Most people who exercise to lose weight and improve physical fitness put in a lot of effort to meet their health goals. An effective workout will burn calories, but calories have to be burned from stored fat to result in weight loss. Depending on the workout, exercise may only result in burning calories from carbohydrates. An understanding of the difference between burning calories from carbohydrates and burning calories from fat is the key to weight-loss and fitness success.
When the body burns calories from carbohydrates, it is essentially burning energy. Continuous loss of calories from carbohydrates will eventually slow down metabolism and prevent muscles from being effective during a workout. Muscles need the energy from carbs to increase metabolism and trigger fat loss. Any weight loss from burning calories from carbohydrates is usually associated with loss of water.
Oxygen plays a critical role in fat loss. When a specific level of oxygen is supplied to the body, the body begins to burn calories from fat rather than from carbohydrates. Thus, workout regimens need to reach the oxygen level to result in weight loss. Otherwise, the body will continue to burn calories from carbohydrates, which decreases metabolism and interferes with the body’s ability to burn fat. Paying attention to the target heart rate provides the gauge for determining what type of calories are being burned.
Reaching and maintaining the body’s target heart rate during aerobic exercise generates the amount of oxygen necessary for fat loss. Failing to reach the target heart rate or exceeding it results in a lower oxygen supply, so a steady pace is essential for an effective workout. Initially, the body will burn calories from carbohydrates, but once the target heart rate is established, the body switches to using the calories from fat.
In addition to aerobic exercises, the workout regimen needs to include weight training. Anaerobic workouts increase metabolism. This increase allows the body to continue burning calories from fat even hours after a workout. Anaerobic exercise burns more calories from carbohydrates during the workout, so more calories may need to be consumed through the diet to restore energy levels during the day.
With the right balance of cardio and weight-training exercises, it is easy to maximize the fat-burning benefits of a workout routine. Workouts require commitment and, time and energy. It is a give-and-take process. For the body to produce the desired results, it has to be given the right conditions to make it happen. When it comes to weight loss, target the right calories to burn, then make it count.