Is it true that you can burn more fat and calories by doing a certain type of exercise? The answer is “yes” and “no”! The reality is that it depends on a few key variables. When you exercise, you burn calories mainly coming from fat and carbohydrates. If you walk at a very slow pace you burn more “fat” calories per minute than carbohydrate calories, but fewer overall calories per minute than if you exercise at a harder level. As you begin to walk faster and move into a more “moderately” intense workout, your body will shift from burning a greater concentration of fat into burning a greater concentration of carbohydrates, and burn a greater number of overall calories per minute.
Carbohydrates, fat and protein are our three main energy sources from food that we use to exercise. These nutrients are found in different amounts in foods and are broken down by the body to provide energy. Fat is the richest food coming in at nine calories per gram. Alcohol is second in calorie count with seven calories per gram, followed by carbohydrates and proteins at four calories per gram. Now that you know how many calories are in each food and/or drink source, you can better appreciate how “quickly” one can gain weight by eating high fat food or drinking too much alcohol. One serving of food rich in fat such as ice cream is twice the calorie count as the same serving size of a protein rich food such as yogurt. However, one gram of fat releases twice as much energy as one gram of carbohydrate or protein — but this doesn’t mean it’s the best fuel for exercise! That depends on the type of exercise and how long you exercise.
The most ideal fuel for working your muscles is glucose, especially as your exercise intensity increases. Glucose is formed by the breakdown of carbohydrates (sugars and starches) in your diet and is stored as glycogen in the muscles and liver. Your body, however, can only store a limited amount of glycogen.
The amount of each fuel — carbohydrates, fat and protein — you use during exercise depends on various factors:
- Past eating habits
- Current fitness level
- Type of exercise
- Intensity of exercise
- Length of workout
- Frequency of workouts
Anaerobic exercise — defined as shorter duration, higher intensity exercise — uses mainly carbohydrates broken down into glucose, whereas aerobic exercise uses all three fuels, with protein used to a lesser extent than glucose and fat.
During low intensity exercise, which uses less than 300 calories per hour, you use a greater proportion of fat, a smaller proportion of glucose and fewer calories. As you increase your exercise intensity, your body will gradually use less fat, but more glucose and more calories. Therefore, most of the energy used during moderate and high intensity exercise will come from glucose.
If you continue to exercise aerobically for a longer period of time, your body will gradually use more fat and less glucose in an attempt to conserve your body’s limited glucose stores. The fitter you are, the more efficiently your muscles use fat and the longer you can work out.
Your body does burn a higher percentage of calories from fat in the “fat burning zone”, or at lower intensities. But at higher intensities, you burn a greater number of overall calories which is what you should be concerned about if you’re trying to lose weight. Remember, a calorie is a calorie, so your goal is not necessarily to worry about the “type” of calories you burn, but rather focusing on your goal of burning as many calories as possible, to achieve a calorie loss of 3,500 calories, which translates into one pound of fat loss!
The chart below explains total calories and fat calories expended by a 130 lb. woman during cardio exercise.
|Total calories expended per minute||4.86||6.86|
|Fat calories expended per minute||2.43||2.7|
|Total calories expended in 30 minutes||146||206|
|Total fat calories expended in 30 minutes||73||82|
|Percentage of fat calories burned||50%||39.85%|
From The 24/5 Complete Personal Training Manual, 24 Hour Fitness, 2000
The woman in the above example burns more total calories but fewer fat calories at a higher intensity. However, again remember that your goal is to burn as many calories as possible to achieve your overall weight loss goal. Your workout programs should be a combination of longer duration, slower endurance workouts along with shorter, higher intensity workouts, which are a great way to burn more calories in a shorter period of time and build endurance.
In this example, the woman burns more total calories but fewer fat calories at a higher intensity. This isn’t to say that high intensity exercise doesn’t have its place. Longer duration, slower endurance workouts should be a staple of a complete fitness program along with shorter, higher intensity workouts which are a great way to burn more calories in a shorter period of time and build endurance. To figure out your own intensity levels, start by calculating your target heart rate zone.
Your Target Heart Rate and Personal Fat Burning Zone
To discover your ideal personal fat burning zone you need to calculate your Target Heart Rate Training Zone. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends healthy adults exercise within a range of 60-80 percent of their Heart Rate Reserve. Your optimal heart rate training zone may vary depending on your health and physical fitness status and any medications you are taking.
Now that you know the type of exercise that will give you the greatest calorie burn for your time spent you can have confidence in your exercise program. You now know that even if you can only fit in 20 minutes on a busy day, you can use that 20 minutes exercising at a moderate or higher intensity. For example, power walking on a break at work is better than a leisurely stroll to gain the greatest calorie burn in the short period of time you have available. By applying these simple exercise physiology principles and maximizing the math inside your body you will achieve the greatest benefit from your workouts!
I found this at www.lifespanfitness.com and I just had to share! Be sure to check out the link and use some of the calculators they available!
