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Don’t ruin all the good work you have been doing all year with your weight, during the holidays! The holidays and fattening food go hand-in-hand. Thanksgiving and the leftovers can last a week or two Before you know it, it is Christmas followed by. New Year. Studies show that about 75% of a person’s annual weight gain happens between Thanksgiving and the end of the year. How can you avoid gaining weight during the holidays?

Have a Healthy Meal Before you Party

The first way to avoid gaining weight during the holidays is to make sure you have a healthy meal before arriving at a party or other event that includes food. Feel free to go crazy on Thanksgiving. A single day won’t ruin your waistline. For other holiday events, fill yourself up with healthy food first. Eat fruits and veggies before you go for your event. Your stomach will be full of healthy food, and you’ll be less likely to eat junk food.

Focus on Mingling Not Eating

The second way is to focus on things other than food. When attending a party, spend your time and attention on the other attendees. Mingle and socialize. Find a healthy snack and a bottle of water. Talk and listen to others, get your mind busy at the events you attend so that food and alcohol won’t do all your talking for you. If they do, you will eat and drink and gain weight!

Stay Active!

The third way is to maintain your normal relentless weight loss Strategic Individual Plan Action(SIPA) and exercise regimen. Walk every day or do your daily jump rope! An occasional lapse won’t do any damage, but it’s surprisingly easy to gain 10 pounds or more within 6 weeks if you stop watching what you eat or exercising. If you like going to the gym or playing sports like golf, tennis, or swimming, keep at it.

Eat Slowly

The fourth way is to eat slowly. The slower you eat, the less you will have eaten when your body finally decides it’s full. The easiest way to overeat is to eat quickly. Chew your food slowly and completely. Talk between bites. Drink plenty of water and eat salads with your meals. This will also fill your stomach. Give yourself time to register your first meal, before you add a second. If you don’t do this you will end up eating too much!

Everything in Moderation

The fifth way is to everything in moderation. Plan ahead this year. It’s easier to avoid gaining weight than it is to lose weight. Enjoy your friends and family during the holiday season. Excessive eating isn’t a prerequisite to having a good time. Focus on making healthy choices with moderation. You can avoid holiday weight gain by making smart decisions and taking action. This is part of the process of self-regulation and relentless weight loss!

This post was written using content by Chio Ugochukwu.


There might be a solution you have not thought about yet if you think about all the numerous options as to how you could respond to the COVID-19 epidemic taking your gym classes or personal training appointments outside your house. Even though the choice might not work for everyone, it is essential to check any municipal government, logistical, or some weather related restrictions, especially if your city has sheltered in place restrictions.

Where to Go

There are numerous parks and open spaces that remain open for public use. You might be able to find one where you can hold a training session outside. Bear in mind that every city is different, and you are going to be required to check with your local government for their recommendations, permitting restrictions, and class size restrictions.

If a park does not work out for you, take the first three parking spots in front of the gymnasium and turn it into a mini classroom. Every session allows a small group of people to work out while maintaining a six-foot space as per the social distancing requirements.

What to Take

Keep it extremely simple. Just focus on your full body and bodyweight movements that do not really require a lot of equipment. If you do decide to use the equipment, think about assigning every person with specific equipment to limit the exposure. It is also important to remember to have strict cleaning protocols in place.

Other Things to Consider

Communicate With Your Customers

If you decide to offer an outdoor fitness group spin class, it is really important to communicate it with your clients. After all, there is simply no point in providing a class that no one comes to. Post everything on your social media accounts and also send emails to your clients using Marketing Suite to ensure they know that there are classes available for booking. If you are changing locations, make sure that your members know where to go.

Set Up Your Software for Success

Moreover, ensure that you have updated your software to reflect how many individuals are allowed to attend the classes based upon the local government’s guidance, for instance, lower than ten people. You can use the waitlist feature to help others get alerts if a spot opens up. Once you do decide to hold classes outdoors, you might want to think about offering a live stream version of your classes also. This is going to help you at risk clients to join the workout from their homes too.

Check with Your Business Advisors

Before you take the final call to take it outside, it is advised that you check with your business advisors as well as legal professionals. Understand that training is an escape for every single thing that has been swirling in the news. Take time out and ensure what you are doing is best for your business.

