Diet Center Diet Tips

Here are some diet tips that will help keep you on track and on time for goal weight.

Jan 22, 2018 Tip

If you’re wondering how fast you need to walk in order to maximize your fat burning potential, you need to know what your target heart rate is. Workouts at 60-80% of your maximum heart rate get the body to use stored fat for energy. You can burn 85% of your calories from fats. Walking faster or slower burns a smaller percentage of fat.

You can determine your target heart rate zone by using simple formulas. First calculate your maximum heart rate (the highest rate that your body can normally handle) by using the formula “220 minus your age” [ex. You are 30 years old, 220 – 30 = 190 = maximum heart rate (MHR)].  Then multiply your maximum heart rate by 60% (ex. 190 (MHR) x .60 = 114).  This figure (114) is the low end of your target heart rate zone.  Then multiply your maximum heart rate by 80% (ex. 190 (MHR) x .80 = 152). This figure (152) is the high end of your target heart rate zone.  Therefore, if you are 30 years old, your target heart rate zone would be 114 to 152 (heart rate beats per minute).

Then to track your progress you need to measure your heart rate while walking. To measure your heart rate, take your pulse by placing the tips of your index finger and middle finger over the artery at the base of your wrist.  Then add enough pressure to feel the pulse and count the number of beats for ten seconds and multiply this number by 6 (this will give you beats per 60 seconds/1 minute).  This total is your working heart rate.  If it’s within your target heart rate zone, then you are walking at a pace that brings your heart rate up to 60-80% of your maximum heart rate. If your total is below your target heart rate zone, then you should walk at a faster pace. If your total is higher than your target heart rate zone, then you should walk at a slower pace.

Keep in mind that the results from formulas are just guidelines. Listen to your body and adjust your pace based on how you're feeling. You should be comfortable enough to hold a light conversation while walking, but breathing harder than normal. If you’re walking to improve your weight loss, try aiming to walk at 60-80% of your maximum heart rate, so you can maximize your fat burning!