Taking care of yourself requires a certain level of selfishness. Many of us find this difficult. Most likely we were raised to be thoughtful, kind, sharing and considerate. At some point in our adulthood we take these personality traits and put them on steroids. Next thing you know the needs of everyone and everything around you become more important that your own.
How many times have you skipped lunch at work, came in early or left late. Made different plans or canceled a personal appointment because you had to finish up that project or cover that shift.
Who eats first at your house? Kids, partner, dog, cat, hamster then you? How many nights are you standing in the kitchen alone doing dishes while everyone else in the house has their face buried in some electronic device or video game?
There are times when we give so much of ourselves to everyone around us that we forget to leave some for ourselves. The problem with being selfish is that some people have a problem with it and some have NO PROBLEM AT ALL! By being overly unselfish we in return make the ones around us more selfish.
We all know how hard it is to “say no” to tempting foods. I think it is just as hard to “say no” to the loved ones around us so we have time to take care of ourselves. So you may be asking yourself…how does an unselfish person become slightly selfish? Practice using what I like to call the “ABC’s of Selfishness”.
B – Break the cycle with a plan to overcome the obstacles that you have identified in the analysis phase.
C – Communicate with the ones around you about the changes you are going to be making and why you need to make them.
I am telling you, this works! This can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. Using this process I have been able to find more time to play with my son, execute a regular exercise routine and maintain a high level of productivity at work while using my break time for personal errands or tasks. Amazingly, my slightly elevated level of selfishness appears to have a VERY POSITIVE impact on the ones I love….including myself!
It is amazing how productive I suddenly get when I know I should be working out. Last night was a perfect example. The moment I open my eyes in the morning I feel like I am moving 100 miles per hour. The balancing act of getting Ethan and myself ready for the day and out the door on time can often be a challenge. As soon as I drop him off at daycare my mind switches to work mode. Once I step into the door at work it feels like someone presses a fast forward button. The day goes by so fast and next thing you know 13 hours has passed from the moment you woke up and there is still no end in sight.
When I get home at the end of the day I feel like the relief pitcher in a baseball game. As soon as I drop my bags I feel like I pick up the ball and someone tells me to close this one out. Thus the nighttime routine begins. Dinner, bath & bed for Ethan, dishes, bills, etc. All the while I am hunted by my conscience telling me I should go workout. Next thing you know…something very interesting happens. As soon as my conscience tells me I should be working out my subconscious kicks in. Next thing you know all of these other priories become more important. The basket of clean laundry that has been sitting there for days, the pile of mail sitting on the counter, the toilet bowls suddenly must get cleaned NOW!
I am sure you very familiar with the cliché “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. If you are anything like me I am sure you have actually made a few plans in the past but still managed to fail! I guess the point of what I am trying to say here is…never stop planning! Your conscience and your subconscious works in a mysterious way. By creating the expectation for yourself, otherwise known as “The Plan”, chances are your subconscious is going to kick in and make you a more productive human being. In my case last night, I never got my workout in BUT I can tell you that the moment my eyes popped open this morning I made sure that I got a few miles in before going a 100 miles per hour.
I have NO idea how I just came across this video but I think it is hilarious! It is obviously old but I still found it very interesting. I also feel enough time has passed since Season 7 of the Biggest Loser that it would be OK to touch on this topic. Take a look at the video and then we can discuss.
So the news story references the “alleged” break in. Well I can tell you that I was there and I have the pictures to prove it. I can also tell you that Filipe and Sione were not the only contestants indulging on the stolen goods. I along with at least two other contestants were right there with them. Before I go any further, I would like to say that SOME of what Jillian had said was right on. We only film 4-5 days out of a 7 day week. When stuff like this happens there is no way to show it because the cameras are not rolling. Looking back I can also imagine why Jillian was so upset. She was dedicating so much of herself to the contestants to try to help us change our lives. Something like this is viewed as a major setback. However not everything mentioned in the story is 100% correct and to be honest…I would hardly call it a “scandal”.
I have always said time and time again that it is easy to resist temptation when the camera is in your face and you know millions of people are watching. Take the cameras away and all the sudden it’s not so easy. It becomes a little more like real life. I guess you can say that this was one Biggest Loser temptation we could not resist.
Some people are either afraid to tell you the things you need to hear because they don’t want to hurt your feelings OR they are not afraid to tell you what you need to hear but they do it in a way that hurts your feelings. So how can we overcome these types of situations? By opening the lines of communication, recognizing how we communicate with others and learning how others communicate with us!
I will use myself as an example. There are times when my husband (god bless him) tries to motivate or support me in my weight loss efforts only I often take it out of context. He will say something like “You shouldn’t be eating that” or he will ask a question like “Your not full?” and my immediate response is to get all pissed off and storm away. I do this because I know he’s right. I do this because the truth hurts. I do this because at that moment in time I do not recognize that he is trying to communicate with me. He has seen or heard me time and time again talk about what I need to do or what I should be doing. Now he goes out on a limb to try to help and in return I end up ripping his head off!
