The perfect fat-burning pulse

6. May 2023

Some say that the biggest weight loss is achieved in the relaxed pace range, while others tout HIIT training with maximum intensity as the perfect fat-burning workout. Which is true?

The ideal running intensity with the goal of weight control is always the subject of controversial discussions. The simple answer: The faster you run, the more calories you burn. Ergo, this is also how you lose more weight per unit of time. However, now comes the big “but”. Logically, you expend a maximum of calories at your maximum speed, but you can only keep up this pace for a minimal amount of time and are exhausted after 15 minutes.

As a result, there is no such thing as an optimum "weight loss pulse". It is true that the percentage of fat metabolism in energy supply is highest at moderate intensities (i.e. at a pulse range of about 60-70% of the maximum heart rate) and this pace is very important for a runner in terms of basic training and training methodology.

Low intensities make sense

It does not mean that the most calories and fat are burned in this range. Nevertheless, when it comes to weight control in running, it makes sense to mainly perform longer workouts in the low to medium intensity range. However, a desired loss of weight only takes place if the daily energy intake through food is not greater than the energy consumption. Running increases energy expenditure by around 500-800 calories per hour of training, helping to control weight without having to diet.

However, if you only run for an hour once a week, you only have around 70-100 extra calories available per day, which you can additionally consume. One should therefore not overestimate the effect of sport in terms of weight loss.

Tip: Accurately keep track of your calorie intake over a few weeks (there are many apps for this, e.g. Aim for a slight calorie deficit in the overall balance (max. 500 Kcal/day). And make sure that your diet maintains a high intake of protein (more than 1 gram per kilogram of body weight per day).