How to Burn Fat – Everyone Can Do It

How Do You Become a Fat Burning Machine?

Everyone burns fat differently and at different heart rates. You just need to work in YOUR heart rate zones. Read more about heart rate zones here!

When you work in your lower zones (1 & 2), you will burn the most fat and it help improve your fat burn the more you work in them. Working in zone 3 improves your anaerobic threshold (where you start to breath heavy). The more you work past your threshold and into zones 4 & 5, the more you will improve you breathing (VO2). So this assessment will tell you exactly where your zones are and where you need to work to improve those things.

When you burn fat you have more energy!

Here is an example of my zones, how much fat and carbs I am burning in those zones, how many calories I am burning per minute in each zone, and how fast I need to go to get in my zones.

Heart rate zonesFat burning zones

The warm-up is VERY important, because it gets your body ready to burn fat. When your body initially starts moving you start to burn carbs/sugar more, because that is how your body can grab energy the fastest. You stop the warm-up to let your heart rate slow back down, and then when you get back into the workout, your body will start to burn more fat and use that as your energy source.

Let me give you an example. If you are on the road and you see a car coming that is about to hit you, you run out of the way. In order to do that, your body grabs energy from carbs so you can move quickly. So when you start the warm-up, your body thinks you are running for your life and it grabs energy from carbs. After the warm-up, your body realizes you are not running for your life, so it begins to burn more fat.

Finally with the assessment you get an estimate of your VO2 max, which tells you how well you are breathing, and how much you need to improve. The higher the number the better shape you are in. Here is an example of my warm-up and VO2 score.

Warm upVO2

How Do I Burn More Fat?

Once you figure out what your zones are, you will be able to know where your heart rate should be to improve your fat burn and burn the most fat during your workout. However, there are other things you need to do in order to make sure you are burning the most amount of fat possible.

  • Nutrition – this plays a HUGE role in what you are burning. Eating more protein (meats), healthy fats (nuts, avocados), and fibers (veggies) will help you burn more fat during the workout. However, if you burn a lot of carbs during the workout (working in your higher zones), your body will need to restore the carbs it needs. That is why you might crave carbs after the workout.

Your body has a certain amount of carbs it needs to stay stable, and when you burn from that storage your body needs to replace it. A problem people have is eating too many carbs after the workout, and going over the storage can take the excess carbs and turn them into fat, which you do not want. Getting protein after the workout is the BEST thing you can do, and don’t be scared of carbs, just limit them and get only complex carbs.Garmin 235

  • Staying active throughout the day – Your goal should be to get 10,000 steps each day to be unsedentary (not lazy). Don’t just workout for an hour each day and then sit the rest of the day. Try to get up every 20 minutes, because if you sit longer than that your body can become insulin resistant. Getting a good heart rate monitor that counts your steps is the best way to monitor your activity and sleep.
  • Sleep – You need to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night, and that is without waking up in the middle of the night. You need deep sleep so your body and muscles can recover from the day you just had. If you wake up in the middle of the night between 1am and 4am, it is usually due to too much stress.
  • Stress – Sleep and stress sometimes go together. If you do not get enough sleep you could become stressed, and if you are stressed it is sometimes hard to get sleep. Try to have a positive outlook on things, because stress is mostly how you perceive it. Smile, laugh, and hug! You will be surprised at how much your stress will go down if you just think positively. For more information on stress and how to manage it click here.

If you have any questions about how to burn fat, please leave me a comment below and I will do my best to help!

Live Well and Live On,


This article has 12 Comments

  1. Great information on how to burn fat! Great information and absolutely true. These are really easy changes to make and everyone can do them. I think that diet and exercise is definitely the key. I know once I switched to fruit, veggies, and exercise, I saw a huge change. Great post! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you very much, I’m glad you have made changes and seen results! let me know if you ever need help with anything 🙂


  2. Hey there Karissa!
    I love your approach to burning fat, as it’s not just “hop on the cardio machines and slave away”, you look into HOW the body burns fat and how to induce that state of high metabolism through warm ups and different exercises. I have a fitness site as well so I’m always excited to see other people’s perspectives and I find your content really great!

    1. Thank you very much, I’m glad you liked it. I like to check out other fitness sites as well.


  3. Amazing.

    Karissa, I hate to say it, but i’m a bit of a critique when looking at other health and fitness sites.

    I’m very knowledgeable around this niche and more often than not, when I look at other sites I find myself staring at false information. In this case, after reading the post, I found it to be extremely accurate and true regarding what you’re discussing. You know your stuff and I respect you for that.

    You can have a like a follow and a retweet for this post.

    Are you knowledgeable of the afterburner effect of exercise on the metabolism? I think it would have been a great opportunity to discuss this within your post.

    Keep looking after yourself Karissa, the rest will fall into place.

    1. Thank you so very much!

      I do know a little bit about fat burn after the workout. That’s a good idea to talk about that as well! I know men keep burning fat about 24 hours after exercise and women keep burning fat just a few hours after exercise (which is not fair! Lol). I’ll do some more research and maybe add it on

      I appreciate your comment 🙂

  4. Hi Karissa,

    I like that you mentioned sleep because it is a big part of losing fat. In my experience I lose more fat when I sleep more and when I don’t sleep my body does not recover.

    I also keep my nutrition on check because that is really important.

    Do you think adults or teens should sleep more?

    1. I don’t necessarily think teens or adults should sleep more. I think sleep is especially important for adults because most of them do not get enough. Teens could probably still function fine after little sleep, but it will catch up to you and they would need to catch up on their sleep eventually

      Everyone needs at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night. 4 hours of deep sleep and 4 hours of REM sleep is ideal.

  5. I never knew that heart rate and fat burning goes hand in hand. This is a well written post, Karissa. This answers so many missing pieces I had about increasing my fat burning rate. I always try to eat right, but I often have to compromise on my sleep because of my studies, as a result I often tend to be stressed. I need to work on it!
    By the way, what would you suggest an ectomorph (with skinny fat) to do first, if they want to gain muscle mass and lose fat? Should they lose the fat first, ad then build the muscle mass or the other way around?

    1. Hello Mithra,

      Thank you for the comment! People that are “skinny fat” need to just make healthier eating choices and gradually lift heavier weights. Lifting heavier weights will build muscle, and also keep your heart rate in the fat burning zone. I hope this helps, good luck on your journey!

      – Karissa

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