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How to maximize your fat burning during exercise
It depends on how you’re exercising………….. and most people are not doing it optimally.
The exercise myth
Burning fat, is by definition an oxidation reaction i.e. it needs OXYGEN.
Lot’s of it.
The unpleasant reality, the harder you’re exercising, the less oxygen is available.
You pace yourself.
You work just hard enough, to build up a sweat, but not so hard, you’re out of breath. This ensures you can keep going on the treadmill for 30 minutes plus, burning that fat.
You’re NOT burning fat
Going too low intensity, although quite sustainable, is not exactly energy intensive, but if you push too hard, oxygen supplies will become depleted.
Pacing yourself is a delicate balance.
No worries, your muscles can adapt, they go to plan B, instead of burning fat, they’re
You’re burning sugar
The sugar being burned, comes from the sugar, doing the rounds in your circulation.
If this is not adequate to meet demand, the muscles burn the sugar, they have stored away, for just such an occasion. The muscle sugar stores are in the form of glycogen. As a rule, the fitter a muscle is, the bigger the size of it’s glycogen stash .
So fit muscles can keep going for longer.
Here is a graphic that depicts the typical situation.
At rest, you are burning a little more fat, than sugar – assuming you’re metabolically healthy. As the level of exercise intensity increases, you pretty much stop burning fat and excluseively burn sugar
What happened to burning fat ?
Hang on a minute, I thought exercise was all about burning fat.
The gurus have known this for years.
Way back when, it was shown that if you stick an exercised set of muscles in a fancy respiratory chamber for 24 hours and measure the level of fat oxidation and then do the same thing, to a sedentary set of muscles, the numbers are pretty much the same.
What is the point of exercising ?
Does this mean your exercise session is POINTLESS ?
Yes. If you’re motivated TO BURN FAT !
Pounding the treadmill, at a moderate pace, for 30 minutes, get the blood flowing. Which is good !
But, it will not deplete the stores of fat.
My weight has plateaued
This probably isn’t news to you………… despite the hype, a gym membership on its’ own, seldom turns you into a skinny bean pole.
The fine print of most exercise programmes, you still have to “cut calories”.
Failing this, you need to DO MORE exercising…..
Repeat the 30 minutes, five times a week, not three. Or extend the session to 50 minutes.
Now to be fair, more tread milling will burn MORE calories.
But it still won’t be FAT !
More of the same will NOT see the fat cupboard being emptied, any time soon. It’s biology !
Now before you cancel your gym membership……………
The thinking is “off”
Fat burning sounds so palpable. It’s part of the vernacular.
But it is scientifically speaking FLAWED !
Because fat is more than just FUEL.
Let’s just consider the chemistry………..
We’re carbon based life forms
This means, we’re primarily made up of carbon atoms.
We get our carbon atoms from the foods we eat.
So fatty acids, which are chock-full of carbon atoms, can be turned into a dizzying array of things. Precisely the things, that would be needed, when a muscle has WORKED OUT.
Really worked out !
Exercise is by definition STRESS FULL
All that pushing and pulling can take it’s toll.
Muscles that are a little battered and bruised, need to recoup.
The patching up, requires resources – who better to provide them, than fat cells. It’s not FAT BURNING, but hydrocarbon source redistribution !
The net effect, fat cells get smaller and muscle cells get “bigger”.
So when you’re exercising you want to be doing
Hydrocarbon source redistribution
Okay, okay……….. it doesn’t sound quite as cool as FAT BURNING, but it is scientifically speaking, more accurate.
And, it does tell you what to aim for when you’re exercising.
In a word.
You need muscle damage
Cruising on the bicycle for 30 minutes is not particularly hard on a muscle. It’s work, but not “damaging”. Likewise, lifting the relatively light weight 10 times, is work, but not “damaging” for the average muscle.
Hopping on the bicycle and going as fast as you can, for as long (or short) as you can IS. And for the record, it won’t be VERY LONG. So is lifting something seriously heavy. Both are exhausting for the muscle i.e. DAMAGING.
Get the most from exercise
If you want to get the most out of that exercise session HURT your muscle, a little. “Fat burning” is not about endurance, but strength.
The size of adipose tissue is dictated by muscles.
Note : I did say A LITTLE. Putting your muscle(s) in the ICU for 3 weeks, is likely to be counterproductive. So be careful.
Sitting beats moderate physical activity, when it comes to creating BETTER BODY CHEMISTRY – strut your STUFF (Stand Up For Fitness)
Exercise improves insulin sensitivity, but the benefit requires a little oxidative stress. So if you combine an antioxidant with exercise, you lose the benefit
When fats are burned, they’re consumed by FIRE, generating heat. It makes sense. But, this picture of fat burning, is not scientifically accurate…..