At FIIT Fitness Studio we offer some of the best online spin classes. Do not forget to check us out while you munch on natural protein bars. All you have to do is contact and we will help you figure everything out! Let’s get exercising with FIIT Fitness Studio!



Some individuals believe that getting and then staying in shape is the biggest motivating factor. However, it is your job as a personal trainer to keep all your clients 100% motivated to workout at homes during this lockdown. Following are some of the best online personal training tips to help drive your clients.

Use a Fitness Management Software

There are several different tools available online which have been especially designed to help trainers motivate individuals in less time. Using personal coaching software helps personal trainers build competent training and nutritional plans. Since these applications are also available on their smartphone, it makes it all the easier for clients to feel motivated and to follow through by setting goals and quick wins. However, all the more importantly, this software also allows the trainers to receive immediate client feedback, helping them refine their services down the road.

Help Your Clients Set Long Term and Short Term Goals

Just being active physically or consuming a healthy diet are definitely not goals in themselves. Nobody simply wants to be active. To be active actually means living a long and healthy life, looking better, and weighing less. These are the actual concrete goals of maintaining your fitness. This is precisely why you must set up both long and short term goals with your clients. It is extremely easy to set a long-term goal of losing 40 pounds of fat or gaining 10 pounds of muscle; what most of us do not realize is that these goals often take a long time to achieve. It is better to have your client set short term goals, for instance, losing 4 pounds by the end of the month.

Talk to Your Clients

Failing to develop a personal bond with their clients is a mistake, most personal trainers tend to make. If you believe your client is feeling a little down, talk to them about it. Find out why they are feeling the way they are feeling. Motivate them. Remind them of the reasons as to why they joined these classes in the first place. With the corona virus, we all need a little bit of positivity every now and then. As trainers for weight loss, you must become a positive chip on their shoulders.

Stay Positive

If you are into Personal Training in Oklahoma City, it should go without saying that you should always be positive. Nonetheless, we all have our bad days every now and then. This could become one of the hardest aspects you have to deal with as a trainer, yet it is essential always to remain positive so that your clients can feed off your positive energy!

Make All Your Workout Sessions Fun

Yes, we all know that workouts are supposed to be tough, but that does not mean they cannot be fun as well! It will become extremely difficult for you to keep your clients happy and motivated if they are miserable every time they train with you. Along with remaining upbeat in every session, which by the way, is extremely contagious, try to develop varied workout plans. This ensures that each workout has an excellent peak and end. Continuously look for new and innovative through which you can make your online sessions all the more interesting!

We hope our tips will help you motivate your clients when it comes to working out at home. The coronavirus is not going anywhere anytime soon, so let’s make the best of what we have at home!


Becoming a highly successful online personal trainer requires so much more than just a passion and the relevant qualifications. You also need a business strategy and meticulous preparation in order to succeed. As Miguel de Cervantes stated: “To be prepared is half the victory.”

We have compiled a list of best online personal training tips to help you start your online journey of becoming a Personal Trainer.

Find Your Niche

Do not try to become a do it all online Personal Trainer, because ultimately, nobody is able to do everything perfectly. Instead, try and find a niche that excites you, and you know you are good at it. For example, if you believe you can give some of the best online spin classes, stick to only those. There should be one specific expertise that should be clear in your clients’ minds when they view you as a Personal Trainer. Once you select your niche, list down all the characteristics of your ideal client persona. This is the client you will target. Now think about a couple of different profiles that will become a complementary source of revenue for your business. By clearly defining your niche and the target audience, you will make you work all the more effectively right from the very start.

Think About You Unique Selling Proposition

The second step into becoming an online Personal Trainer is to ask yourself what makes your unique business form all the others present on the internet. Why should people choose your business? What makes you stand out? Is it your quality customer care service? The kind of products that you are offering? Once you determine your USP, you will be so much more confident about marketing what you have to offer.

Choose Your Promotional Channels

This point can simply be summarized in a single question: where can you find most of your target audience? Your decision to invest in any one specific channel is going to depend on your resources. Following are three of the most popular channels that do not require a lot of resources to be used.

