How MET’s can shape your weight loss goals

By David Hawkins, Exercise Specialist

METS, an acronym for Metabolic Equivalents, are a helpful measure of the energy demands (oxygen cost) of a task.  Compared to the amount of energy expended at rest (average resting metabolic rate), METS provides for an easy comparison to help you select activities that burn the greatest amount of energy.  For example, the chart below compares the energy cost of several activities by their METS : 

Source:  Alive by Nature – accessed on 27/08/19

So, you heard walking is one of the best exercises for weight loss?  Yes, walking is a great exercise and is well tolerated by most, easy on the joints, pleasurable and is considered to be one of the single best things you can do for your health.  However, if energy expenditure is your goal, perhaps cycling would be a better option!   

Don’t forget that muscle is also important when losing fat and, when this is our goal, our focus with exercise should be to preserve, if not build our precious muscles to protect or even increase our metabolism (and increase our fat-burning potential).  So, looking at the chart above, we could select an exercise that gives us even more bang for our buck!  Free weights training has a METS value of approximately 8 times that of our resting metabolism (high energy expenditure) and is approximately 3 times that of walking at an average speed. In addition, and more importantly, resistance training will help to build muscle, increase our metabolism and burn more fat at rest!  A great choice of exercise for your metabolism and to help you achieve your fat loss goals!  

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