As easy as it would be to have a one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss, that’s not how it works. Making changes to your diet and exercise regimen are good starting points, but when it comes down to the specifics, what works for you while trying to lose weight may not work for someone else.
This is especially true when it comes to working out. Science has shown that high-intensity interval training and cardio are effective styles of training for weight loss, but which is the best workout to burn fat? To answer this question, POPSUGAR spoke to Dori Arad, PhD, RDN, CDE, the Mount Sinai Physiolab director.
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“The answer is: it depends on your metabolism,” Dr. Arad told POPSUGAR. Your metabolism relates to how your body produces energy from fats, sugars, and proteins as well as how it stores energy. Your metabolic rate, the number of calories you burn in a unit of time, provides insight on whether you have a fast or slow metabolism and how much energy you burn. To determine your metabolic rate, you’ll need to get a resting metabolic rate (RMR) test (typically $250, but rates will vary), which are currently offered at specialized clinics like Fitnescity.
Based on your results, a specialist will determine if you burn fat well or not. According to Dr. Arad, “If you’re able to burn fat well, do a type of exercise that maximizes fat-burning, like a moderate-intensity run.” If your results show that you don’t burn fat well, “You may benefit from doing high-intensity exercise, like high-intensity interval training,” Dr. Arad said.
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If you don’t want to spend money on an RMR test and like to do both HIIT and steady-state cardio, don’t worry. It won’t inhibit weight loss. Dr. Arad assured us, “Most people are likely to benefit from both, but the secret is to tailor the program to your needs, preferences, and goals.”