Social Media

If you are a Personal Trainer that social media should be your number one priority. The simple reason is that social media accounts for more than 2 billion users, and there is a huge chance that, if not all, most of your clients are amongst these users.


Do not hesitate when it comes to seeking partnerships and broadening your network. You will reach a much broader audience base and consequently multiply your chances of acquiring new clients. Make new friends and partner up with other professionals in the industry. Think about all the different services you will be able to offer in exchange for some visibility in their network.


Never underestimate the power of word of mouth holds. Do not be afraid to be extremely generous and offer your services absolutely free of cost to some clients, especially people who have a large network. You will be extremely surprised by the impact it can have on your business.

These are some of the tips that can help you embark on your journey of becoming an online Personal Trainer. If you have any other tips you would like to add in the list, let us know in the comments down below!



In today’s highly modern world, checking into a location, you have never been to before means making several Google searches. Where is the grocery store located? What can be done on the weekend? Who can you call up if you want to set up the internet? Are there any boot camps in Oklahoma? For all those looking to stay in shape and tone up their body, you are probably Googling health care centers to jump start on your elliptical. However, what is with all of these many different terms nowadays used to describe physical activity?

Gyms? Health Club? Fitness Centres?

For the most part, all of the above mentioned terms can be used interchangeably. This depends on what sounds better or what word is most popular at the time. Astonishingly, differences in expressions do actually have some sense to them. Today we will dive into what makes a gym a gym and how health clubs vary from the fitness centers.


Gyms can be deemed as some of the world’s oldest and widely used institutions throughout history. The very first gym can be traced back to ancient Persia more than 3000 years ago. At that time, gymnasiums were known as zurkhaneh. These ancient gymnasiums were places that encourage physical fitness. This proves that a tight and toned body, along with peak performance, has been one of humankind’s significant concerns long before the very existence of diet pills and Gyms in Oklahoma City. It was actually the Ancient Greeks that coined the term gymnasion and where the gymnasium changed from promoting physical fitness and educating users.

Even though today’s modern gyms might have dropped the books, they have upped the number of fitness options available to fitness mavens. The terminology “gym” is usually a more professional term, with countless gyms specializing in a specific area: boxing gymnasiums, Pilate’s gymnasiums, Cross Fit gymnasiums. Every so often, gyms just keep things unpretentious with no group classes, weights, plus cardio machines only. This helps keep expenses down without repudiating the customer access to form shaping equipment.

Health Clubs and Fitness Centers

The terminology “health club” first came into being around the mid-1900s on the sandy fit shorelines of Santa Monica, California. It is most typically substituted with the term Fitness Centre. Before that, health clubs and fitness centers were simply classified as gymnasiums. Health Clubs come in several different shapes and sizes, along with variable amenities as well as expenses. The one thing that they have different from gymnasiums is their commitment to fitness as a lifestyle. While fitness centers and health clubs feature the weights in addition to cardio equipment of a gym, they out-do gyms when it comes to amenities and classes. Health clubs and fitness centers offer added advantages of showers, locker rooms, swimming pools, clinics, courts, and whatever else can be used in order to transform you into a fantastic fitness machine.

In the end, it is just the very best to look past the terminologies or whether you would like to take Fitness Online Training when it comes to choosing a workout place instead of focusing on the place’s culture and the community. It is always the most fun to mix physical activity along with a social aspect, and this has proven to boost not only your gym time motivation but also your morale as a whole.


Most of us our now confined in our houses during this corona virus outbreak, which means that our homes are now also our offices, gyms, and recreational spaces as well. Even though we all know how beneficial exercises are, it is essential to keep an arsenal of handy indoor exercises for days when you just get incredibly bored during quarantine, and you cannot hit the gyms in Oklahoma City if you are looking for some great exercises you can do while indoors we have the perfect list for you!

Jump Rope

Jumping rope is one of the most effective full body workouts you can perform while confined in your houses. Firstly, it is a fantastic aerobic exercise. If you skip rope for ten minutes, it is equivalent to running an eight minute per mile. Skipping rope at a moderate rate burns approximately ten to sixteen calories per minute. Moreover, as you are using the entire body, you engage your core, legs, and arms to build your strength from head to toe. Just grab a timer, clear your room, and get seating today!

