Busting the Great Myths of Fat Burning
Your body burns either fat or carbs depending on the intensity of your activity. But when it comes to losing weight, calories are calories. You burn fat even when you're in couch-potato mode. Yet, a lot of misunderstanding prevails. Get ready to break down some of the myths people have about burning fat:
Myth: The body completely shuts off one fuel source when it turns on the other. The Truth: What has often been misunderstood by both exercisers and exercise instructors alike is that the body relies on both fat and carbs for energy all the time, albeit in different ratios. In fact, as you sit here reading, you may be burning about 50-60 percent fat and 50-40 percent carbohydrates. You're not using much of either, however, because the amount of calories you need probably amounts to about one or two calories a minute.
If you were to get up and start jogging in place, your body would need to supply you with some quick energy to do so, so the metabolism ratio might shift to drawing upon more carbohydrates, say 70 percent, and less fat, say 30 percent. If you were to continue jogging, then, in order to preserve the carbs (which can run out since you have limited stores in the body), your body would gradually shift its metabolism ratio again to say, 60 percent fat and 40 percent carbohydrates.
From an energy efficiency point of view, it pays to be fit. However, in practical terms this is purely technotalk, and these ratios don't make a big difference when it comes to losing weight and decreasing your body fat. To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than your body consumes and uses everyday. Exercise is one main way to burn a lot of calories. But when it comes to weight loss, what matters is how many calories you burn, not so much whether they are fat or carbohydrate calories.
If you do work at a low intensity, you need to increase the time spent exercising to burn more calories. What matters most is the total number of calories burned. If you burned 250 calories every day from a short, fast jog, you'd see a bigger difference in weight and fat loss than if you walked everyday for the same amount of time.
The number of fat calories you burn isn't that important, because even if you burn a lot of carb calories, these need to be replaced both by the carbs you eat in your diet and also within your body. Your fat stores will be broken down and transformed into carbohydrates when you need fuel. Even if you're burning lots of carb calories and less fat calories through exercise, your fat still inevitably gets used.
Watching TV for 20 minutes - 40 total calories, 60 percent fat, 24 fat calories
Walking for 20 minutes - 100 total calories, 65 percent fat, 65 fat calories
Jogging/sprinting for 20 minutes - 250 total calories, 40 percent fat, 100 fat calories
Who knew that watching TV burns more fat percentage than jogging LOL :o) The fat burning zone is ‘Low Intensity Cardio’ where your heart rate is between 60 – 70% of your maximum heart rate. This heart rate range is reached by standing up, walking fast or jogging.
The cardio training zone is ‘High Intensity Cardio’ and your heart rate is between 70 – 85% of your maximum heart rate.
Maximum heart rate can be estimated by the following formula:(220 – Age) = Maximum Heart RateExample: (220-28) = 192b.p.m. (beats per minute) is the maximum heart rate.
The bottom line: For individuals new to exercise it is recommended to start in this low intensity zone (60 – 70% of maximum heart rate). There will be some benefit in the first 2-3 weeks, initially they can experience even some weight loss. But after this initial stage gradually we need to increase the intensity of our routine. Remember, this increase corresponds to a 70 – 85% of Maximum Hart Rate. You can even make it a family affair :o)