12 Dec What and How of Fat Burning
Yash asks “Does only running helps to reduce body fat?”
The short answer is – No
The detailed answer –
We see two questions in this question. 1) How one can reduce body fat? 2) What activity is most effective in reducing body fat? In this post, we will focus on the first one. The second one will automatically get answered.
The ugliest word for most people is FAT. Fat itself is not harmful and it is the key ingredient of our day to day functioning. Fat is one of the three main macronutrients, along with the other two: carbohydrate and protein. Fat cells in body stores energy to be consumed for us to perform our daily activities. Our body will even go so far as to start depositing fat cells on our muscles, liver and other organs to create space to store all this extra energy from unhealthy food.
This is the mechanism which regulates your fat burning.Metabolism in simple terms is the process which converts your food into energy which can be utilised to help you live well. The energy from food is burned off to grow hair, pump the blood by heart, make decisions by brain, your lungs transporting oxygen into blood, this is all done by metabolising food into energy.
How we burn fat?
There are three main ways our bodies burn fat. We will explain them briefly so you will be able to design your lifestyle for maximum energy consumption during the day.
Basal (resting) metabolism: Your basal metabolic rate (BMR)accounts for 60 to 70 percent of your overall metabolism, and surprisingly, it’s the number of calories you burn doing nothing at all. Even if you are seating on a chair or sleeping in bed, your body is utilising energy to keep you alive.
Digestive metabolism, or thermic effect of food (TEF):Simply digesting food—turning carbs into sugar and turning protein into amino acids—typically burns 10 to 15 percent of your daily calories.
Movement metabolism: Workouts at the gym and other physical activities (this is called exercise-activity thermogenesis, or EAT) along with countless other movements throughout the day (that’s called non-exercise-activity thermogenesis, or NEAT) will help you burn extra fat.
So pause a moment before hitting the treadmill. Between 70 and 85 percent of the calories you burn every day come from either eating or just doing nothing. Only 15 to 30 percent is targeted by exercising. Take sleep for example, Sleep deprivation for a single night may decrease calories burned by 5-20%. A single variation in the FTO gene can cause you to burn 160 fewer calories per day.
Best Workout Zone
While the physiology of fat burning is complex and is still being studied, the general rule is that carbs supply you for quick energy boosts and fat supplies you for longer, moderate-intensity workouts.
In order to burn fat most efficiently, you need to get your heart pumping at your target heart rate, which is 50 to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate, or MHR, per the American Heart Association. To calculate this number, subtract your age from 220. So if you’re 40 years old, your MHR is 180 and your target zone is 90 to 144 beats per minute. Working in your target heart rate zone for 40 minutes has been found to turbo charge your metabolism.You have to find activities which can take you to this heart rate zone and help you maintain it.
If you are not fully committed to changing your meal, mind and movement habits the healthy body battle is hard to win. As you can see even with the best & most intense workout routine, you may struggle to keep your body in shape.
As part of our Ultimate You Health Transformation program we help people design active lifestyle. Our lazy movement activities are designed specifically for people whose living mostly sedentary lifestyle or have their BMR very low. If you are working out one hour with full intensity and sitting or sleeping rest of the 23 hours, you know how your fat burning will work.
Think fat burning and improving your metabolism as Systematic Investment Plan, it’s not going to give you instant results (even if you get instant results by punishing your body, the results will not last long). Becoming fit and healthy is a long term strategy. If you invest in it wisely you will reap slow, steady and effective returns for years to come.