Exercise and Fat Burning – Demystified (Part 2)
Now let’s look at the last two questions, how hard do I have to work out to burn fat, and do I even have to exercise to lose weight.
How hard do I have to work out to burn fat?
Just because you work out hard doesn’t mean you burn more fat. And, just because you workout at a lower intensity, doesn’t mean you don’t burn fat. In fact, have you heard you can work out at a lower intensity and burn more fat? Confusing? Let’s explain.
If you exercise at a low intensity level, a higher percentage of the energy expended in your body actually does comes from fat. But, the total energy expended is low, therefore, you don’t burn that much fat.
On the flip side, if you exercise at higher intensity levels, a lower percentage of energy expended in your body comes from fat. The higher percentage comes from carbs. But, the total energy expended in your body is higher, therefore, combined, you burn both more fat and carbs.
So, to answer the question, you are better off working at higher intensities because your total energy expended, while low from fat, is higher from a combination of fat and carbs.
Do I even have to exercise to lose weight?
The truth is, you don’t have to exercise to lose weight. In fact, what and how much you eat has more to do with it than exercise. However, there is a real downside to leaving off exercise.
When weight is lost without exercise, it’s usually muscle that is lost. And, should you gain back this weight, you’ve gained back fat. Have you ever known someone who lost a lot of weight quickly and their skin looks saggy or they have a “sunken” look? This is not unusual if a person loses weight quickly without exercising. Building muscle through exercise, while dieting, decreases the potential of looking like that.
The Bottom Line…
That is, exercise will build stronger muscles, which burn more calories, even at rest. And, you can lose weight faster by combining exercise and eating less calories, creating a bigger deficit between the calories consumed and the calories burned.
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