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Burning Fat with Exercise

The body normally breaks down a mix of carbohydrates and calories for energy. How much you burn depends on your physical activity and what you have recently eaten.

When you use more energy than you take in from food and drink, the body breaks down stored fat and carbohydrates for energy. Once glucose is burned, the body can then start breaking down the proteins.

Your metabolic rate is dependent on your family history and the way you eat and exercise. Your body may decide to get conservative and drop your metabolic rate to try to hold onto weight, or raise the rate to get rid of weight.

Once stored carbohydrates are used up, the fat stored under the skin and around the internal organs will be burned for energy. Protein in muscle is then broken down to create glucose to keep the brain working and you conscious.

Fat and glucose are the body's main energy sources. Fat comes mainly from carbohydrate foods like rice, bread, and potatoes, while protein is supplied mainly by meat, beans, and dairy products.

The amino acid building blocks of protein foods can be converted to glucose when your body is in dire need. The amount of glucose you break down is dependent on the intensity of the workout you choose to engage in.

Treadmills that offer a "calories burning zone" setting allow for you to increase the intensity of your workout by increasing the speed and/or incline. The reason for this is that the body breaks down a greater percentage of glucose at a slow pace but with more grueling intensity.

Even though you break down more calories going slowly, you still burn some glucose at much faster speeds or intensity. Whether you increase the speed or incline does not matter, what really matters is how much energy you use doing it.

Weight training is also an exercise that is increasingly recommended as a calories-busting tool. Some experts say extra muscle breaks down more energy than body fat at rest.

This means that if you develop more muscle and have a higher muscle to fat ratio than before, you break down extra energy and more stored fat as a result. The difference in calories burned is not that dramatic for most individuals.

Though cardio is very good for you for both physical appearances and health purposes, weight training should certainly not be ignored. Weight training has many other benefits for health and performance, and not just increasing the size of your muscles.

Even though bulking up is an advantage that has been somewhat overstated through the grapevine, making sure that you break down calories is the first thing to focus on in order to develop the best weight loss and performance programs. Even though extra muscle does not provide that much of an advantage, there is still a concern about the after-burn.

The after-burn is the amount of energy you use after you stop exercising. It is a period of time when your metabolism increases for several hours or longer after you have finished exercising.

This time period has been promoted as an important slimming idea for exercisers and health nuts. This extra push of calorie burning is then a bonus because you break down fat during the exercise and after you cease as well.

Some experts suggest that eating protein immediately after exercise is the best time to have a full meal. Exercise scientists call this after-burn effect Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption or EPOC.

The high intensities required for this effect must be greater than about 75 percent of maximum heart rate. Unfortunately, this rate is probably beyond what most people wanting to lose weight are physically able to handle during a sustained exercise.

So the after-burn advantage from lifting weights or running fast is there, but you need to be able to sustain that intensity, which means a lot of hard work. You also need to consider how energy is used preferentially according to how your body stores fat and protein.

After you do a vigorous or long workout, your blood and muscle glucose will be much lower than before you started. Low glucose stores signal the body to break down fat preferentially.

So after hard exercise that uses a lot of glucose, the body switches to burning calories. That is why all energy expenditure is important, not just fat burning during exercise.

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Ronald Pedactor has worked in the exercise and health industry for 31 years. When searching for a good deal on exercise equipment he suggests getting someone knowledgeable to treadmill reviews, and tell you their qualities.

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Rondald Pedactor

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