the myth of the fat-burning zone

If you look on the cardio equipment at the gym, it shows you where the fat burning zone is.  I have heard group exercise class instructors talk about the fat burning zone.

The problem is, the fat burning zone doesn’t actually help us to lose weight.

How much you are exerting will determine what type of fuel your body chooses to use to maintain the exertion.  Of all the options, fat takes the most energy to turn into useable fuel, so the body doesn’t go to it as a first choice – not efficient.

The only time your body will burn 100% fat is when you are not moving.  As Americans overall can attest, this is not a good weight loss program.  The more intensity in your movement, the less fat you burn.

With the exceptions that I wrote about here, weight loss = burn more than you consume.  You want to maximize the number of calories you burn, not maximize the fat that you are burning at the moment you are exercising.  If you run a calorie deficit (as long as it is not too large), your body will get around to burning the fat, regardless of the intensity of your exercise.


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