calories you will burn will be carbohydrates – you burn less fat. The key to optimizing weight loss with aerobic exercise, therefore, is to keep your aerobic heart rate in this 70-80% range. Using a heart rate monitor during your aerobic exercise will help you monitor your heart rate so that it remains in the Aerobic Zone.