Eventually these people in our lives who are trying to help us, like my husband, will shut down. They will stop trying. They will stop asking the questions or making the comments. Next thing you know…you shut down. You stop putting it out there. You stop talking about what you need to do or what you should be doing. All lines of communication are down and you are struggling in silence. I am pretty confident that I was at this point and now that I am recognizing it…things are starting to change.
The other night my husband made the following comment to me “You just do not seem that committed”. Instead of my usual knee jerk reaction I sat and processed his comment for a moment. I really thought about what he was saying to me and you know what, he was right! I learned a lot from his observation and his honesty. It helped me to refocus my commitment and I actually found myself being very thankful that he was asking me the questions that I was not asking myself.
The other day I was told that if you placed a crab directly over heat it would freak out and do whatever it needed to do to try to get away but if you placed a crab in a pot of water it would sit and boil to death. I thought it was a pretty interesting analogy for many things in life. As a business…is your industry changing and are you staying ahead of the curve? As a person, are you gradually packing on the pounds without realizing how bad it’s getting? As a partner or a lover, is your relationship changing gradually day by day to the point you do not even remember the person you fell in love with?
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our lives that we do not even notice the gradual changes. Next thing you know we find ourselves submerged in a pot of boiling water headed towards uncertainty. So I guess I need to ask…are you going to keep sitting in a pot of boiling water or are you going to wake up, feel the heat and do whatever you need to do to make the changes in your life?
For whatever reason I tend to get into patterns where I eat the same things over and over again. This year I decided rather than make a new years resolution to “lose weight” I figured I would make one to focus on new recipes. Tonight’s recipe actually surprised me! I did not expect it to turn out as good as it did. I found & copied the recipe right from the Weight Watchers Website. Before the Biggest Loser I LOVED Chinese Takeout. I would always get Cashew Chicken and needless to say, it has been a long time since I have had it. Naturally when I came across this recipe it grabbed my attention right away. I have been down this path before where I have tried to recreate healthy version of my favorite foods and it does not always turn out so great but I was pleasantly surprised when I tasted this. I think the only modifications I made to this recipe is that I used 1 cup brown rice instead of 2 cups of white rice. I also divided mine into 3 servings vs. 4. ENJOY and let me know how it turns out!
|2 tsp peanut oil|
|2 clove(s) (medium) garlic clove(s), minced|
|1 pound(s) uncooked boneless skinless chicken breast(s), cut into 1-inch cubes|
|1/2 tsp table salt, or more to taste|
|1/4 tsp black pepper, or more to taste|
|1 1/2 cup(s) fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided|
|2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce, or more to taste|
|2 rib(s) (medium) uncooked celery, chopped|
|8 oz canned bamboo shoots, drained|
|8 oz canned water chestnut(s), sliced, drained|
|1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch|
|2 cup(s) cooked white rice, kept hot|
|1 3/4 oz unsalted dry-roasted cashews, chopped (about 6 Tbsp)|
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper and add to skillet. Cook until browned on all sides, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes.
- Add 1 cup of broth, soy sauce, celery, bamboo shoots and water chestnuts to chicken and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
- Dissolve cornstarch in remaining 1/2 cup of broth; add to skillet and simmer until sauce thickens, stirring constantly, about 1 minute.
- To serve, divide rice among 4 shallow dishes. Spoon chicken mixture onto rice and sprinkle with cashews. Yields about 1 cup of chicken, 1/2 cup of rice and 1 1/2 tablespoons of cashews per serving.
- For a burst of color, add 2 cups of chopped fresh baby bok choy in place of the bamboo shoots and water chestnuts. The tender greens will cook with the chicken in 5 minutes.
It has been 32 months since my Biggest Loser Finale and I will be the first to admit that I am not exactly where I imagined I would be. My fitness level is nowhere near what it was when I left ranch and I have definitely gained weight…a lot of it! Now I could ramble on about all of the reason “why” I feel the last 32 months have been so “tough” for me but I am going to spare you the excuses and keep it real. It is my personal belief that in order for someone to learn from their mistakes they have to first admit that they have made one. So what am I trying to get at here…or better yet…what mistake am I referring to? It’s what I like to call “Owning it”. I am not very good at “owning it” meaning, I have a very hard time recognizing and accepting where I am and what I have done. Prior to the Biggest Loser I would hate looking at pictures of myself. I would delete them off of someones camera if I didn’t like them or just exclude myself from the photo all together. It’s almost as if I didn’t actually see myself like that…then it wasn’t really true. I found the same thing on the other end of the scale. I lost total of 167 lbs. I was the smallest I had ever been in my adult life yet…I did not see it. I did not “own it”. I kept looking for that extra 20 lbs never celebrating where I was and how far I had come. I see it time and time again where people give credit to every other person in the world for their personal accomplishments yet they for some unknown reason just cannot own the fact that THEY did the work. They made it happen. They made the change. This ladies and gentleman is something I need to learn to do. I need to own the good and the bad. I need to accept the fact that when I have gained weight…I did that. I do not care what the circumstances were surrounding it. I did it. I also need to acknowledge that when I lose weight. I did that too. I cannot brush it off as a fluke or “water weight”. If we keep downgrading our accomplishments we will never reach our full potential in life.