Heart Rate and Weight Loss
When we begin a new workout we don’t want it to be too difficult, we need to connect our bodies to our brains properly before we can go hard. These workouts are designed to burn fat, gain muscle and strength, increase co-ordination and encourage a strong mindset towards exercise. For some of you it may be a bit easier, for some still a challenge, but you're here! As the weeks continue your fitness level will advance, and the program will adapt and change too.
What we are focusing on today is making sure you are getting the best out of your work out and targeting your ultimate heart rate for fat burning.
We don’t want too go hard out from the start, we want to build up and peak right at the end so you can complete a session (and not spew).
To determine what your fat-burning zone heart rate is supposed to be use the following simple formula:
Take 220 and minus your current age = this equals your MHR (Age predicted maximum heart rate).
To get the low-end of your fat-burning zone multiply your MHR by 0.6 and to get to the high-end of your fat-burning zone multiply your MHR by 0.75.
E.G. 35 year old Finding MHR: 220-35 = 185.
Low-end of fat-burning zone: 185 x 0.6 = 111 beats per minute.
High-end of fat-burning zone: 188 x 0.75 = 139 beats per minute.
When it comes to exercise things can be fun and challenging at the same time! Just make sure you do things that make you feel you are working at your hardest between 10-30% of the time.
Lactic acid is the only thing that will hold you back from going 100% through your workout and the one way to stop it is oxygen intake. So you're 5 mins into your HIIT session and you feel like you're going to throw up…? This is from the lack of oxygen going to your brain, it's too busy making it's way down to the muscles that you are currently using, your heart is pounding and that's a result of your heart's BPM (Beats Per Minute) going through the roof! It's working so hard to get oxygen to your muscles and circulating so fast through your body that it's actually heating up your core temperature, which ultimately results in fat burning.
You can find out your heart’s BPM by using a heart rate monitor from your local sports outlet or by using your phone in your rest time. Place your fingers (not thumb!) on your neck and find a pulse, count the heart beats and starting a timer on your phone for 15 seconds, multiply the number of heart beats in 15 seconds by 4 and you will have a rough idea of the BPM.
Did you know that water makes up more than half of your body weight?
That’s right, approximately 60% of an adults body weight comes from water.
But wait! Don’t ditch it in an attempt to lose weight!
We Need Water to Function.
Every cell, tissue and organ in our body needs water. It regulates temperature, removes waste and lubricates our joints. Water helps our heart to pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles and helps our muscles work efficiently. We lose water when using the bathroom, sweating, breathing and from sickness through vomiting and diarrhea.
How Much Should I be Drinking?
Different people need different amounts, just like food. People who perspire more will need more water – but also those who don’t sweat may be at risk of already being dehydrated. Pregnant and breastfeeding women also need to drink more water. Once upon a time someone decided that 8 cups of water per day would keep the doctor away… whilst this was important just in the matter of getting people to drink water, there is a much better way of calculating to suit yourself as an individual.
Your weight in kilograms ÷ 0.024 = Amount of water you require in millilitres before any physical activity (x1000 to get litres)
Add 450mL for every 30 minutes of exercise.
EG 62kg Female who exercises for 1 hour every day
62kg ÷ 0.024 = 2583mL
+ 1 hour of exercise (450mL) = 3033mL
= ~3L per day
Your weight in pounds x 0.67 = Amount of water you require in ounces before any physical activity
Add 15 ounces for every 30 minutes of exercise.
EG 150lbs Female who exercises for 1 hour every day
150lbs x 0.67 = 100.5fl oz
+ 1 hour of exercise (15fl oz)
= 115.5fl oz per day
What if I Don’t Like Water?
Coffee, tea, sport and energy drinks should be kept to a minimum. Caffeine is a diuretic when taken in amounts of more than 200-300mg per day – it’s also not great for our anxiety levels. Eating fruits and vegetables can help with hydration (watermelon, tomatoes, lettuce) and broths.
Avoid drinking ‘sports’ drinks such as Gatorade or Powerade if you’re only having a short workout. If you’re exercising for more than 90 minutes the carbohydrates and electrolytes will help to increase energy – perfect for a 10km run, but not so perfect for a 25 minute HIIT session. Two important things that you should check on the nutritional label are sodium (salt) and carb percentage. Sodium helps the body to regulate how much water a cell can hold. When sodium is low your cells take on too much water and swell which can be fatal. Rule out anything with a carb percentage of 7% or higher (juice, sodas) as a form of hydration as these stay in your stomach for longer. Opt for electrolyte tablets or make your own at home by blending watermelon, water, ice and a pinch of Himalayan salt (1:1 ration of watermelon:water) – this is roughly a 6-7% carb blend.
