Who Else Wants to Know How to Burn Calories?
Knowing how to burn calories is a key step to help you burn fat and lose weight.
There are many ways to burn extra calories to get on the weight loss and fat burning path; however, we believe that a multi-pronged approach works best.
Your Basal Metabolic Rate
Calories leave the body through two primary pathways. The first is through your everyday living functions such as keeping your heart beating, breathing, liver and kidney function, even blinking your eyes. This is called your basal metabolic rate (BMR). Your BMR decreases with both age and loss of lean body mass. The last part of that sentence is key both to the question at hand and to the theme of this site in general. If you want to know how to burn calories, you should add weight training to build muscle into your exercise routine. By increasing lean body mass, you will burn more calories while at rest. That's right, you burn more calories even when you are doing nothing!
Your Daily Routine Burns Calories
The second way that you burn calories is through the activities you engage in each day. Things like walking, work, exercising and even eating all go into this category. Therefore, the best way to burn more calories is to increase your physical activity through exercise. In this case, we will talk about exercise in two categories: cardio/aerobic activities and weight training
How to Burn Calories: Cardio Exercise
Increasing cardiovascular activity burns calories as you do the exercise, and for a short period after as your body recovers. Several activities come to mind like running, biking, swimming or any of the other activities included on the best weight loss exercise program list. The type of cardo program you undertake depends on several factors including your preferences (you absolutely must enjoy the exercise program, or else you will not stick with it), your body type and your ability to perform sustained physical activity.
Weight Training to Burn Fat (and Calories!) Today... And Tomorrow
Weight training is another great way to burn more calories both in and out of the gym. In fact, some (including myself) would argue that it is the best, most efficient way to burn calories. There are several reasons for this. First, you burn calories through the exercise routine itself, similar to the aerobic/cardio activities mentioned above. In fact, by reducing the amount of rest between sets and/or using a circuit routine, you can easily turn your weight training session into a quasi-cardio routine. The beauty of weight training however, is what happens once you leave the gym.
Remember our earlier discussion of basal metabolic rate. One of the functions of your body is repair of tissue. During an intense weight training session, your muscles experience micro tears that your body repairs bigger and stronger while you rest. This usually takes anywhere between 24 and 72 hours on average and depending on the intensity of the training session. During this recovery, your basal metabolic rate is increased, meaning that you are burning more calories at rest.
Finally, also recall that as your lean body mass increases, so does your basal metabolic rate. So, as you continue weight training and you increase you muscle mass, you will again burn more calories day in and day out than you would have otherwise.
These added advantages are why we encourage weight training as an option when you are considering how to burn calories and lose fat.
Companies Know How to Burn Calories...
To put it into a You Body is Your Business™ context, cardio/aerobic activity is like a one time cost reduction for your bottom line. You cut costs (calories) during the exercise period. Weight training is similar to a productivity improvement. You get the cost (calorie) reduction for the exercise period, but you also get an on-going cost reduction from the increase in BMR from muscle repair and growth. Your body has become more productive at burning calories. You see both activities in the business world – one time cost reductions and productivity improvements – and we encourage you to engage in both during you exercise routine as well – cardio and weight training.
What About Calorie Intake?
You can burn all the calories in the world, but if you want to burn fat and lose weight, then you must also keep a close eye on the number of calories you are eating each day. Therefore, in addition to understanding how to burn calories, you must also must be careful to not take in additional calories (or if we are talking in business terms, not to take on extra expenses after reducing costs). As a result, watching you diet is important when trying to burn additional calories.
You should be aware of the number of calories you are eating, how many calories are needed to maintain your weight (or lose 1 to 2 pounds per week), and make reductions where needed. Are you drinking regular soft-drinks? Switch to diet soft-drinks, or better yet, drink water to lose weight. Instead of eating 2 slices of that pizza, have only one. For more information on understanding what to eat, check out this article:
How to Burn Calories: Conclusion
By watching your diet and overall calorie intake, you will be able to create a negative balance and lose weight, making you effort in the gym more effective.
If you pay attention to your calorie intake and understand how to burn calories through cardiovascular/aerobic exercise and weight training, you will burn fat, lose weight, and be healthier!