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Burning Calories for Weight Loss

You are burning calories everyday with each simple and complex task you do. You even expend energy while sleeping. 

Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is responsible for up to 75% of the calories you burn each day.

Although a slow metabolism is often blamed for weight issues, this is rarely the case for most people.

Even though  metabolism influences our bodies basic energy needs, it is the foods and drinks we consume and the level of activity we get that are generally the culprits behind weight gain.

What is BMR?

Your BMR (basal metabolic rate) is the amount of energy you expend for basic body functions like breathing, digesting, blood circulation, growing and repairing cells and other basic needs.

The metabolic rate for each person varies and depends on certain factors. These factors include body size and composition, age and gender.

Each of these factors plays a role in burning calories and the rate at which you expend your calories.

For instance, a heavier person or someone with lots of muscles will have a higher BMR. This is due to the fact that their bodies require a higher amount of energy to maintain basic body functions.

Age also plays a role in the amount of calories burned. As we age our metabolism slows down.

This is generally due to loss of muscle. Muscles are more metabolically demanding and as we lose muscle the amount of energy needed also decreases.

Lastly gender impacts the amount of calories we burn. Men tend to have more muscle mass and therefore tend to have a higher metabolism.

Burning Calories Beyond BMR

Burning calories beyond your BMR is influenced by two other factors. The first is thermogenesis, or food processing.

This process includes digesting, absorbing and transporting the energy (or foods) you consume.

This process accounts for approximately 10 percent of the total calories burned during the day.

The energy requirement for this process stays fairly consistent and is not easily changed.

The second item for burning calories other than your metabolic rate is your activity level.

This variable accounts for the remaining amount of calories you burn in a day.

All physical activity including structured exercise, walking the dog or playing a sport fits into this category.

Since we cannot change our gender or age, and the energy it takes to process food stays fairly consistent, our activity level is the one area in which we can maximize our calories burned for weight loss.

Burning Calories-Maximizing your Exercise Routine

In order to lose weight a person needs to consume fewer calories than they burn. You could simply reduce the amount of calories you consume and reach your goal.

However, if you want to lose weight faster, and keep it off, then burning calories by changing your physical activity is the best approach.

After all, with exercise you are not only expending calories you are increasing muscle mass. As stated earlier, a person's body size and composition play a role in your metabolic rate.

So by increasing muscle and losing fat through exercise you are positively impacting the two factors you are in control of for burning calories faster.

Here are some methods so maximize your exercise routine to get the most from your workout.

Eat Right

You want to get the most from your workout so be sure your body is prepared. Don't exercise on a full stomach but also don't exercise without energizing your body.

Try eating a low carb, high protein small meal 90 minutes before your workout. With the proper fuel you will be able to exercise harder and longer and maximize the amount of fat and calories you burn.

Just Breathe

Breathing is an important piece to your workout. You want to ensure you provide the proper oxygen to your body and muscles.

Fat needs oxygen to burn, so with proper breathing you are maximizing your fat and calories burned.

Try inhaling and exhaling through your nose and not your mouth. This may take some time to get used to but keep practicing and it will feel natural after awhile.

Strength Training

Make sure to include strength training in your weekly routine. Remember muscles are more metabolically demanding so the more muscles you have the higher your metabolism.

Use resistance bands or dumbbell weights if you don't have access to a gym or weight lifting equipment.

If you are including strengthening exercises and aerobics in the same workout, start with the strength training for a maximum fat and calorie burn. It takes your body about 15 minutes to warm up before it starts to burn fat.

Since strengthening exercises burn fewer calories, but does help warm up the body, starting here allows you to warm up the body as well as build muscle.

Then when you get to the aerobic section you will be burning calories and fat right from the start.

Aerobic Exercise

Don't just focus on strengthening exercises. To really get a great calorie burn, include aerobics 3 to 4 times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes.

The longer the duration or the harder the workout, the more calories you will burn.

You can walk, jog or run using your treadmill or soaking in the weather outside. Buy or rent some exercise DVD's, go swimming or even cross country skiing.

Any form of aerobics will be burning calories and fat and helping you lose weight.

For even more ways of burning calories, check out all these fun activities to add to your new active lifestyle.

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