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We all know that we’re burning extra calories during workouts, but there are ways to amp up your calorie-burning potential. Nancy Clark, M.S., R.D., a sports dietitian near Boston, has three tips to consider when it comes to burning calories:
Your body quickly becomes efficient at exercise, so your heart rate and oxygen consumption levels are lower, and you burn fewer calories. To shake things up, increase your intensity by doing intervals or using different types of exercises or equipment to train different muscle groups, advises Clark.
To burn a pound of fat, you theoretically have to burn 3,500 unreplaced calories. But when you increase your lean muscle mass, you’ll also boost your resting metabolic rate, so your body naturally burns more calories at rest. Replace 4 1⁄2lbs of body fat with muscle, and you’ll boost your resting metabolism by 17 calories a day.
“If a cardio machine says you’ve burned 300 calories, in reality it’s more likely less than that,” says Clark. You’re still burning calories at rest, so the net amount is only a percentage of what you’d have burned anyway. Most machines also don’t calculate in individual physiques or calorie efficiency.