Exercise! - Is A Heart Rate Monitor A Must Have For Losing Fat?

07-22-2012, 11:31 PM
Ok I have 2 instructors telling me 2 diff things.

1 is telling me to use one so I can burn fat and stay in the "fat burning zone" while working out and even gave me a chart and I think I'm supposed to stay somewhere no higher than 146 according to my age. And if I'm too high I am no longer burning fat BUT it's good for my heart at the higher range.

2 is telling me no I don't need one. Don't hold back during exercise. What I really need is a calorie burner counter. Somethng that will tell me how many calories I burned.

07-22-2012, 11:40 PM
Well a heart rate monitor will help you determine how many calories you can burn.

The 'fat burning zone' is a bit of a misnomer and I'd ignore an instructor that tells you that you need to stay in the fat burning zone. Basically, when you are in the 'fat burning zone', you burn a higher percentage of fat. When you are above the fat burning zone though, you burn a higher amount of calories and the amount of 'fat calories' can be more than if you were in the fat burning zone.

07-22-2012, 11:42 PM
Personally I don't believe you need either. Neither will cause you to burn fat, or burn more fat, or the right kind of fat. They're just toys.

I have purchased all sorts of these toys over the years. The only thing they might do is keep me motivated to persist. But you only burn fat if you're in deficit caloric mode. Basically, don't eat as much as you burn. You don't really burn that many more calories while you exercise, unless you're maintaining a certain level of exertion for several hours. Your body has to use up the calories stored in your liver (about 2000) before it taps into the storage system (fat).

That doesn't mean we shouldn't exercise in order to lose weight. It certainly creates some calorie burn that wouldn't have occured if you didn't exercise. And the cardiovascular benefits are really very important. If you do any sort of weight training, you'll increase your lean body mass which will increase your BMR and you'll burn more calories while you're not exercising throughout the day.


07-23-2012, 02:22 AM
I love my heart rate monitor for the sole fact it helps me estimate my calorie burn. The whole "fat burning zone" thing is just silly to me. Yes, in that zone you will be burning more fat as opposed to calories from other areas, however when you get your heart rate higher, you burn more calories which can actually cause you to burn more fat.

You can switch off and do one day of the "fat burn zone" and the next day of the "cardio zone" or w/e they call it.