The Truth about the Fat Burning Zone

Everyone has heard or read about the fat burning zone when they are doing their cardio. The question is , is there really a fat burning zone where everyone can burn just fat on the treadmill? The answer is “Yes”! The way you can do this is by walking on a treadmill at low intensities (being able to talk comfortably with little or no sweating) and the main source your body will be using as energy is FAT! Since there is a fat burning zone why don’t we all get on a treadmill and walk at low intensities and burn that fat right off the body? The truth is that this way of cardio is burning fat as its main energy source it’s still not an effective way to lose body weight and fat.

Here is how our body uses carbohydrates and fats as energy, the human body when at rest (sleeping, watching t.v., sitting at the computer) uses fat as its main energy source and very little if not at all carbohydrates. When we are not at rest the body starts to switch to using carbohydrates (running/jogging, circuit training w/weights) as its main energy source. So the harder we work the more carbohydrates we will be using and the less fat will be used as energy. What if I told you now that the harder you work the more fat you will burn in a workout? You are probably thinking “what!?”, I just got done explaining how the body uses fat as energy at rest but now I am telling you to work harder to burn more fat?

This is how it works, let’s say I have you walk on a treadmill at 3.0 mph(being able to talk comfortably with little or no sweating) for 20 minutes. Let’s say this type of exercise burns 4.8 calories a minute with 67% (3.2) of those calories coming from fat and the remainder 33% (1.6) from carbohydrates. If we times the 3.2 calories a minute from fat and 1.2 from carbs by 20 minutes we would get our total calorie burn for the workout. That would be 64 calories from fat and 32 calories from carbs to give us a total of 96 calories burned for the workout which sounds great since we doubled our fat calories compared to carb calories.

Now let’s say if we jogged on a treadmill at 6.0 mph (slight discomfort to talk and sweated lightly) for 20 minutes. Let’s assume that this type of exercise burns 9.75 calories a minute with 46% (4.48) of those from fat and the remainder 54% (5.2) from carbohydrates. If we times the 4.48 calories from fat and 5.2 from carbs by 20 minutes we would get our total calorie burn from the workout. That would be 90 calories from fat and 104 calories from carbs to give us a total of 194 calories burned for the workout.

Let’s compare the results and see what we find out?

Intensity

Time

Fat Calories

Carbohydrate Calories

Total Calories

Walking (3.0 mph)

20 min.

64

32

96

Running (6.0 mph)

20 min.

90

104

194

 

What we find out is that running at 6.0 mph not only would you burn more calories from fat (even though you are using carbs as the main energy source)but overall as well for the same amount of time! Walking at 3.0 mph will use fat as the main energy source but you can still burn more fat overall by increasing your intensity slightly. What to get from all of this is that there is a fat burning zone BUT it is not an effective way to lose body fat and weight. The best way to lose fat & weight is to get the heart rate up and to sweat a little bit while working out . Remember that we all are on a tight schedule with our time so it makes sense to get the most out of our time while working out.

*Remember to get cleared by your physician before starting up any exercise program and to seek out a professional if you have no knowledge on how to start one up. If you are looking to get more information on how to start an exercise program please call Fitness Together at 330-719-1311 for more information and to set up your free fitness assessment.*

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by on November 29, 2012. Filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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