Fat Burning Zone Calculator

Created by Joanna Michałowska, PhD candidate
Reviewed by Dominik Czernia, PhD, Jack Bowater and Łucja Zaborowska, MD, PhD candidate
Based on research by
Zoladz JA, Majerczak J, Duda K, Chłopicki S. Endurance training increases exercise-induced prostacyclin release in young, healthy men--relationship with VO2max.; Pharmacological Reports; May 2010See 2 more sources
KARVONEN MJ, KENTALA E, MUSTALA O. The effects of training on heart rate; a longitudinal study.; Annales Medicinae Experimentalis et Biologiae Fenniae; 1957Carey DG. Quantifying differences in the "fat burning" zone and the aerobic zone: implications for training.; The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research; October 2009
Last updated: Oct 17, 2023

The fat burning zone calculator estimates your target heart rate for the greatest amount of fat loss (oxidation). Keeping your heart rate in those values will allow you to maximize your body's ability to lose weight and burn fat while exercising.

Do you want to know how many calories you burn during training? Check our calories burned calculator!

Target heart rate

Your heart rate is one of the best indicators of how hard your body is working when exercising. Target heart rate is the desired range your heart rate should be in during the performance of a physical activity, which enables your heart and lungs to receive the greatest benefit they can from the workout.

This theoretical range varies among people, and depends mostly on age; however other factors, such us physical condition, sex, and previous training, also may have an influence.

Fat burning heart rate

You might have seen the "fat burning zone" written on treadmills, cycle ergometers, ellipses and other equipment. Have you ever wondered where does comes from? Well, we have the answer for you! The fat burning zone is simply the range of heart rates that is ideal for fat loss. It can be calculated as a 60-80% of your maximal heart rate.

If you want to find out more about other heart rate zones, check out the target heart rate calculator.

Fat burning zone calculator

Fat burning zone calculator estimates your target heart rate (THR) for weight loss using 3 different methods:

  1. 60-80% of your maximum heart rate

  2. Zoladz method, which defines exercise zones by subtracting values from your maximum heart rate (MHR or HRmax):

    THR = HRmax − Adjuster ± 5 bpm,

    where the adjusters for the fat burning zone are equal to 40 and 50.

  3. Karvonen method, where you need to know your resting heart rate (RHR) to calculate your target heart rate, using a range of 60–80% for the intensity:

    THR = ((MHR − RHR) × % intensity) + RHR

where MHR-RHR can be also defined as a heart rate reserve. You can find more details about this method in the Karvonen formula calculator.

How to calculate fat burning zone? - an example

Let's try to calculate the fat burning heart rate range for a person that is 35 years old with a resting heart rate of 60.

  1. We need to calculate their maximum heart rate first, where:

MHR = 220 - age

MHR = 220 - 35

MHR = 185
2. We can now calculate the fat burning heart rate zones using 3 different methods:

  • 60-80% of maximum heart rate:

fat burning zone: [60% x 185] - [80% x 185]

fat burning zone: 111 - 148 BPM*

  • Zoladz method:

fat burning heart rate: [185 - 50 ± 5] - [185 - 40 ± 5]

fat burning heart rate: 130 - 150 BPM

  • Karvonen method:

fat burning zone: [((185 − 60) × 60%) + 60] - [((185 − 60) × 80%) + 60]

fat burning zone: [125 x 60% + 60] - [125 x 80% + 60]

fat burning zone: 135 - 160 BPM

*BPM - beats per minute

Seems complicated? Not with our fat burning zone calculator, which allows you to obtain your results in just a few seconds!

Heart rate for weight loss

You have found out how to calculate fat burning zone, but do you really need to lose weight? Check our ideal weight calculator calculator to find it out!

Even if you do not need to change your weight, remember that physical activity is really important, as it helps us to maintain both our physical and mental health, and can prevent us from contracting such diseases as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

If you are not sure if you meet your daily recommendations for physical activity, check our MET minutes calculator. And last but not least - remember about a healthy diet!


How do I calculate maximum heart rate?

To calculate the maximum heart rate (MHR), use the formula:
MHR = 220 - age

For example, to calculate the MHR of a person that is 30 years old:
MHR = 220 - 30
MHR = 190

Keep in mind this is a theoretical approximation. Your actual MHR could be lower or higher than this formula's yield.

What is my fat-burning zone?

Your fat-burning zone corresponds to 60% - 80% of your maximum heart rate. While your heart rate in BPM is in this range, you will burn the most fat.

Let's calculate the fat-burning zone of a person who is 25 years old:

  1. Determine their maximum heart rate (MHR):
    MHR = 220 - age = 195 BPM
  2. Calculate the lower end of the range:
    60% x 195 = 117 BPM
  3. Next, estimate the upper end:
    80% × 195 = 156 BPM
  4. Finally, the fat-burning zone of this person is:
    fat burning zone = 117 - 156 BPM

What heart rate is zone 2?

Zone 2 corresponds to 60% - 70% of an individual's maximum heart rate (MHR). Exercising in this zone is considered light intensity training. It is just below the aerobic threshold, but still allows fat burning.

How do I calculate my target heart rate using the Karvonen method?

To calculate your target heart rate (THR) with the Karvonen method:

  1. You need to know your resting heart rate (RHR).
  2. With your age, determine your maximum heart rate (MHR):
    MHR = 220 - age
  3. Calculate your heart rate reserve (HRR)
    HRR = MHR - RHR
  4. Finally, to calculate your target heart rate with the Karvonen method, use:
    THR = (HRR × % intensity) + RHR
Joanna Michałowska, PhD candidate
The miminum input in this calculator is your age OR your maximum heart rate. You don't need to fill in all the fields 🙂.
Resting heart rate
Maximum heart rate
Heart rate reserve
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