Exercise: What is the BEST Way to Burn Fat?
A lot of people think that they should do 30-40 minutes of moderately-paced aerobic exercise whether it is through running outside or going to the gym and using the elliptical or stair-climber machine at least 3-5 times per week.
If you can squeeze in a few more workouts per week, even better,….or is it? The mainstream media and many exercise gurus have recommended that this is the best way to burn fat.
They tell you to get within a certain target heart rate and stay there for at least 30 minutes, several times per week.
While it is true that you will definitely burn calories while doing this form of exercise, unfortunately you will not see any real results like the pictures you see in magazines of buff men and women with hard bodies and defined muscle tone.
Why Low Intensity Training Isn’t Effective
In reality, this kind of aerobic exercise can actually be counterproductive to burning fat. Why? Long duration/low intensity aerobic exercise uses stored body fat as fuel. At first this sounds like what you want to have happen, but this can actually cause your body to create additional fat in reserve after your workout is over.
Additionally, exercising in this way helps to train your cardiovascular system to become more efficient. This is the premise behind many endurance sports and training techniques.
In time, your heart and lungs will become more efficient which reduces their ability to handle stress.
So, to put it bluntly, if you are only working within your current aerobic capacity because you never challenge yourself in your workouts then you will never see any real physical results.
I guess it depends on what you want out of your weight loss. Do you simply want to lose weight and look good or do you want to look GREAT?
Become a Fat Burning Machine
If you want your body to be rock hard and well defined then the fastest and most efficient way to rev up your metabolism, burn fat faster, and develop lifelong health and fitness is to add lean muscle to your body through resistance training.
Muscle needs more calories than fat to maintain itself, therefore by adding lean muscle you need to eat more; thus creating a natural fat burning machine. Don’t quite get it? Well, say for example that you are eating the amount of calories required to maintain your current bodyweight.
Next you begin to add lean muscle through resistance training. Your body now requires some of your daily calories to maintain and feed your new lean muscle, therefore you have created a calorie deficit.
Benefits to Resistance Training:
- Increases HDL – High Density Lipoprotein (good cholesterol) and decrease LDL – Low Density Lipoprotein (bad cholesterol)
- Reduces risk of diabetes and insulin needs
- Lowers risk of cardiovascular disease
- Lower high blood pressure (and increased risk of heart attack)
- Lowers risk of breast cancer – reduces high estrogen levels linked to the disease
- Decreases or minimizes risk of osteoporosis by building bone mass
- Reduces symptoms of PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome)
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Decreases colds and illness
- Burning excess stored body fat for energy
- More calories are burned since more calories are used to make and maintain muscle than fat. Resistance training can boost your metabolism by 15 percent!
Resistance training should be performed 2-3 times per week for 20-30 minutes. If you just make this small change to your exercise routine you’ll burn more fat and reap a ton of health benefits.
The best way to burn fat in the long term is through resistance training and maintaining a healthy diet.