Body Weight Training

Body weight training is an extremely useful form of exercise that delivers extremely fast results. Through body weight training, you combine cardio moves, for instance, jumping jacks and knee highs along with strength exercises that include exercises such as push-ups, lunges, and squats. This helps you build lean muscle mass and also improves your heart health along with mood. The best part is that there is the equipment required, so there is really no excuse not to work out!


Are you craving a less intense workout? If yes, then the easiest thing is to grab a mat and start an at home yoga session. Yoga not only has the power to improve the strength as well as flexibility, but it is also known lessen fatigue, stress, plus anxiety. There are several different online yoga classes available for all different levels of skills. Look for the one you find the most appealing and enjoy some Zen time while at home. Both your mind and body will thank you!


Do you remember when you used to dance it out all through the night with your friends during college? We bet you did not know that dancing is an excellent form of low impact cardio. Dancing at your house for thirty minutes can actually burn between one hundred and thirty to two hundred and fifty calories, which is almost the same as jogging for the same amount of time. Not only is dancing a fun calorie burner, but it is also known to boost the mood as well, which is so essential during the lockdown when most of us feel blue. So, turn up the music today, and dance like you have never danced before!

Make Use of What You Have

Sometimes all that it takes is a little bit of creativity to turn your very own living room into a gym. Do you not have free weights at home? Don’t worry! Just use a couple of cans or water bottles in their place. Run up and down the stairs in your house to not only raise your heart rate instantly, but also tone your glutes, abs, hamstrings, calves, and quads. Pillows too make the perfect uneven surfaces for exercises such as bridges and squats.

We hope you find the five exercises handy in your facility personal training while at home. Let us know if you have any more exercises to add to the list!


No all OKC Personal Trainers are certified nutritionalist in Oklahoma City. However, here are FIIT Fitness Studio, we pride ourselves on training our clients holistically. Finding both a Certified Nutritionalist in OKC who is a also a Certified Personal Trainer in OKC can be default. FIIT Fitness Studio requires all Personal Trainers to be certified nutritionalist to be able to fully assist our clients in both there physical training and nutritional health. With that being said lets get in to our topic. How Probiotics Can Help You Lose Weight and Belly Fat, an original article from healthline. 

Probiotics are live microorganisms that have health benefits when eaten (1Trusted Source).They are found in both supplements and fermented foods.Probiotics may improve digestive health, heart health and immune function, to name a few (2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source). Several studies also suggest that probiotics can help you lose weight and belly fat.

Gut Bacteria May Affect Body Weight Regulation

There are hundreds of different microorganisms in your digestive system.

The majority of these are bacteria, most of which are friendly. Friendly bacteria produce several important nutrients, including vitamin K and certain B-vitamins.

They also help break down fiber that the body can’t digest, turning it into beneficial short-chain fatty acids like butyrate (6Trusted Source).

There are two main families of good bacteria in the gut: bacteroidetes and firmicutes. Body weight seems be related to the balance of these two families of bacteria (7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source).

Both human and animal studies have found that normal-weight people have different gut bacteria than overweight or obese people (9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source, 11Trusted Source).

In those studies, people with obesity had more firmicutes and fewer bacteroidetes, compared to normal-weight people.

There are also some animal studies showing that when the gut bacteria from obese mice are transplanted into guts of lean mice, the lean mice get fat (11Trusted Source).

All of these studies suggest that gut bacteria may play a powerful role in weight regulation.

How Can Probiotics Affect Changes in Weight?

It is thought that certain probiotics may inhibit the absorption of dietary fat, increasing the amount of fat excreted with feces (12Trusted Source).

In other words, they make you “harvest” fewer calories from the foods in your diet.

Certain bacteria, such as those from the Lactobacillus family, have been found to function in this way (12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source).

Probiotics may also fight obesity in other ways:

  • Release of GLP-1: Probiotics may help release the satiety (appetite-reducing) hormone GLP-1. Increased levels of this hormone may help you burn calories and fat (14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source).
  • Increase of ANGPTL4: Probiotics may increase levels of the protein ANGPTL4. This may lead to decreased fat storage (16Trusted Source).

