What Is The Best Fat Burning Workout?

Whilst we all know how important regular exercise is to our overall health, if we’re honest, most of us will have in the past, or will continue to engage in certain exercise plans to help manage our weight.

So, the question on everyone’s tongue, what is the best fat burning workout or does one even exist?

Let’s take a closer look.

What is Fat? How Do We Burn It?

If we want to know how to burn through fat, we need to know what it is.

When we eat, let’s take carbohydrates for this example, they make their way through the digestive system and are broken down into sugars and released into the bloodstream.  The sugar (glucose) is then converted into energy, and used by parts of our body.  Our body has many inbuilt mechanisms to keep compounds at certain levels, and in this example, insulin helps glucose get out of the blood stream to keep levels within safe limits.  If our energy needs are met, but there is leftover glucose, it can be stored in muscle and liver tissue.  If there is still some left, it is converted to sit in fatty tissue.  These are our stores for later.

In between meals, when our blood-sugar drops, glucose is pulled from storage – and if necessary, this process can include using triglyceride storage.

This clever system ensures that we always have energy available – even between meals.

Can Exercise Increase How Much Fat We Use?

When we are physically active, our energy needs increase.  But the exercise we carry out will largely influence which source of energy we use.

We have three energy systems.

ATP-PC – this system uses the energy we already have stored in the muscle.  This system runs without oxygen and is responsible for the first 6-10 seconds of activity, give or take.  This system is like the sprint system.

Glycolytic System – this system also runs without oxygen and provides energy during high-intensities.  The preferred fuel source for this system is carbohydrates.

Oxidative System – as the name suggests, this system needs oxygen to run and can use both carbohydrates and fats as fuel.  This system kicks in after around 90 seconds to 2 minutes and we like to think of it as the long and slow system.  If you are a distance runner who has a steady pace, this is the system you will primarily run on.

When we are active, we clearly use energy, but what’s also interesting is that certain forms of exercise can result in increased energy demand even when the workout is over.  Studies have shown us that over a 24-hour period, after a HIIT training session, there was still an increased oxygen consumption.  This suggested that the oxidative system was kicking in even post-workout, utilising fat (and carbs).

So What Is The Best Exercise for Fat Burning?

Whenever we are active, we use energy.  In the first instance, we will utilise the energy easily available – that stored in muscle and in the liver, but if energy needs increase, we will swap to our storage.  On a simplistic level, any activity helps with our energy balance.

To this end, any exercise that we can do consistently will support our health goals. 

Time and time again we find that regular movement, no matter the intensity, is better for overall health than the one-off class that leaves us in a heap on the floor.

But, if weight loss is your aim, we need to pair consistent movement with an appropriate dietary intake, whilst supporting gut and hormonal health.

Top Tips for Supporting Gut and Hormonal Health:

  • Ensure you are eating plenty of fibre – aim for 30g per day.

  • Drink around 2L water per day – filtered if possible.

  • Limit processed foods,

  • Eat wholefoods,

  • Ensure you hit your protein target (1-1.6g protein per kg of bodyweight – activity dependent).

  • Don’t fear fat – opt for beneficial fats like nuts, seeds, avocado etc.

  • Eat regular meals – ensure you have protein, fat, and carbs at every meal.

  • Prioritise sleep,

  • Manage stress.

If you are struggling to move consistently, check out the range of programmes we have available.  The key is to find what you enjoy.  We’re sure you’ll find something.

If we can help in any way, please reach out.

Instructor Live Team