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Question
Posted by: T pot | 2012-05-06

Heart Rate

Hi Doctor Ross/Kathy

Im 30, female, 5" 9, weigh 66kg, BMI is fine I know but I have some stubborn fat and would like to lose 4kg.Of fat not muscle. What heart rate (numbers not percentage please) and for how many minutes and how many times a week should I be doing my cardio at in order to lose about 1kg a week? When I run I seem to average a HR of 165-175 for30 mins which I think is too high for fat loss. Also roughly how many calories should I be eating a day? And should I be doing cardio and weights on same day or alternate days? Ideally I work out 5 times a week, doing weights x3 and cardio on all 5 days for at least 30mins.

Thanks :-)

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi there

It's difficult with heart rate because what a book tells you is a general guideline, and we're all different. It's easy to be 10 bpm off because of individual differences, and that's a long way off.

I would say that your goal should be to accumulate 40 to 50 minutes, five or six days a week. It doesn't matter what your heart rate is, because in the end, once all the "sums" are done, your body will use the energy from wherever it can get it, and so whether you are burning fat during exercise or after makes no difference. It's not a case of trying to use fat during training, it's about using energy so that over the course of the day, you don't store but rather burn energy. Then you'll lose fat.

So that's the guideline - 40 to 50 min a day, and then observe your heart rate, but don't prescribe training according to it. Rather learn how your body works.

As for counting calories, that's a futile task, the room for error is too small and the accuracy is not good enough. You need to control diet though, it's vital when you have only a small amount of weight to lose. So very important to make good food choices, and that's something best done by seeing a dietician.

As for the training, I'd say a few days a week should be specialized, or specific to one activity. It's fine to have those combination days, but some days, you should do only one and get a good session in. There's just more you can do then, work on fitness, which I beliee makes a big difference to your ultimate success - if you focus on getting fitter, the weight will take care of itself.

Good luck
Ross

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

1
Our users say:
Posted by: fitnessdoc | 2012-05-15

Hi there

It's difficult with heart rate because what a book tells you is a general guideline, and we're all different. It's easy to be 10 bpm off because of individual differences, and that's a long way off.

I would say that your goal should be to accumulate 40 to 50 minutes, five or six days a week. It doesn't matter what your heart rate is, because in the end, once all the "sums" are done, your body will use the energy from wherever it can get it, and so whether you are burning fat during exercise or after makes no difference. It's not a case of trying to use fat during training, it's about using energy so that over the course of the day, you don't store but rather burn energy. Then you'll lose fat.

So that's the guideline - 40 to 50 min a day, and then observe your heart rate, but don't prescribe training according to it. Rather learn how your body works.

As for counting calories, that's a futile task, the room for error is too small and the accuracy is not good enough. You need to control diet though, it's vital when you have only a small amount of weight to lose. So very important to make good food choices, and that's something best done by seeing a dietician.

As for the training, I'd say a few days a week should be specialized, or specific to one activity. It's fine to have those combination days, but some days, you should do only one and get a good session in. There's just more you can do then, work on fitness, which I beliee makes a big difference to your ultimate success - if you focus on getting fitter, the weight will take care of itself.

Good luck
Ross

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