tape-403590_640In order to lose fat versus just weight you must do aerobic exercise for at least 20 minutes continually at you aerobic zone.  Your zone is calculated by subtracting your age from 220 BPM and muliplying by 75%.

If you are 50 your aerobic zone would be 220-50= 170×75% or 128 Beats per minute.  If you don’t have a heart monitor exercise at a rate that brings a sweat but you can still carry on a comfortable conversation.

In the first 20 minutes of exercise the body burns carbohydrates, after 20 minutes it mobilizes fat out of the fat cells and sends it to the liver where it is turned in to glucose, which is the only thing the body uses for fuel.  If you exercise under your aerobic rate you will only burn carbohydrates, same with going over your target heart rate.  It would also help to do some weight lifting, because building more muscle burns calories 24 hours per day.  Diets DO NOT WORK.  When you only diet your body goes into starvation mode, it doesn’t use fat for the lost calories, but it burns up protein( muscle). when you lose muscle you burn fewer calories everyday.  20 minutes of aerobic exercise is the key to losing fat.

I was the exercise consultant for a surgical bariatric clinic. We analyzed % body fat of our clients at perscribed intervals.  All clients lost weight due to the surgery, but only the ones that followed my exercise protocols lowered their % body fat and lost weight.  Those that did not engage in at least 20 minutes of aerobic exercise at their target heart rate, lost weight but their % body fat increased because their body made up for the calorie deficit due to their surgery, by metabolizing protein or lean body mass (muscle ). Once fat is deposited in fat cells, the body doesn’t want to give it up since fat is the most efficient way to store calories.  The surgery, causes a drastic reduction in the amout of calories the body can take in daily, causing the body to go into starvation mode.  The clients took in only liquids high in protein in order to minimize the metabolism of muscle mass.  But without the aerobic exercise, the protein they took in could not make up for the drastic calorie deficit. I can’t emphasize enough, people who want to lose weight really want to lose fat!  Aerobic exercise is the only answer to losing fat!

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