There is also a lot of evidence that obesity is linked to inflammation in the brain. By improving gut health, probiotics may reduce systemic inflammation and protect against obesity and other diseases (17, 18).

However, it is important to keep in mind that these mechanisms aren’t understood very well. More research is needed.

Probiotics May Help You Lose Weight and Belly Fat

Studies have found that certain strains of the Lactobacillus family can help you lose weight and belly fat.

In one study, eating yogurt with Lactobacillus fermentum or Lactobacillus amylovorus reduced body fat by 3–4% over a 6-week period (19).

Another study of 125 overweight dieters investigated the effects of Lactobacillus rhamnosussupplements on weight loss and weight maintenance (20Trusted Source).

During a 3-month study period, the women taking the probiotics lost 50% more weightcompared to the group taking a dummy pill (placebo). They also continued to lose weight during the weight maintenance phase of the study.

Lactobacillus Gasseri

Of all the probiotic bacteria studied to date, Lactobacillus gasseri shows the most promisingeffects on weight loss. Numerous studies in rodents have found that it has anti-obesity effects (13Trusted Source, 21Trusted Source, 22Trusted Source, 23).

Additionally, studies in Japanese adults have shown impressive results (12Trusted Source, 24Trusted Source, 25Trusted Source).

One study followed 210 people with a lot of belly fat. It found that taking Lactobacillus gasserifor 12 weeks reduced body weight, fat around organs, BMI, waist size and hip circumference.

What’s more, belly fat was reduced by 8.5%. However, when participants stopped taking the probiotic, they gained back all of the belly fat within a month (25Trusted Source).

Some Probiotics May Prevent Weight Gain

Losing weight is not the only way to fight obesity. Prevention is even more important, as in preventing the weight from accumulating in the first place.

In one 4-week study, taking a probiotic formulation called VSL#3 reduced weight gain and fat gain on a diet where people were overfed by 1000 calories per day (26Trusted Source).

On this graph, you can see how the probiotic group gained significantly less fat:

This indicates that some probiotic strains might be effective at preventing weight gain in the context of a high-calorie diet. However, this needs to be studied a lot more.

Some Probiotic Strains May Increase the Risk of Weight Gain and Obesity

Not all studies have found that probiotics help with weight loss.

Some studies have even found that certain probiotic strains might lead to weight gain, not loss. This includes Lactobacillus acidophilus (27).

One recent study reviewed 4 controlled clinical studies. It concluded that probiotics did not reduce body weight, BMI or body fat levels in overweight or obese adults (28).

However, this review study did not include many of the studies mentioned above.

Probiotics May Be One Part of The Puzzle

Probiotics offer a wide range of health benefits.

However, their effects on weight are mixed, and seem to depend on the type of probiotic.

Evidence indicates that Lactobacillus gasseri may help people with obesity lose weight and belly fat. Additionally, a blend of probiotics called VSL#3 may reduce weight gain on a high-calorie diet.

At the end of the day, certain types of probiotics may have modest effects on your weight, especially when combined with a healthy, real food-based diet.

Nevertheless, there are many other reasons to take a probiotic supplement besides weight loss.

They can improve digestive health, reduce inflammation, improve cardiovascular risk factors and even help fight depression and anxiety.

Reposted from original site


Decades of scientific research on nutrition and weight loss has uncovered a few key pieces of information on what helps people successfully win the battle of the bulge.

  • First, we know that while exercise is important, a person’s healthy eating habits likely matters more for weight loss than the hours they spend in the gym.
  • Second, when it comes to dieting, there is no single best one for losing weight; many diets can work quite well as long as total calorie balance is accounted for.
  • Third, dietary protein is one of the key “levers” in a diet that increases the likelihood of someone’s ability to lose weight.

This article is going to cut through a lot of the noise surrounding protein and tell you how much protein you should be eating to lose weight and some of the things you should consider when planning your diet.

In this article:


Protein is an important macronutrient that is involved in nearly all bodily functions and processes. It plays a key role in exercise recovery and is an essential dietary nutrient for healthy living. The elements carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen combine to form amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Protein and amino acids are primarily use to create bodily tissues, form enzymes and cellular transporters, maintain fluid balance, and more.


