For you to lose weight and get in shape, you need to eat well and exercise on a regular basis to burn fat. The first thing you need to know about exercise is that burning calories does not mean you will burn fat. When you exercise, your main focus should be on losing body fat, and you can’t do that if you’re only burning calories. When we exercise, our body starts to burn calories, but the calories burned come from the carbohydrates in our body. To burn calories from stored fat, the body needs oxygen. Your body needs a certain amount of oxygen to start burning fat, and the only way to measure the amount needed for your body is to keep up with your target heart rate during exercise.
Please understand that if you continue to burn calories from carbohydrates only, you will lose primarily “water weight” which will result in a decrease in your metabolism. Think of the calories you burn from carbohydrates as energy calories. If you lose too many energy calories, your muscles will not get enough energy to increase your metabolism, which indirectly burns fat. Therefore, you need to increase your caloric intake when you do an exercise program to replace the energy calories you burn.
Burning Fat Calories During Exercise
During aerobic exercise, your body goes over several phases before it reaches the point where you burn fat. You often hear that during the first 10 minutes of exercise, you burn only sugar (carbohydrates) and no fat. This is true to a certain extent. I say this because you will still burn sugar after the 10 minutes if you don’t work out hard enough for your body to need more oxygen, or if you work out too hard and can’t supply your body with enough oxygen to burn fat.
When you exercise, you need to move at a steady pace (not too fast and not too slow) so that your body can use stored fat (and not carbohydrates or sugars) as an energy source. Also, remember that you have reached the fat-burning phase, but this does not mean you will stay there. Whether or not you stay in the fat-burning phase again depends on whether or not you are moving at a pace that is right for your body. Make sure you are moving within your target heart rate zone.
Fat Burning At Rest
The only way to burn fat hours after a workout is to do anaerobic training with weights. Weight training is the key to fat burning at rest. Weight training is an anaerobic activity that burns more calories than aerobic exercise. The calories you burn during weight training come mainly from carbohydrates (which mean you need to eat even more calories per day); however, the calories you burn at rest come mainly from fat.
The reason you burn fat at rest is that strength training increases your metabolism, which uses your stored fat as energy. To make your body the ultimate fat-burning machine, you need to perform aerobic (endurance) and anaerobic (strength) exercises.