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Healthy, Wealthy & Wise - 2* Fat Burn (In Depth)

Updated on June 15, 2012

What Burns Fat? ( In Depth )

There are two types of exercises that are done, Aerobic and Anaerobic. In simple terms, you can think of aerobic as having to do with oxygen, and anaerobic as having to do without oxygen.

Ever wonder what allows your body be able to jump out of the way of a car or sprint that 30 meters to the bus about to leave? Me neither, but it's something you should know if you're looking to exercise. There is a process in your body that creates energy for your muscles but only in short spurts, about 20 seconds. Creatine, a popular supplement for weight lifters, is one of the main ingredients in this short spurt of energy. We'll call this short spurt of energy ATP/CP, Adenosine TriPhosphate Creatine Phosphate for those of you who are curious. This method of energy production is anaerobic, which means that it doesn't use oxygen.

One big thing to remember is anaerobic exercise creates lactic acid, we all know lactic acid, I'm sure you've felt the burning feeling that doesn't allow you to lift the weight again or when going up stairs and your legs just start burning and giving out from underneath you. This leads to the second form of energy production. This one lasts a bit longer and kicks in after the first method, this is what allows you to last a bit longer than that 20 seconds, around 2-3 minutes. This one is also anaerobic and produces lactic acid, and we'll call it Anaerobic Lactic Acid energy production, it's the lack of oxygen that doesn't allow for longer bouts of energy. The lactic acid interrupts neurotransmitters in your muscles and doesn't allow them to move properly, which is why you can't lift your arm up for a while after holding something really heavy for a few minutes. For the weight lifters and strength builders, this is the one that really starts to break down muscle for growth due to the high energy. Exercises for this include sprinting, weight lifting, and high intensity cardio.

Both the first and second form of energy production are high intensity, these don't burn fat due to the lack of oxygen. Now for those who are about to get all frowny faced, relax, these forms of energy don't directly burn fat as there is a lack of oxygen BUT the residual gains received from them are very good. More muscle means more energy needed to feed that muscle and thus a higher metabolic rate and in turn fat burning, and this is the type of fat burning that is happening when you're sitting down relaxing or at work. This is all residual though, no fat burn comes directly from the high energy exercise, only after. What does this mean? Well it means more muscle equals more fat burn, but if you're overweight, and trying to lose fat, I'm not saying don't do weight training or high energy exercise, quite the contrary, but what I am saying is focus more on directly burning the fat. We've all seen those people who look HUGE but it's not quite muscle and it's not exactly fat, to each their own, but it's not a desirable trait in my opinion.

The third form of energy is the one we're waiting for, the Aerobic form, the one that uses oxygen! And the one that uses oxygen BURNS FAT!! This one kicks in after the second and can last for a very long time, in fact it can last so long that you could realistically go at a steady pace until you're either dehydrated or get injured. This is the one that I want to focus on, and to lose weight and burn fat this is the energy production you want to be focusing on as well. You want to cater your exercises and workouts towards this type of energy production as it will give you the most immediate and noticeable results. Remember, fat burn only occurs when oxygen is being used to help produce energy. These are the exercises that are lower to moderate intensity like the ones listed below.

  • Walking at a low to moderate steady pace; either treadmill or walks outside.
  • Elliptical, this one is my favourite, I have yet to find a better machine to melt fat.
  • Stationary Bike; this is a great one for starters who aren't ready to jump on a treadmill or elliptical

These are just three main exercises that I find are amazing at keeping a steady pace and going on and on. Now for beginners this can seem daunting, going on endlessly on one of those machines, but if you're lucky enough to have one in your home, just stick it in front of the TV and put on your favourite show, then make it your goal to just go at an easy steady pace for the whole TV show, maybe take breaks on the commercials to start and make your way up to the full show commercials and all.

Let's do a quick recap. High energy is great, it helps the heart and cardio vascular respiratory system, that's your lungs and efficiency of the heart and lungs taking oxygen throughout the body. It is anaerobic, which means that it stresses the heart, making it beat faster, due to high energy but doesn't actually burn any fat. Lactic acid is produced and that pretty much stops you from going more then 3 minutes at the high energy.

Low to moderate exertion is good for fat burning, the heart rate is up but the muscles aren't working so hard that they can't get oxygen in time for the amount of energy being exerted. It's because the muscles ARE able to get oxygen that the body starts to burn fat.

For beginners just starting out, those with injuries, those seasoned in the dieting scene with no results, or even those that fit all the above and more, just start out slow and remember the only way to stay fit and healthy and continue burning fat is to push yourself. Starting is the first step. The next few steps depends on you and your body, make goals for yourself, set them and keep them. For those who want to do weight lifting, by all means do so, but make sure you're not focusing solely on building strength, if you're trying to lose fat or weight do more higher reps (10-15) and lower weights. Just don't leave out the low / moderate cardio, that's your main fat burner, and it'll help recoup your muscles faster!

This is no easy road, but I can guarantee that at the end of it, your life will be changed, you will feel healthier and you will be healthier! And best of all, the results will speak for themselves, first you'll start feeling better, then you'll start seeing the results, your friends and family will see it, and though most won't say much, a few will, and it feels AMAZING!

You know what it takes, and now you have the knowledge to start. So get out there, get fit, and like my grandma always says get "Healthy, Wealthy & Wise!"

Links to my first article with links at the bottom to all articles from me:

Healthy Wealthy & Wise >>>>>


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    • starstream profile image

      Dreamer at heart 5 years ago from Northern California

      Thanks for sharing your information about exercise and fat burn. Most of us do not have a good understanding of this. I voted your article up.