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Burn it off

Loose fat: burn more calories than you take in

Marius Wilken | 2002

You want to lose fat and you do hundreds of sit-ups, but somehow don't lose the love handles. Stomach exercises will tone your abs, but you need to burn body fat all over to get rid of the layer of fat around your waist.

To really burn fat you will have to do cardio exercises 3 to 5 times a week - cycling, running on the treadmill, swimming, spinning or circuit training.

Most people know that fat makes fat, but carbs and proteins can also make you fat. The key to losing weight is that you need to watch what you eat and to exercise regularly.

You need to watch your intake of kilocalories (kC) and ensure you burn as much as possible.
  • 1g Carbohydrate = 4kC
  • 1g Protein = 4kC
  • 1g Fat = 9kC
  • 1g Alcohol = 7kC
    Active men can take in as much as 3 350kC daily. Starchy foods like potatoes, rice, pastas and pizza (carbohydrate) are fattening.

    To gain weight: eat more calories than you burn
    To lose weight (burn fat): burn more calories than you take in

    For effective fat burning you need to do cardio exercises 3 to 5 times a week. The trick is you need to train at 60 - 70% of your Predicted Maximum Heart Rate (PMHR). That is 220 less you age (if you are 40 years: 220 - 40 = 180). Most cardio gym equipment have a guide to show you what rate you need to maintain to burn fat effectively.

    You need to maintain a constant exercise of 40 min to 1 hour. For the first 20 min you will burn glucose already available in the blood and muscles, thereafter your body will turn onto the fat stores for energy.

    An interesting fact is that when glucose (sugar) gets broken down it yield 36 molecules of ATP (Adenosine tri phosphate = immediate usable form of chemical energy needed to sustain cellular functions). When fat is broken down, 129 ATP molecules are produced. So burning fat requires more than three times more exercise than burning sugar.

    You can see from this that if you need to burn fat you will need to spend quite a bit of time in the cardio section of the gym. The first few weeks will be difficult, but you'll soon get used to it. Remember also not to eat anything an hour before you engage in cardio training and and hour after training. Only drink water. By starving your body in this way it is forced to go to the fat reserves for energy.




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