I’m not sure how this has become so confusing. Maybe it’s all of the commercials and supplements and quick-fix information that is blinding us. I am going to attempt to simplify fat burning and exercise.
When we exercise at low intensities, there is a greater reliance of fat as a percentage of fuel source. This seems to have led people to believe that it must be more advantageous to exercise at low intensity if you want to lose fat weight. As the intensity of our exercise increases, our body relies less on fat and more on carbohydrate. One thing to remember is that we don’t have to be burning fat specifically in order to reduce our body weight. At higher exercise intensities, we burn more calories, so the amount of total fat used increases. What matters when it comes to weight loss is the rate or quantity of energy expenditure (calorie burn) rather than the percentage of energy derived from fat. And don’t forget, as we do more aerobic exercise training over time, our body adapts. We develop more mitochondria content and respiratory capacity improves, allowing for muscle carbohydrate sparing.
Awesome write up. I teach fitness to 12th graders as well as personal train. I try to emphasis this point often. I have a chart also that illustrates this very clearly. I was trying to get it off of my power point for you but I couldn’t. Anyway, great posting.
Thanks Justin! With all of the misinformation that is presented to the public, I am also finding professionals getting confused on this topic. Glad to know you are trying to educate on the topic as well!