In a recent YouTube video, bodybuilding coach Eugene Teo has explained why working out to lose fat won’t necessarily result in you losing more fat. Confused? Allow us to explain.
People assume that if you’re working out in the ‘fat burning heart rate zone’ (around 60 to 70 per cent of your max heart rate) you’re going to be using more fat for fuel and therefore will lose more fat as a result. Not so, said Teo.
“A little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing when you don’t have a complete picture of what’s really going on,” Teo explains. Our bodies use both carbs and fat to fuel our daily activities (at a ratio of about 50/50). This includes weight training and cardio workouts, but also includes all the other ways we expend energy, so when we digest food or even when we’re sleeping (where we burn about 50 to 100 calories per hour).
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If you burn more fat during exercise, by working out in a fat-burning zone, that means you’ll have preserved muscle glycogen and won’t have burnt as many carbs, which, in turn, means the body will make up for this by using carbs to fuel your everyday activities.
“Yes, you burnt more fat and less carbs within that workout in the fat-burning zone, but you’ll burn less fat and more carbs outside of the workout. It all balances out,” said Teo.
But if working out in a fat-burning zone won’t necessarily help us lose weight, what will? “It comes back to that boring old equation you’ve all heard before: the energy balance equation.”
That’s right, if you want to lose weight the best way to do it is by eating fewer calories than you use in a day. Need some advice on how to do that? Check out our guide to the CICO – calories in, calories out – diet.
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