Quickest way to burn extra fat

The quickest way to burn extra fat with weights.

Energy in, energy out. The body normally burns a mix of carbohydrate, as glucose, and fat for fuel. How much of either depends on your physical activity and if, or what you have eaten recently. When you use more energy than you take in from food and drink, the body burns stored fat and carbohydrates, and then even protein, to fuel your everyday activities even if you are not exercising

That’s what happens when people starve of course; the body starts to eat itself. Depending on your family history -- your genetics -- and the way you eat and exercise to create this energy deficit, your body may decide to get conservative and drop your metabolic rate to try to hold onto body weight. Some of us seem to have inherited this tendency more than others, the origins of which may be in the early periods of human evolution where 'feast or famine' was more or less the norm.

Glucose, fat and protein. Even so, starvation always works eventually and the body starts to break down its own tissue for fuel. Stored carbohydrate called glycogen is quickly used up, then goes the fat stored under the skin and around the internal organs. Protein in muscle is then broken down to create glucose to keep the brain working and you conscious.

Fat and glucose are the body’s two main energy sources. Fat you know well, glucose comes mainly from carbohydrate foods like rice and bread and potatoes and protein is supplied mainly by meat and beans and dairy products. The amino acid building blocks of protein foods can be converted to glucose in emergencies. Your body always burns a mix of fat and glucose except at very high intensities, and the ratio of the fat and glucose in 'the burn' varies with intensity and time of exercise.

Fat burning zone. You may have noticed that some bikes and treadmills at the gym have a setting that says “fat burning zone”, which implies a setting for intensity or speed. The reason for this is that the body burns a greater percentage of fat at a slow pace (or after about 90 minutes of exercise). The fat burning zone, a low intensity speed zone is mainly a gimmick, and here is the reason.

Even though you burn more fat going slowly, you still burn a percentage of fat at much faster speeds or intensity. It all boils down to how much energy you expend in totality. For example, if you compare exercising at a slow rate that burns 60 percent fat and 40 percent glucose and a higher intensity or duration that burns only 30 percent fat and 70 percent glucose, you may still burn more fat at the higher intensity.

A typical example. Exercise (1) is the slower 60/40 mix and exercise (2) is the faster, 30/70 mix of fat and glucose fuel.

  1. Walking on a treadmill for 30 minutes -- 180 calories used -- 108 calories of fat burned
  2. Running on a treadmill for 30 minutes -- 400 calories used -- 120 calories of fat burned

You can see from this example that the bottom line really is how much energy you expend -- and that is the ultimate fat burning measure. The theoretical fat burning zone is mostly a convenient myth.


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