Training while dieting to lose weight enhances fat and weight loss, helps maintain muscle mass, keeps you energetic and improves your health. Most people realize the importance of training to enhance body composition and improving fitness. However there is some controversy as to what kind of training is best.
First of all any training for any period of time is better than no training at all. A 15 minute walk every day, while not the best for maximizing weight/fat loss and improving body composition, will help you reach your goals. However, the more and harder you train the better. If you’re not used to exercise start at a low level and work your way up slowly so as to avoid muscle soreness and injuries.
What’s you’re really after is not weight loss but fat loss. for more info on that read the article Weight Loss Is An Oxymoron. You might also find the following article useful, Is Targeted Fat Loss Possible?, and Fat, Skinny People.
So if our goals should be fat loss, and improved body composition and fitness, what’s the best way to exercise in order to achieve these goals? If you ask various people and/or search the internet you’ll find all kinds of advice on the best way to exercise. Most of the advice will produce some effects, since any exercise is better than no exercise at all. However, there’s a lot of misguided information out there that won’t give you the best results.
Just like weight loss is an oxymoron, so is fat burning. That’s because you’re always burning fat. If you’re alive, you’re burning fat. Fat is used by your body all the time to keep it going.
The question should be not if you’re burning fat but if you’re burning enough of it to make a difference in your body composition, especially on the excess fat most of us are carrying, mostly around the middle, and to a lesser extent in most of us around the butt and thighs.
How much fat you burn when you’re sitting on your couch watching TV and how much you burn when you’re in hard training may vary a lot if you’re metabolism is carb based. Sitting you may get up to 70% or so of the energy you expend from fats. But sitting isn’t going to burn a lot of calories anyway so the fat you burn off isn’t much.
When you’re fat adapted and training hard I’ve found that you burn almost as much fat training hard as when you’re sitting doing nothing. That’s because you’re able to use more fat at higher intensities of training than someone who’s not fat adapted. And the best kind of training for fat loss and keeping muscle mass (which will help you keep that weight/fat off) is resistance training and not aerobic training as most people believe.
It’s a myth that you’re going to burn more fat if your heart rate falls between certain numbers. That all started with the misconception that if you’re working out hard and your heart rate is high, then you’re going to burn more carbs than fats. The fact is the harder you work out, especially using weights, the more fat you burn, period.
And if you’re on my phase shift diet you’ll burn more fat when you’re hard at it then if your metabolism is mostly carb based.
If you’re fat adapted you have more fat right in the muscle cells and these fat droplets are situated so they’re touching the mitochondrial membranes and as such highly useable instead of carbs. The working muscle cells also are more efficient at pulling in fatty acids from the blood, which in turn comes from your body fat.
BOTTOM LINE is that you’ll be using more body fat for fuel if you’re fat adapted compared to the majority of people who are carb adapted. Also the harder and longer you work out, the more fat you’re going to burn and the faster you’re going to improve your body composition.
So those who think that long walks are the way to go, or those who think that training 15 minutes a day at high intensity is the way to go, are both wrong.
The way to go to get maximum fat loss and body composition results is to be fat adapted and to train as long and hard as you can.