How do I burn fat?

As a trainer I can at times be amazed by the misinformation or misunderstanding of the information in the world about fitness.  This quick little rant is about “loosing body fat” or getting “lean” and the well embraced myth that cardio is the only way to do so.

Once again…eat better+ eat less+ do more= a healthier therefore leaner you. You are what you eat is no joke people.

Just because the machine at the gym says you are in your “fat burning” zone doesn’t mean that you are and it doesn’t mean that going harder won’t burn fat too, in fact going harder will burn more because you are using more calories (energy) to fuel that activity.

Why is the prescription for overweight and obese people to do cardio?  They need to do something and often it is the safest way for them to get exercising again but it is NOT the means to the ultimate end in and of itself.

Here’s the quick and the dirty to getting healthier and despite yourself leaner!

  • Eat quality fresh foods, lean meats, whole grains, fruits and vegetables (heard this one a thousand times)
  • Avoid foods you are allergic to, don’t know what they are? a simple test can find out.
  • Don’t eat late, don’t starve yourself and don’t binge eat.
  • REDUCE STRESS, SLEEP! Excessive exercise with no rest is just as bad, you have a stress hormone called cortisol that your body makes when under STRESS, exercise, work, and life are stressful, too much or too high of cortisol levels means weight gain or really fat gain. When stress meant survival cortisol was our friend now a days stress is almost a constant and has very little to do with our actual survival.
  • Exercise appropriately whether an athlete or not; train smart; yes do cardio but you need to strength train; circuit training is actually one of the best ways to boost your metabolism, your work load goes up, and if done right you use more of the muscle in the system, plus you are building muscle which in the long run requires more caloric energy to support (compared to FAT).
  • If you are not sure how much of what to do when ask a professional who knows what they are doing. And do it right or it’s almost a waste of time.
  • Engage yourself mentally and physically in your personal health and fitness daily for the rest of your life there is NO magic bullet it is just hard work.