How do You Burn Fat?
The reason why so many people spend hours a week jogging or riding the elliptical is that they think it's the best way to lose fat. Stop believing that doing steady state cardio is the only way to lose fat. The truth is that you can do any type of physical activity and you will lose fat. How does this happen? Do you sweat out fat? Poop it out? Where does it go?
You burn fat through breathing. Breathing heavy and often over the course of a long period of time will make changes to your body. Strength training, running, rowing, and biking are all great ways to help you lose fat.
How does this work?
You inhale O2 and breath out CO2. Where does the carbon come from that is now added to oxygen to make carbon dioxide? The stored fat in our bodies and the foods we eat are all built of long chains of carbon. For metabolism, our bodies go to the end of this chain and break off a carbon. This process creates the energy our bodies need to exercise and stay alive. After we break this carbon off of the chain, we have a free-floating carbon roaming around. Our bodies don't like this, and we need to get it out. Oxygen floats around and binds to the carbon forming CO2, we then get it out of our bodies by exhaling. The amount of weight you lose is directly related to the amount of carbon you exhale. When we exercise, no matter the activity, your body needs energy, it gets the energy from breaking carbon bonds and exhaling them out.
Researchers at New South Whales discovered that for every 10 KG of fat you burn, you must inhale 29KG of oxygen. The process of breaking down that fat produces 28 KG CO2 and 11 KG of water. For every KG of fat you burn, %80 is lost as CO2, and %20 is water (sweat/urine).
10kg fat + 29kg O2 = 39kg
28kg co2 + 11kg water = 39kg
How do you apply this to your training?
Anything that makes you breathe will cause you lose weight. It doesn’t matter what you do, you must do it often and over the course of a long period of time. Take for example 2 people running 1 mile. Runner A runs the 1 mile in 5 minutes, while runner B ran the mile in 15 minutes. Who burned more fat? Let us also take into consideration that runner A and runner B are in the same physical shape. Running a 5-minute mile will require greater intensity than running a 15-minute mile, and more effort and intensity means more breathing during the 5-minute mile. Let's say that after the mile is over runner A and runner B both took 500 breaths during the mile. If each runner took 500 breaths during the mile then they both burned the same amount of fat during the mile. But since the 5-minute mile required a more significant effort, runner A continues to breathe heavily many minutes after the mile is over causing the overall fat loss of runner A to be greater. Compare that to the 15-minute mile of runner B who recovers quickly and breathing soon returns to normal as soon as the mile is over.
Intensity is a huge component of fat loss, and the number one excuse for not exercising is time. You will burn more fat if you increase the intensity and decrease the time.