Slow & Steady Doesn't Always Win The Raceby Carole Phillips on 03/09/11
I'm often asked whether it is better to exercise at a slower pace to burn more fat and my answer is this: Not if you want to lose weight. Here's why:
During exercise your body relies primarily on fat and carbohydrates for fuel. Vigorous aerobic exercise, such as running, burns proportionately more carbs than fat, while the reverse is true for the same exercise done at a slower pace. So far this seems to make a case for ditching the running shoes and taking a liesurly stroll but that would be a mistake.
You see, when it comes to losing weight the only thing that matters is calories burned, no matter the source. So even though low intensity exercise burns a higher percentage of calories from fat than high intensity exercise, it doen't burn more total calories from fat. And, weight loss aside, high intensity aerobic exercise is better for overall cardiovascular health than low intensity exercise.
Rather than concerning yourself with where the calories you're burning are coming from, you're better off finding activities that you enjoy and will do on a regular basis because the key to weight loss (and weight maintenance) is consistency.