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Lose Weight by Burning Fat While You Rest Print E-mail
Erika Slater   
Friday, 19 February 2010
Lose Weight by Burning Fat While You Rest - image by marcos_bh (sxc.hu)“Lose weight by burning fat while you rest” sounds like a hype-ridden sales headline - or is it? What if it was true?

Studies have begun to reveal the optimum amount of exercise needed to burn fat and the answer is not what you might think.

In my hypnosis practice I see a lot of clients looking for help in losing weight. While hypnosis is a powerful tool in helping people to rethink what they eat and how much, an overall weight loss plan should also include exercise.

Exercise as part of a weight loss program not only helps with burning calories and achieving fitness level goals, it also has a positive impact on the mind.

Most exercising for weight loss is focused on burning fat, which makes sense, but studies have begun to question our thirst for long slow workouts for melting this fat as advocated by the aerobic and cardio brigade.

My own experience, and those of other clients I’ve seen, has produced less than stellar results using workouts lasting 45-60 minutes. Here was I, and my clients, eating healthy foods and having the right attitude on portion size, and yet long workout sessions weren’t producing the outcomes I expected.

Ask most trainers at a gym what they recommend for a weight loss exercise program and they’ll tell you to workout to the “fat burning zone” – usually kicks in after 20-minutes of exertion – and then stay in it as long as you can to burn off as much fat as you can.

On the surface this makes perfect sense. But we’re beginning to discover burning fat as part of your workout is the last thing you want to do, as it encourages the body to produce extra fat ready for your next session. This is a natural reaction by the body to replace something your body has used up. It can make fat just as easily as it makes muscle and as it feels you’ve depleted your fat it conscientiously manufactures it back for you.

If you’re on a weight loss plan this is really the last thing you want your body to be generating for you – “two pounds of fat coming up as you ordered!” This is a scenario for your worst nightmare.

So what should you do? This is where the science gets really interesting.

During the first 20-minutes of exercise energy is supplied mostly from carbs in your muscles. After 20-minutes you move into the “fat burn zone” but this is not where you want to be so you ensure your workout sessions are no longer than 20-minutes.

Burning off the fat takes place AFTER your workout is complete. Over the next 24-hours your body replenishes the carbs in your muscles, and other energy sources it used during your workout, by burning off fat. And as the fat was never depleted in the first place it will not manufacture more.

Now you’ve reached the point of burning fat while you rest. But wait there’s more – another sales hype tactic I know, but in this case again its true.

While keeping within the 20-minutes maximum workout length you can still do slow aerobics and cardio exercising. But this has also been shown to weaken our heart and reduce our lung capacity.

Sustained exercise of 20-minutes puts a strain on our organs that were never intended.

We are by design made for short intense bursts of energy. For thousands of years this supported our survival needs from predators or to capture food. We are just not designed to run 26-miles at one go even when we train for it. There are many tragic stories of marathon runners dying, and these are not old athletes.

So slow duration cardio and aerobics do not necessarily strengthen the heart or increase lung capacity.

But progressive short intense repeated exercise such as advocated by Dr Al Sears in his 12-Minute Fitness Program, are supported by studies from Harvard Health in lowering the risk of heart disease.

Progressive and intense bursts of 1-2 minutes, with 2-3 minutes of rest between intervals, for 12-20 minutes overall workout time, support an exercise for weight loss program,  and achieve fitness with a strong heart and increased lung capacity.

Exercising should be part of any weight loss program, even if it is just walking in short bursts. As you decide on what your next workout in the gym or on the road should look like, consider introducing short intense progressive sessions and remember to set your timer for 20-minutes... and then stop so you can leave your body to burn off the fat while you rest.

Erika Slater is a Certified Hypnotist in Massachusetts and uses the PACE program for her group weight loss clients. If you enjoyed this article you can find more about the PACE 12 Minute Fitness Program at her web site along with details about her private weight loss sessions here: www.Smoke-Free-At-Last.com
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