Amid the many misconceptions about fat burning lies one simple truth: The amount of fat burnt is in direct proportion to the number of calories burnt. In her article "The Myth of the Fat-burning Zone," Results Fitness owner Rachel Cosgrove states, "Fat loss is all about caloric expenditure. You must burn off more calories than you consume in order to lose body fat." Optimal fat loss is achieved through aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Aerobic activity burns maximum fat and calories during exercise, and anaerobic activity revs your metabolism, enabling your body to burn fat and calories for hours following exercise.
According to Cycling Fitness Center, any type of weightlifting exercise is anaerobic. Free weights, weight machines, pulleys or resistance bands build muscle, accelerating your metabolism and enabling your body to burn increased amounts of fat and calories.
Run a 10-minute mile in 30 minutes and you've blasted approximately 395 pesky calories, says Fierce Diva Fitness. Adding intermittent 60-second sprints to your run introduces an anaerobic element to your run, making it the perfect marriage of aerobic and anaerobic activity.
Rock or wall climbing
Whether you climb a cliff in Montana or a wall in your local gym, this intense activity will get your heart pounding and push your muscles to their limit. Calories and fat will disintegrate as you ascend the rocks and for hours afterwards.
Kick-boxing is an excellent combination of aerobic and anaerobic exercise. According to Fierce Fitness Diva, a thorough kick-boxing workout includes an hour of punching warm-up drills, shadow boxing, rope jumping, kicking and bag work. Exhausting? Yes, but you'll be approximately 800 calories lighter for your effort.
Circuit training turns weight-training into a cardiovascular session. Whereas you typically rest between sets, circuit training requires that you move swiftly between sets, thus adding an aerobic element to a traditionally anaerobic workout.
According to Spark People's, "Reference Guide to Anaerobic Exercise," biking, which requires the large muscles in your legs to work at maximum capacity, is a superior anaerobic workout. Up your calorie and fat burn further by interspersing bursts of high-speed cycling intervals throughout your workout.
The exertion required to row a canoe through water stimulates every muscle in your body, revving your metabolism for hours afterwards. No lake nearby? No problem: A gym rowing machine provides 75 to 80 per cent of the same fat and calorie burn.
It's not just for little girls anymore. Skipping rope gets your heart pumping and builds muscle tissue in your biceps, triceps, quadriceps and calves. For the most intense fat and calorie burn, perform only single bounce repetitions, where both feet hit the floor and pull back up immediately with no "double bounce" in between.
Cross country skiing
The snow may be cold but you'll be burning fat and calories like mad once your strap on the skis. Extremely vigorous and muscle-intense, cross country skiing can burn up to 360 calories per half-hour of activity.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
According to Interval Training.net, studies have shown that HIIT can burn up to 9 times more fat than traditional aerobic exercise. There are several types of HIIT, but all are based on performing consistent increasing and decreasing levels of activity within a single workout, forcing your body to push its limits and adapt to swiftly changing intensities.