I’ll be honest with you. I get confused when it comes to calories, fat burning, metabolism etc.
Since I started on this journey a few short months a go, I have been a proponent (nice word) of the philosophy that says, if you work at your THR (Target Heart Rate) for a sustained period of time, you will be in your Fat Burning Zone and will in fact, burn more fat.
Don’t ask me why, but, that has always kinda made sense to me. An analogy I have for how I understand it, goes like this (don’t laugh). I imagine my body is a car with a dual fuel engine. When I want to go around town for a good hour or so it burns diesel (fat), when I want to put my foot down to jump the lights (come on you know you do it :-)) it switches to petrol (carbs). I’ve adopted that philosophy and worked in the gym, with that view and focus – Simples!
Also, during say, a one hour cardio at THR on the treadmill, I sweat like a pig, this makes me feel great and I am convinced that I’ve been burning fat for that hour. I’m getting good results and these results, in a way, validate how I feel.
Compare that, to other stuff I’ve been reading of late, which says, THR and ‘zones’ are a myth and basically it’s all about calories in verses calories out, period. Whether you burn fat or carbs is of no consequence, all that matters is that you burn calories.
For example. My one hour cardio session at THR burns anywhere between 950-1050 calories. I could burn the same number of calories with a 40 minute session at a higher intensity and get exactly the same results.
The thinking goes like this. Your body burns fat and carbs at varying degrees and percentages depending upon your level of activity and intensity. During high intensity workouts, you will burn a higher percentage of carbs, at a lower intensity, a higher percentage of fat. However, even if you have burned more carbs (high intensity) your body will still delve into your fat stores to replace the carbs it has lost, therefore, the net loss is the same. At first, this fits my analogy, but the focus is on energy (calories) not ‘types’ of energy. Do you get my point? I hope this isn’t too confusing, I don’t quite get it myself and I’ve not even mentioned metabolism yet 🙂
Do I really need to be bothered about all this? The fact of the matter is this, I’m loving going the gym, I’m loving doing my cardio and I’m loving getting my sweat on, so why bother stressing over it? Well, I think I do need to be bothered about it.
Firstly, I want to understand it and secondly, once I get a job (stop laughing I will soon) I’m not going to be able to spend the same amount of time at the gym. However, this alternative methodology (another nice word), suggests I could maintain my results with less time spent, although at a higher intensity. Not that weight loss is my ‘focus’ of course 🙂 Read here for details.
What do you think? Answers on a postcard, I mean, leave me comment with your thoughts 🙂
Nighty night peeps. I’m up in five hours as I’m doing a car boot sale with Jan (the phenomenally much better other half). Sell, sell, sell!!!
“I Can Do It…!”