Are you burning fat or just calories

To start fat burning, it is necessary, in fact, to outwit your body. Because he will take care of his deposits to the last, sacrificing water, muscles and your well-being. Why is this happening? And what to do so that it is the fat on the sides that burns, and not the muscles?

Metabolism. Why is it so difficult to burn fat?

A person cannot live without fat at all. Fat is involved in the formation of cell membranes, protects organs from damage, plays a role in metabolic processes, and even produces hormones. But the main thing is: this is a huge reservoir of energy that the body saves in case of hunger. And here is the main ambush. Because we and our body have a fundamentally different view of this reservoir.

This extra fat is evil for us. And for our body, it’s like a Swiss bank account: the more there is, the better. Our distant and not-so-distant ancestors had to starve so often that it couldn’t be any other way. Progressive humanity began to struggle selflessly with overeating and overweight 50-70 years ago, and before that, for many millennia, earthlings died massively just from lack of food (and even now in many countries they continue to die, what’s there).

The body stores fat at every opportunity so that you don’t starve to death.

Therefore, the body of a New York top manager stores fat as readily as the body of a poor peasant woman from some Uganda.

What happens when you go on a diet

Imagine that you are a driver going on an urgent matter to an area where there is one gas station per thousand kilometers, and even then it is not a fact that there will be gasoline. What will you do? That’s right, you will push into the trunk, and maybe into the cabin, as many full cans as you can fit there. And, of course, you will drive in the most economical mode.

If we continue the analogy, then from the point of view of our body, fat is just an additional supply of fuel. When there is plenty of food, it is not so necessary. But as soon as the intake of calories decreases, the body perceives this as the beginning of hunger. It turns on the most economical mode (hence the lethargy and loss of strength), and begins by hook or by crook to store fuel – fat. And in order to save it to the maximum, it puts another asset into processing – muscle tissue. After all, you can survive without cool biceps, and without cubes on your stomach. And the musculature, even at rest, spends energy. In a hungry time, such a luxury cannot be afforded in any way.

Moreover, when there is plenty of food again, the body “just in case” increases the supply.

This explains the yo-yo effect, when after a diet the weight does not just return, but becomes even more than it was. And – worst of all — the increase is due to fat.

Weight gain after a diet is due to fat

And then hormones are connected. As soon as the adipose tissue begins to decrease slightly, a signal enters the body, and the body urgently produces the hunger hormone ghrelin. Hence the torment of all those who are on diets: it seems that the stomach is filled to the brim (with low-calorie foods), but you still want to eat until you lose your will. It’s all him— fat! Sends an “SOS” so that you urgently begin to make up for what you spent, because who can know how long the hunger will last?

A vicious circle, right? Well, it depends on how you look at it. If hunger is true (which only happens in our world), then our chances of survival are greatly increased (joke!)

But seriously, no matter how much our body resists, everyone can make it burn fat. And how? Let’s tell you now.

Food fat burners

A slippery topic indeed. Yes, the network is full of advertisements for products that supposedly drown fat no worse than the sun – spring snow. But how many people do you know who really abruptly and most importantly permanently reduced their deposits by simply starting to take pills or supplements? If everything were so simple, then the problem of obesity in the world would have come to naught long ago. Yes, there are drugs used by professional athletes. But they have a lot of contraindications and a lot of side effects.

Remedies that prevent the absorption of fat are usually prescribed by a doctor. But they are more likely to help not gain new pounds. But what has already been accumulated may not work. In any case, it is necessary to be treated with such drugs for a reason, but against the background of a decrease in the consumption of fats from food. Otherwise, you will encounter very unpleasant phenomena, such as, for example, uncontrolled defecation (and this is not a joke).

As for pineapples, grapefruits, ginger and other green tea, their fat-burning effect, to put it mildly, is greatly exaggerated. No pineapples will help if you sit on the couch and eat them full plates of dumplings and basins of olivier.

Fat burning conditions

Firstly, it is already clear that dieting is not an option. Instead, adjust the right diet so that, on the one hand, you get enough nutrition, on the other – not to overeat. And stick to it constantly.

Secondly, in order to burn fat, it is necessary to take into account the rate of processing of lipids (i.e. fats) by the body. This process is scientifically called oxidative.

Fat Burning Workouts

Have you seen men on the beach with inflated cubes on their protruding bellies? This is the result of improper sediment management. From the fact that you will just pull the iron, the fat will not go away. Why?

From strength training, calories will be spent in huge quantities. But during the first meal, the body will try to make up for the loss of energy. And if there is not enough food at the table, it will get, splitting muscles, but it will not let fat into the furnace.

