Lower-intensity exercise gets roughly 60 percent of its fuel from fat, whereas fat provides about 35 percent of the calories burned in higher-intensity workouts, says the American Council on Exercise. However, higher-intensity workouts of similar duration burn more calories overall and result in more body weight and fat loss. Your metabolism remains elevated after a high-intensity workout, adding to your overall calorie deficit. Start with an exercise program that matches your fitness level, continuing to burn excess fat while you gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. Consult with your doctor before starting an exercise program if you've been inactive, have a history of heart or orthopedic problems or have risk factors for heart disease.
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To burn the equivalent of 14 g of fat, you need to work off 126 calories. That's because 1 g of dietary fat contains 9 calories. Although you can easily burn the number of calories provided by 14 g of fat, it won't make a difference if your caloric intake exceeds your expenditure. Unless you burn more than you consume, any excess energy will stick around in the form of triglycerides, or stored fat.
You have several options for burning 126 calories, including 30 minutes of walking, 20 minutes of hiking or 23 minutes of dancing. Other possibilities include 35 minutes of weight lifting or 20 minutes of golf or gardening. If you choose a more vigorous activity such as running at 5 mph or bicycling at more than 10 mph, you can burn the calories in only 13 minutes.
Even though you can't direct your body to burn calories specifically from the 14 grams of fat you consumed, exercise contributes to health and weight management by improving your fitness and keeping excess calories in check. In the context of a healthy diet, however, 14 grams of fat is far from too many.
A balanced diet provides anywhere from 20 to 35 percent of its calories from fat, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In a 2,000 calorie diet, the healthy window for dietary fat is 400 to 700 calories -- the equivalent of 44.4 to 77.7 g of fat. If you consume too much saturated or trans fat from your diet, your cholesterol level may be negatively affected, even if you exercise. While exercise is a healthy way to burn excess fat, it's equally important to include the right kinds of fats in your diet.
When you establish a calorie deficit by taking in fewer calories than you expend, you burn excess body fat. This is true regardless of the source of fuel used during exercise. Body fat is the result of excess calories from all sources, including dietary fat, carbohydrates and protein. To keep from storing additional body fat, you need to monitor your caloric intake and get regular exercise.
- American Council on Exercise: Will I Lose Body Fat More Efficiently By Performing My Aerobic Workouts at a Low, Rather Than a High, Intensity?
- American Council on Exercise: Trimming Off the Fat
- American Heart Association: Triglycerides
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Physical Activity for a Healthy Weight
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Dietary Fat