If your goal is to lose weight, it is helpful to understand how your body actually burns fat. The amount of calories you can burn over and above your calorific intake is crucial to your weight loss success.
When you consume more calories in a day than you burn off, your body will store the excess as fat. The bad news for us is that the majority of this fat is deposited around the stomach. But in order to lose the beer belly or lose the love handles, your body needs to start burning that fat. In order to achieve this, it would be useful to understand exactly how the body burns fat.
Glucose and fat are the bodies’ main sources of energy, the body burns carbohydrates (to get glucose) and fat for fuel. You naturally burn a certain number of calories when resting each day, but you need to be taking regular physical exercise to burn body fat. Exercising will help you to burn additional calories, but are these calories coming from glucose or fat?
The bad news is that fat is the last thing that your body will burn in search of food. When the body is in search of energy to help it function, it will firstly target the glucose (or sugar) present in your system from the food you have recently eaten. Once it has exhausted all these supplies, your body will attack the fat you have stored. This explains why people can put on a lot of weight over a period of time.
If you eat large amounts of food (particularly foods which are high in calories and saturated fat such as junk food) on a regular basis and participate in very little exercise or physical activity, your body will not manage to burn even the glucose in your body and more fat will be stored.
It is possible to lose weight without taking regular exercise, but this will involve sticking to a very low calorie diet which will not provide the nourishment your body needs.
It is not healthy to stay long term on a diet that provides a very low number of calories. If you are constantly feeling hungry then you are more likely to start binge eating. Fad diets and crash weight loss programs hardly ever lead to permanent weight loss.
The best way to start burning fat is to eat a sensible diet with smaller portions and lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and to take regular exercise. If you exercise for long enough continuously, your body will finish burning glucose and start burning fat. Normally, you will need to exercise for around 20-30 minutes before your body starts to burn fat.
Good intense cardiovascular exercises like jogging, cycling or anything that raises your heart rate would be ideal. If you are new to exercising, you may not be able to exercise for up to 30 minutes. But please don’t lose heart. Build your fitness up gradually and you will soon be exercising for more than 30 minutes at a time.
Now, that you understand how your body burns fat, put your knowledge to good use and shed those pounds.