Great news everyone! Science has found a way for people to burn fat 100% of the time. The answer to all your fat burning questions is to… do nothing! That’s right. To burn fat you need to do nothing more than watch TV, fiddle with your phone, or even take a nap! At this point you may be asking yourself “won’t I gain weight by doing nothing?” The answer is a resounding “YES!” Which is why I wanted to address the difference between burning fat and losing fat. With so many clickbait articles and diet/exercise fads out there promising to burn fat, it’s crucial to know what fat burning actually means.
Fact or Fitness Fiction
I wasn’t lying before. Fat is the body’s preferred fuel source while at rest. As we start to move more, and with greater intensity, the body will start to use glycogen (sugar) in greater quantities. For instance, walking uses around 80% for fuel, running uses 50% fat and 50% sugar, and high intensity exercise uses nearly 100% sugar as fuel. These very rough numbers are of course dependent on the person and their training levels, but the point is that it really doesn’t matter what the fuel source is for exercise. Because it’s true that with the right diet and exercise you can turn your body into a fat burning machine! But if you’re taking in more calories than you are burning, it really doesn’t matter if you’re burning fat all day long. The science behind gaining fat and fat loss is complex, but what you need to know is that there is no “one true solution” behind either of them. Take fasted cardio for example. The thought is that if you don’t eat anything before cardio exercise, then you will burn only fat, therefore you will lose fat mass. But in well controlled research, we see that this just isn’t true. A more malicious example would be weight loss/detox wraps. Yes you will lose weight using it… you will also gain a pound by drinking a bottle of water. See where I’m going with this? With the weight loss industry fraught with snake oil peddlers, knowing what actually works will save you time and money on top of getting you results.
One thing that successful fat losers have in common is gumption. Because when it comes to your health, failure is not the absence of success but the unwillingness to try. Even if it takes years, consistently making an effort will pay off big in the end. So if you’re currently in a bit of a slump, take the advice of my good friend Jen “Ditch the defeat, decide you are worth fighting for, and start again RIGHT NOW.” She also has a terrific blog that I highly recommend you check out.
Now that you’re good and motivated, let’s take a look into the exercises you need to do to “burn fat.” And at the top of the list is… drum roll please… the exercise you like to do! It’s a bit anticlimactic, but it’s true. There’s no way to be successful with a weight loss exercise routine if you don’t do it consistently. That’s why loving the way you move is so important! If you don’t even know where to begin, here are a few ideas.
Start with a steady state cardio program. If you’re new to exercise, simply hop on a treadmill or plop down on a bike and go. No this won’t get you shredded, and you won’t “tone” your muscles by doing this, but you will burn calories (not always fat though ), increase your overall health, and you will get a chance to get acclimated to the gym.
Next, work you way up to weight lifting. As I’ve written about before, weight training is great for fat loss. And in reality, it’s the only way you can achieve a lean, strong and athletic-looking physique. You can lose all the weight you want, but if you don’t have any muscles then you will certainly be lacking ever elusive “toned” look most people are searching for.
Finally, once you’ve established a baseline of fitness, find ways to get uncomfortable. Break loose of the stereotypes. You’re never too old to try high intensity training. For those women who are worried they will get too big… stop thinking that! You wont! Woman up and lift heavy things to burn fat and see the change you desire.
Fat Burning Nutrition has some merit to it. There are some select foods and potables that can help you burn fat. But guess what? That doesn’t matter at all! No mater what diet you’re on or what super exercise and nutrition plan you have, you won’t see results unless you’re in a caloric deficit. Who care about carbs or fats. They have absolutely no bearing on weather or not you will lose weight. Research shows us that you simply need to find a way to cut calories out of your diet to lose fat. I highly recommend you listen to this podcast and/or watch this video for the best information on the subject.