The exercise intensity that produces the maximum fat oxidation rate (known as FATmax) varies widely, but primarily correlates with aerobic capacity. Fitter individuals are able to oxidize fat at higher rates across all intensities, but their maximum fat oxidation rate is at a much higher intensity than unfit individuals.
Obese individuals have a decreased capacity to access fat during moderate exercise. Lower intensity exercise is recommended to begin with. As conditioning improves, exercise intensity should be increased to take advantage of increasing FATmax.
A recent study found that steady state exercise training at FATmax intensity increase insulin sensitivity more than an interval training protocol at 20% higher intensity. But FATmax cannot be calculated outside of a lab, so we have to estimate it. In very fit individuals, FATmax is somewhere near lactate threshold intensity….which is below anaerobic capacity. This intensity feels like work, but can be continued for about 20 minutes.
In our practice we talk often of the synergistic effect of combining exercise with proper nutrition and eating at the proper times. Check out this article.
Dr. Charles Foster
Sleep, rest, recovery are very important for managing stress… which has a profound affect on insulin sensitivity and, because of that, just about everything else.
FATmax varies a lot, it depends upon person to person.
Great. Many regular exercisers, athletes and health conscious people would trade anything just to lose body fat and improve their body physique. Identifying the intensity of exercise that do fat oxidation will help you improve your body dramatically. But most exercisers have limited time and do not actually have hours and minutes to spend on an intensity session, thus giving them a little reason to train with their Fatmax Zone. But then, calorie burning would be the best way to achieve it if your overall goal is to get leaner.
Burning slightly more calories than you take in is the most effective way to lose some body fat. So truly is that strength training would not make you buff but help you burn more fats faster than cardio and aerobic exercise. The greater intensity you exercise is, the better results you get.