The mechanism here is like this. When you start training, the body needs extra energy for the muscles. First, he receives it due to glucose dissolved in the blood and glycogen stored in the muscles. All this is, so to speak, fast fuel, which you refueled with while eating. Fat is another matter. It is released from the depot only when the reserves of glucose and glycogen begin to deplete. This usually happens no earlier than 30-40 minutes after the start of the lesson. So the fat burning workout should last about an hour. At the same time, the lesson should be continuous. Hence the moral: power loads, implying approaches and rest between them – will not fit by definition.

Another important point. Fat burns only with the participation of oxygen. This means that the most effective workouts for fat burning are aerobic, they are also cardio. During such loads, the capillaries that go to the muscles expand. Blood flow increases. At the same time, the amount of myoglobin protein increases. It binds oxygen and carries it to the muscles. And that’s exactly what we need.

Cardio exercises for fat burning

Fat burning workouts are good because you can choose an activity to your liking. If you don’t like running, swim, don’t want to go into the water, ride a bike.

What really matters is their intensity. To waddle, ride a bike with stops or slowly go skiing, admiring nature – will not take a ride. To lose weight, you have to strain.

At the same time, it is also not necessary to squeeze the maximum out of yourself. As soon as shortness of breath begins, fat immediately stops burning, and muscles begin to split instead. And it is impossible to maintain such a pace for an hour in principle.

To understand whether fat burns during exercise, you need to monitor your pulse.

The best pulse for fat burning is 130-140 beats per minute

Unaccustomed to achieve the desired heart rate may not work: during the same run for beginners, the pulse often rolls over 160. This means that the pace needs to be reduced. But do not reduce the duration of the lesson. Over time, your endurance will increase, and you will be able to withstand the desired intensity of training without any problems.

It is also convenient to monitor how your form is improving with the help of a sports watch. To do this, the v2omax indicator is used. It makes it possible to see how much oxygen the body processes. This is one of the most accurate indicators of the ability to carry loads. The higher your VO2, the easier you train and the faster you recover.

As we have already said, you need to train at least 3 times a week. And not in a row, but every other day, otherwise the body will not recover, and the fat burning process will either not start at all, or will go through the stump deck.

To burn 1 gram of fat, you need to spend 9 kcal. A kilogram of fat will “cost” 9,000 kcal, 10 kilograms – 90,000 kcal.

For an hour of jogging, you can spend an average of 400 kcal. But the fat will start burning at best half an hour after the start of the workout. This means that, according to the most optimistic forecasts, up to 200 kcal will be spent on its processing at such a load.

It turns out that you will get rid of a kilogram of fat in the absence of a diet for almost 4 months. This is if you do not allow the formation of new deposits. Of course, this is approximate data. Each person spends a different amount of calories during a workout. So, to evaluate your effectiveness, it is better to use a sports watch or a fitness tracker.

How to teach the body to burn fat faster

No “wonderful” pills for turbo-burning are needed. But we warn you right away: it will take not just a lot of time, but a lot. Specifically, two and a half hours of continuous training three times a week.

This time is needed not only to process all the glucose and all the glycogen from the blood and muscles, but also to stimulate the release of enzymes that break down fat. If you train regularly this way, your body will begin to heat fat long before it selects all the nutrient reserves obtained from food.

The pulse during such training should also be 130-140 beats per minute.

Do not try to go out for a workout on an empty stomach! Experienced trainers say for a reason that fats burn in the fire of carbohydrates. Without them, lipids will not be completely broken down, and in order to digest them, the body will take glucose from muscle tissue – splitting it.

For the same reason, during a fat-burning workout lasting 2 or more hours, you need to have a light snack. But not with anything. Stock up on a banana, granola bar or special sports nutrition.

How to understand that you burned fat, not muscle.

Ordinary scales are a weak helper here: they only show the dynamics of mass, and after all, fat weighs less than muscle. So, having pumped up the musculature, you may be surprised to find out that you have become even heavier. In this case, look in the mirror: it will tell you the truth.

The easiest and cheapest way to understand how much fat you have is to measure the thickness of the skin fold with a special caliper device. It is cheap and simple. The main drawback of the caliper is that it does not know how to measure the amount of internal – visceral – fat.

To get accurate data, you can do a bioimpedance analysis based on the fact that a very weak electric discharge is passed through the body. It is not felt at all, but it gives information about the content of bone tissue, muscle mass, water and fat in the body. But you’re not going to do it every week.

Therefore, if you want accurate data, it is better to use smart scales. They measure weight, calculate BMI, and, of course, show the percentage of adipose tissue, water, as well as bone and muscle mass.

However, even if you have nothing at your disposal, the result of proper nutrition and regular training will be noticeable to the naked eye. The main thing is to show perseverance and patience.


To burn fat, neither rigid diets nor “miracle pills” are needed. And we need regular cardio training at a pulse of 130-140 beats per minute. It is necessary to train three times a week, every other day. And in order for the body to start releasing fat-splitting enzymes faster, training should last two and a half hours.

Are you burning fat or just calories

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