If you want to lose weight, aim for a daily protein intake between 1.6 and 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram (.73 and 1 grams per pound). Athletes and heavy exercisers should consume 2.2-3.4 grams of protein per kilogram (1-1.5 grams per pound) if aiming for weight loss.


Dietary protein can be an important part of a diet that is intended for weight loss.

While there are many benefits to dietary protein, there are four main areas that have direct effects on weight loss:

  1. Satiety
  2. Lean mass
  3. Thermic effect of food
  4. Storage as body fat

Let us take a deeper dive into each of these topics.


One of the biggest things that impedes weight loss is hunger.

People are far less likely to stick with a nutrition or diet plan if they experience high levels of hunger.

 Protein is the most satiating of all the macronutrients (1)

Several different lines of research have all pointed to the same thing: higher protein intakes tend to provide more satiety and less hunger.

For example, in one study, high protein snacks allowed people to go longer between eating and also caused them to eat less at subsequent meals (2).

Another study showed that including protein into a glass of water decreased hunger compared to water alone (3).

Depending on the source of protein, there does appear to be minor differences in the exact amount of satiety that protein provides, however these differences are minor and don’t really make a meaningful impact for most people (4).

Currently, there is no consensus on the optimal level of daily protein intake in one’s diet with regard to stay full. However, roughly 1.8 – 2.9 grams of protein per kilogram daily (or .82-1.32 grams of protein per pound) appears to provide substantial benefit on satiety (5).


In addition, protein has another benefit on weight loss: it helps preserve lean body mass during periods of caloric restriction.

One study compared the effect of low protein intake (1.0 grams per kilogram per day) to high protein intake (2.3 g/kg per day) on lean body mass over a short term caloric deficit. On average, the low protein group lost about 1.6 kilograms (3.5 pounds) of muscle mass while the high protein group only lost 0.3 kg (0.66 pounds) of muscle mass (6).

Another similar study compared 0.8 g/kg per day against 1.6 g/kg per day and 2.4 g/kg per day and found that the two higher intakes (1.6 and 2.4 g/kg per day) spared more lean body mass than the 0.8 g/kg per day diet. They also found that there was no real benefit to 2.4 g/kg per day over 1.6 g/kg per day (7).

Currently, most evidence suggests that ~1.6 grams of protein per kilogram, or .73 grams of protein per pound is a recommended daily target for protein intake to spare lean body mass loss during periods of weight loss.


The thermic effect of food is the “cost” of digesting your food.

Essentially, it takes some energy to break food down, digest it, and turn it into energy. Protein has the highest “cost” of all the three macronutrients.

While the total effect that the thermic effect of food has on daily energy expenditure and weight loss is small, it is not meaningless and is important to note.

In one study, a high protein diet increased the thermic effect of food by roughly 6-8 kcals per hour when compared to a low protein diet, which may translate to ~50-75 calories per day (8).

However, not all studies show this large of an effect, and the thermic effect of protein is not likely responsible for most of its benefit, but it may be the “cherry on top” of adequate dietary protein during weight loss.


During periods of weight loss, there are often times where more energy is consumed than expended. As such, minimizing how much of that excess energy (i.e. calories) is stored as fat is important.

The body processes the three different macronutrients (i.e. proteins, carbohydrates, and fats) in very different ways.

Leaving out a lot of jargon and mumbo jumbo, in order for protein to be stored as fat, it goes through a much different biochemical process than either carbohydrates or protein.

This process makes it much harder for protein to store as body fat.

One study found that protein is stored as body fat with roughly 66% efficiency, while carbohydrates store with 80% efficiency and fats store at 96% efficiency (9).

During weight loss, overeating protein results in much less stored body fat than overeating on carbohydrates or fat.


Nutritional Guidelines suggest a daily intake of 1.6 and 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram, or .73 and 1 grams per pound to lose weight. Athletes and heavy exercisers should consume 2.2-3.4 grams of protein per kilogram (1-1.5 grams per pound) if aiming for weight loss.