One of the easiest ways to tell if you are dehydrated is by looking at your urine. Sure, this may be gross to some, but it is crucial. Colourless or light yellow generally means you are hydrated, a dark yellow or amber colour is a red flag! Other signs of dehydration include a dry mouth, sleepiness or fatigue, extreme thirst, headaches, confusion, dizziness/lightheaded and no tears when crying. You are at a higher risk of becoming dehydrated when exercising particularly in hot weather, if you are sick, pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to lose weight.
Did You Know?
Mental and physical performance drops when you’re 2% dehydrated.
5 Tips to Stay Hydrated:
1. Always take a bottle wherever you go – helps to avoid buying coffees and other drinks, not only is it better for you it will also help save money
2. Add fruits or vegetables to your water to change the taste – our favourites include cucumber, berries or lemon/lime
3. Drink water before, during and after workouts – this will replenish as you go, aim for 500mL per workout
4. Think you’re hungry? Have a drink of water first. True hunger won’t be cured by water.
5. Avoid sugary drinks such as sports drinks, ‘energy’ drinks pre-bottled cold press coffee and alcohol as forms of hydration – this will help you avoid excess ‘empty’ calories.
Have you ever followed a food and exercise plan only to not get the results you were hoping for?
Sleep may be the missing link.
Think about the last time you went to sleep… maybe you’re reading this as you just wake up. Maybe you’re a little tired? Sleep is necessary for energy conservation, brain and muscle rest and repair, and is the means of essential resting time for the whole body and its systems. Quality sleeps helps mental and physical health, improves quality of life and increases safety. They way you feel while you’re awake depends in part on what happens while you’re asleep - your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain physical health.
Good health = good nutrition, good exercise and good sleep.
Sleep helps the brain prepare for the next day. While you sleep, your brain is forming new pathways to learn and remember information. Not only does quality sleep help you to pay attention during the day, it also helps you make decisions and be creative. REM or relaxed eye moment is where your muscles are relaxed and recent memories may be consolidated in the brain. This is usually when dreaming occurs.
Sleep deficiency has been linked to depression, suicide and risk-taking behaviour. Lack of motivation has also been linked - have you ever tried dieting when you’re in a bad mood, sick or hungry? Chances are it didn’t work too well. Deficiency is also linked to mood swings, anger, impulsive behaviours and problems with getting along with others.
Our immune system relies on sleep to stay healthy – ongoing sleep deficiency can change the way our immune system responds against foreign or harmful substances. Quality sleep helps with healing and repairing the heart and blood vessels. Deep sleep triggers the hormone that promotes normal growth in children/teens as well as boosting muscle mass and repairing cells and tissues for everybody. Deficiency can be linked to obesity as it messes with the healthy balance of hormones that make you feel hungry (ghrelin) or full (leptin). Not enough sleep causes ghrelin levels to go up and leptin levels to go down. Insulin (blood glucose/sugar) levels are generally higher when sleep is deprived causing higher than normal blood sugar levels that can cause diabetes.
BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate)
When resting our body uses a majority of our energy requirements – 60% of our daily calories are burned up just doing this! We use this energy for breathing, keeping the heart pumping, growing and maintaining cells as well as maintaining body temperature. Add 10% for digestion, absorbing and storing food – also known as DIT or diet induced thermogenesis. Add that up and you’re looking at 70% of your total energy used just for maintenance, the other 30% for exercise. Cutting sleep while dieting leads to a decrease in BMR, therefore the ability to lose fat is reduced. Sleep deprivation causes the body to burn lean muscle tissue rather than fat tissue to conserve energy.
What you may have already picked up on is that sleep deficiency is definitely not good for us. There are two types of sleep deficiency – instant and gradual/over time. Ongoing deficiency will put you at a high risk of chronic health problems including an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke. Instant is where you’ve maybe had 1 or 2 bad nights of sleep and suddenly how you think, react, work, learn and get along with others is jeopardized. The ability to control your metabolism and appetite are put at risk as the metabolic system is put under stress.
Adequate sleep plays a key part in creating and living a healthy lifestyle. Our productivity is lowered, reactions slowed and mistakes can be made easily.
So what exactly causes sleep deprivation?
- Stress (this is number 1!)
- School or job pressures
- Family or marriage problems
- Illness or death in the family
- Alcohol or caffeine in the afternoon or evening
- Irregular morning or night schedules
- Travel (jet lag)
- Comfort in bed (actual bed itself or habits of sleeping partner)
How to get a good night sleep
- Exercise to reduce stress
- Keep a regular sleep/wake schedule
- Don’t drink or eat caffeinated products 4-6 hours before bed
- Avoid smoking, particularly near bedtime or if you wake in the night
- Avoid alcohol and heavy meals before sleep
- Minimise noise, light and excessive hot or cold temperatures
- Develop a regular bed time
- Stop hitting snooze!
Download the worksheet here