Hitting the Right MET to Lose Belly Fat

Am I working out in the right intensity zone?  One of the easiest methods for recording of the intensity of your physical activity is the Metabolic Equivalent Task (MET) method. 

The American Heart Association suggests at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a week or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise to foster good health and lose belly fat.

 By increasing your activity level you can increase the number of calories you burn a day, this can help you burn the fat around your belly.

Calculating Workout Intensity

Metabolic Equivalents (METs) are commonly used to express the intensity of physical activities.

MET is the ratio of a person’s working metabolic rate relative to their resting metabolic rate. One MET is defined as the energy cost of sitting quietly and is equivalent to a caloric consumption of 1kcal/kg/hour.

It is estimated that compared with sitting quietly, a person’s caloric consumption is three to six times higher when being moderately active (3-6 METs) and more than six times higher when being vigorously active (>6 METs). Example: Jumping rope helps you burn tons of calories (Metabolic Equivalents: 10 METs | 525 Cal) with a touch of nostalgia.

Keep in Mind

  • Balance is important. Overdoing it can increase your risk of soreness, injury and burnout. Start at a light intensity if you’re new to exercising. Gradually build up to a moderate or vigorous intensity.
  • Reasons for exercising. Do you want to improve your fitness, lose weight, train for a competition or do a combination of these? Your answer will help determine the appropriate level of exercise intensity.
  • Be realistic and don’t push yourself too hard, too fast. Fitness is a lifetime commitment, not a sprint to a finish line. Talk to your doctor if you have any medical conditions or you’re not sure how intense you should exercise.

Identifying Moderate exercise intensity

Moderate activity feels somewhat hard. Here are clues that your exercise intensity is at a moderate level:

  • Your breathing quickens, but you’re not out of breath.
  • You develop a light sweat after about 10 minutes of activity.
  • You can carry on a conversation, but you can’t sing.

Identifying Vigorous exercise intensity

Vigorous activity feels challenging. Here are clues that your exercise intensity is at a vigorous level:

  • Your breathing is deep and rapid.
  • You develop a sweat after only a few minutes of activity.
  • You can’t say more than a few words without pausing for breath.

Do Not Overexert

Beware of pushing yourself too hard too often. If you are short of breath, are in pain or can’t work out if you’d planned, your exercise intensity is probably higher than your fitness level allows.

Back off a bit and build intensity gradually.


The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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