While many different diets can be successful for weight loss, the protein content of a diet is one of the important factors to consider when planning a diet. Protein has been shown to promote satiety, help maintain lean body mass, increase the thermic effect of food slightly, and can reduce how efficient the body is at storing extra calories as body fat.

If you’re interested in learning more about protein, watch the webinar “Protein Metabolism: How to Optimize Protein intake for Muscle Gain and Weight Loss” below and consider becoming a Certified nutrition Coach. Find out more about the NASM nutrition Certification here.

This article was written by BRAD DIETER Click here for original article 



The ‘fat burning zone’ is a theory that you should maintain your heart rate at just 70 – 80% of your maximum heart rate during exercise to burn more fat.

If you’re looking to lose weight and keep fit, the general rule of the game is to increase the intensity of your workouts. But what about the ‘fat burning zone’ theory that says you should exercise at lower intensities instead? What is the idea behind this concept, and is it true?

The link between heart rate and fat loss

Your body requires glucose as fuel for your muscles. The 2 main sources of fuel are glycogen (a substance that stores carbohydrate) and fat, which breaks down to form glucose and ultimately carbon dioxide and water. Oxygen is required to oxidise (break down) either the glycogen or fat stores into glucose to fuel the muscles.

During a workout, 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 (carbohydrate) a less dense form of energy storage that is readily broken down into glucose, as compared to fats. As such, glycogen is your body’s 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 onto the next fuel, fat, when you start to run out of glycogen.

The truth of the fat burning zone theory

The fat burning zone theory seeks to help adherents lose weight by tapping on the body’s fat storage rather than glycogen. They argue that the body burns a greater percentage of fat with lower-intensity exercises than at higher intensities because the body does not require ‘fast energy’ from glycogen. As such, this theory promotes longer and lower-intensity cardio workouts that maintain your heart rate within the ‘fat burning zone’.

However, that is a bit of a misconception. While it is true that the body burns fat during low-intensity workouts, the fat burning rate remains low and you have to exercise longer to burn the same amount of calories you would at higher intensities.

In a high-intensity workout, although your body uses your glycogen stores first for ‘fast energy’, it depletes the glycogen stores rapidly enough to force your body to tap on the fat storage. This means that high-intensity workouts are more efficient in burning way more total calories – both glycogen and fat calories. Ultimately, the total number of calories you burn leads to the most weight (and fat) loss.

Training Zones 1 & 2

Working out with a heart rate monitor helps you to gauge the specific zones in which your body is working and how your body benefits from different intensities of exercise. Each of the 4 main training zones can be predicted by your heart rate:

Your warm-up zone is where you prepare your cardio-respiratory system, muscles and joints to exercise harder. Here, you are functioning at 60 – 70% of your maximum heart rate. It is a comfortable pace where you feel as though you can go on for a long time.

Just beyond the warm-up zone is the so-called fat burning zone where you are working out at about 70 – 80% of your maximum heart rate. It is still a comfortable rate but you might sweat more and breathe harder than usual. Although you may burn more fat than glycogen at this zone, the absolute amount of fat burnt is much less than the subsequent stages.

Training Zones 3 & 4

Still in the comfortable zone is the aerobic zone. Your heart rate is at 81 – 93% of your maximum heart rate. You will be able to talk but only in short phrases. The calories you burn here split evenly between your fat stores and glycogen. Although you will not burn more fat calories than glycogen, you will be burning more calories overall. (Plus, the aerobic zone makes your heart pump hard, which is great to keep your heart healthy!)

Finally, you will be at 94 – 100% of your maximum heart rate in the anaerobic territory. You are panting and unable to talk. It is hard work and nearly impossible to spend more than a minute here as your glycogen stores are depleted faster than they can be replenished. Anaerobic intervals widen your fat and aerobic zones and zap tons of calories. This is where the afterburn (temporary increase in metabolism) kicks in. Also known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), your body continues to burn more calories even after a high-intensity workout, as compared to a low-intensity exercise.

A high-intensity workout reaps many benefits of burning total calories efficiently both during and after exercising, and keeping your heart healthy. But if you prefer a low-intensity workout, it would require you to devote a longer amount of time to burn the same amount of calories!

Article reviewed by Dr Ong Hean Yee, cardiologist at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital


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