One of the best questions I get asked as a fitness expert is “how many calories do you think I’m burning?”
This is a great question – but can easily be misunderstood.
Although how much you’re eating and burning does matter at some point, exercising the RIGHT way and eating the RIGHT way take first priority. In fact, if you’re not nearly on point with these two pieces, the number of calories doesn’t really matter…..
Let me explain
The harder you work in your workout, the less fat is actually contributing TO the workout. Fat is used as the MAIN source of energy at a lower intensity.
For example…..fat is contributing to fuel when we are resting, sleeping, and yes – when we are exercising, but the harder we work, the less we use!
So what does this mean?
What I’m trying to say here is that to get the most “bang for your buck” with your time and workouts, you actually want to work HARD.
Yes, I know – I just said you wont burn as much (if any) fat while exercising – but it’s what happens AFTER your workout that really matters.
Let’s run a common example…..
Jane’s metabolism = 1300 calories per day
If she does strength training 2 days per week and metabolic high intensity cardio 2 days per week, something magical happens.
For a 24-48 hour window AFTER her workout, she gets a bonus 200-400 calories to her metabolism.
This takes her metabolism from 1300, to 1500-1700!
What does this mean?
Well…..since she’s at rest after her workout (when fat is the MAIN fuel source) where are those “bonus” calories coming from?
You guessed it – mainly FAT.
What’s my favorite part of this whole thing?
She spends LESS time working out, because it’s MORE intense & shorter in duration
What about running?
Most women I meet use their “go-to” for fat loss primarily as running. I get it – it makes sense….calories in, calories out.
You can (and will) use fat while going on 30+ minute runs – but the major drawback is that fat is not the ONLY thing you’ll be burning.
Primarily glycogen (stored sugars) and muscle tissue – then fat.
What’s the problem with this?
Chipping away at your muscle tissue will slow your metabolism. Also – this type of physical activity does NOT give you that “magic metabolism boost” after your workout (remember the bonus 200-400 for 24-48 hours?!)
So where do I start?
First and foremost – spend 2-3 hours with short duration, moderately intense progressive strength training
Add 2-3 hours of metabolic training for cardio
THEN work on eating the right kinds of foods (no sugar, gluten, etc.)
And once that’s all in line……
Then think about counting calories.
If you just bought a car, does it matter how the paint job is if it barely runs?
Same thing for your body (calorie counting being the paint job J )
Most of all, get a good coach and support system….accountability is priceless and is the best way to reach your goals!
Dedicated to your health and fitness,