I recently came across a great book, “Physiology and Fitness” written by Dean Hodgkin. He is considered an international fitness expert and has given seminars in 136 countries.
In this book, he covers a myriad of fitness related topics and this particular section seemed like it should be brought to more people’s attention. Here is a brief overview of what I feel many people are confused about when it comes to weight loss.
1) Fat Burning Programs/How Hard to Go?
Many machines recommend built-in fat burning programs at about 60-70% of your maximum heart rate. To find this number, subtract your age from 220. This number however, is considered fairly low intensity.
2) Calories Are Burned From Fat Stores
Most of your energy comes from carbohydrates stored in your muscles and liver. As your intensity increases, it is true that a lower proportion of fuel will be provided by fat, but the biggest factor to consider is, “How many calories am I burning?”
3) Moderate Exercise Is Enough
While it is true that you should start out slowly, especially if you haven’t done much in the form of exercise, the faster you can increase your intensity, the faster you will burn fat. Try to do this as soon as possible, but talk with your doctor first.
4) Fat Burning Takes a Set Period of Time
Many programs suggest 20-30 minutes of exercise. Fat metabolism is a slow starter, but after a short time the switch takes place from carbohydrates to fat for fuels. The more fit you are, the faster this occurs.
5) Exercise Is All You Need
Exercise is very important if you want to lose weight. However, no amount of exercise will be beneficial if you don’t change the way you eat.
6) Low Calorie Diets Are the Way To Go
Low calorie diets will actually slow your metabolism down. Because of this, resistance training is needed to counteract the problem. Its not the amount of calories, its the type.
Eat healthy, eat regularly, and train as hard as your body allows you. You will make progress, but be patient. Getting in shape shouldn’t be a short-term goal. Fitness is something you should set your sights on for a lifetime!