We don’t BURN FAT when we exercise!

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The most efficient times for us to burn stored body fat is when we are at rest or doing light activity such as walking. As soon as we do something that is difficult for us, such as exercise, our body can no longer burn stored body fat because it needs energy immediately to fuel our muscles to do the difficult activity.

Stored body fat takes a long time to break down and be turned into sugar so the muscles can use it. The more intense the activity the more fuel we need and the quicker we need it. The body cannot wait to break down the fat so it uses either circulating blood sugar from the food we have just eaten or it breaks down our muscles.

Right now, while you are reading this, your body is using 50% fat for fuel and 50% blood sugar. The activity you are doing is easy so the body has time to break down your stored body fat for fuel. If you were to get up and walk around your body would burn less fat because the activity is more difficult and requires more fuel. If you did jumping jacks, as soon as your heart rate accelerated to 140 beats per minute you would no longer to be able to use fat at all for the activity and you would use only circulating blood sugar.

If you do these jumping jacks for an extended period of time, and you did not eat any food for the past three hours, your body would be forced to break down your muscles for the fuel it needed to do the jumping jacks.

You see protein, which is what our muscles are made of, breaks down very quickly compared to fat.

The process of how our body uses fuel can be quite complicated. So to make it easy follow these rules if you want to stay lean, have toned muscles, and have enough energy for all the exercise you do.

  1. When you exercise eat food 1- 2 hours before. Yes this means ALL exercise that raises the heart rate above 140 beats per minute.
  2. If you are not exercising decrease the amounts of sugars in your diet such as: sweets, pastas, rice, etc. so that your body will burn fat while it is resting.
  3. 3.     To increase fat burning walk, jog or bike briskly for 40 minutes. The heart rate must be below 140 beats per minute. That means if you are doing these activities with friends you should be able to carry on a conversation without gasping for air.
  4. Do the above light activity without eating any food for the past 3 hours. This will help you burn more fat.

Questions or comments?

Steve Butler is a health expert that specializes in pain and injury. www.thebackhealer.com

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