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Burn That Fat

Burn That Fat

One of the reasons you're reading this report is that you hope to learn how to rid yourself of the excess fat you're carrying around on various parts of your body. You already know that you need to burn it off in some way, either by eating less food so that your body is forced to use it for energy, or by working it off by exercising and creating the need to use the fat for energy.


There are some things that you need to understand about fat and how the body uses it before we continue on because this knowledge will help you do all you can to help your body use up that excess fat. It’s time to look at metabolism, what fat is and how the body uses it, how to get the body to use more of it, and other important topics related to fat burning.


What's the Big Deal About Metabolism?


Metabolism is a word you've heard plenty of times in relation to dieting and weight loss. People complain that their metabolism is slow and that they can't lose weight because of it. But what is metabolism?


Simply put, metabolism is the amount of energy (in the form of calories) that your body uses to keep itself going. Everything you do – walk, sleep, read, web-surf, work, all requires your body to burn calories. Your metabolic rate has to do with how quickly and efficiently you burn those calories (stored up energy).


Metabolism is affected by what your body is made of. This means how much fat you have and how much muscle you have. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body needs to keep itself going because muscle uses more calories than fat uses.


People who have a lower percentage of body fat, and thus, a higher percentage of muscle have a higher metabolism than people who are less muscular, with more fat.


Now if you're overweight and out of shape, you might be panicking right now. But you can stop panicking because there is a way to fix the situation. As you begin your program of weight loss and muscle building, your metabolism rate is going to increase, meaning that you're going to burn more fat! And the more fat you burn and muscle you build, the more your metabolic rate will increase. And on and on!


Metabolism, even if it's slow right now, is not your enemy and you can make it into one of your best friends simply by following a healthy, low-fat and low-calorie diet and getting proper exercise every single day.


What Is Fat and How Does It Convert to Energy?


The fat that we carry around on our bodies is not really produced or made by the body. The number of fat cells that you have (which are called adipocytes), come with your when you're born and are cells that have the distinct job of storing fat.


 The body doesn't make new fat cells, it just fills them up – they are storage units for energy (the energy being in the form of fat). The way fat gets into these cells is pretty straightforward.


You eat something and your body breaks whatever it is that you've eaten into smaller parts – fats, proteins, carbohydrates, etc. Depending upon how much energy your body expends, the fat might get used very quickly, or it might get stored to be used at a later time.


Some stored fat is good for your body believe it or not, because it helps to protect internal organs and it's also great for helping many body systems function correctly.


But when more fat is stored than what the body needs for energy, protection or proper functioning, it just sits there on your hips or belly or wherever looking unsightly. So the idea is to get the body to use up that fat that it's stored for later use.


When the body needs energy and has to go to the fat cells to get some fat that's been stored up, a chemical process takes place that basically turns the fat contained in the fat cell into fatty acids that can be used for energy by muscles.


The process is rather complicated (what body function isn't), but the fat ends up in a form that can travel out of the fat cell, through the blood stream and to the areas where it's needed to serve as fuel.


Why Can't I Just Burn Fat Off of One Spot?


You've heard of spot reducing. It's where you lose weight in one spot – your waist, maybe your butt, or your thighs – wherever you think you need to lose, you do spot reduction. You burn the fat off that one spot.


Nope. Sorry, it can't happen.


Fat loss occurs over the entire body. When fat is used from the fat cells that store it, it's removed from cells over the whole body, not just in one area, no matter how much you exercise that area or how much you plead with your body just to use the fat from this of that area, fat is removed from fat cells distributed everywhere.


As I discussed earlier, your body is born with a certain number of fat cells. It's true that they do tend to be more prominent in certain areas of your body. But when your body starts to burn fat, all fat cells start to lose what they've stored up, not just some of them. This means that you'll lose fat from everywhere on your body, not just the spots that you think are fat.


The end result is that your entire body becomes trimmer. Sure you might still feel that you have too much flesh in one spot or another, but that comes from your genetics. If you lose weight everywhere and exercise to that what is left is firm and toned, you're still going to look fantastic!


How to Burn Fat in 30 Minutes a Day


Now comes the fun part. You're eating less and what you're eating is sensible, right? You've embarked on a new and healthy diet plan that reduces your fat and calorie intake, while still providing you with the nutrients you need to stay healthy and strong. Now it's time to start burning fat.


The one and only way you can burn that fat off your body is to work it off. This means exercise. If you've been a couch potato for a while now, you might be dreading this part, but let me tell you – you're going to be so happy once you get going! You'll feel better about yourself, and you'll feel healthier and more energized. And of course, before long, you'll start looking better too.


You're going to be alternating your fat burning workouts with workouts that target your core muscles. Each day, seven days a week, you're going to devote 30 minutes to exercise.


To burn fat, you need to do cardio exercise, which will occur every other day. This works your heart and lungs and gets every part of your body involved. Your metabolism will increase and your body will use the energy stored in it to keep moving and to support the higher metabolism rate.


In order to get the most out of cardio, you have to mix low, medium and high intensity exercise.


High intensity cardio gets your heart working to about 75 – 85 % of you maximum heart rate. During a high intensity workout, you'll feel very challenged. You'll be able to talk, but too breathless to hold a very long conversation.


A high intensity workout can really help with fat burning. But you don't want to do a high intensity workout each time you work out. It's better to leave the high intensity workouts to 1 time per week.


A medium intensity workout is what you're going to do about once or twice a week. This kind of cardio workout will bring your heart rate to about 60 – 70 % of your maximum heart rate, and you'll be able to carry on a conversation, even though it will still be harder than if you're sitting on your sofa doing nothing. A medium intensity cardio workout is still very effective for burning fat.


Finally, you'll want to through a low intensity workout into the weekly mix. These workouts are more comfortable than medium or high intensity workouts, but can still be very effective in the fight against too many calories and too much fat.


Low intensity workouts bring your heart rate to about 50 – 55% of your maximum heart rate, and you'll do this 1 time per week.


So, your cardio workout schedule is going to look something like this:


Week One:                                                 


Monday – Medium Intensity                              

Wednesday – High Intensity

Friday – Low Intensity


Week Two:


Sunday – Medium Intensity

Tuesday – High Intensity

Thursday – Low Intensity

Saturday – Medium Intensity                                                     


On your “off” days from your fat burning cardio workouts, you'll be doing your ab and core strengthening workouts. These, combined with your low-fat, low calorie eating habits, will bring about a newer, slimmer, more toned and tightened looking you.


What Types of Cardio Workouts Are High Intensity?


Generally, most cardio workouts can be brought to a high intensity level – walking, biking, jogging, running, swimming, dancing and kick-boxing, among others can all work, and remember that because we're all different, what is high intensity for you might not be the same as for someone else. If the workout is making you sweat and making it hard for you to have much of a conversation beyond a few words, it's high intensity.


You don't have to have special equipment to have a high intensity workout. If you want to pick up a fun dance or aerobic DVD, then do it.  If you love riding your bike, just kick things up a notch or two. When walking, don't just stroll – pick up the pace and get those arms pumping, or take it up to a jog.


Keep up the high level of intensity for 30 minutes. If you can't do 30 minutes yet, do as much as you can and work up to that 30-minute goal. Do the best you can.


How About Medium Intensity?


For a medium level of intensity, you can choose the same exercises, but just take things at a slightly slower pace. Again, you don't need any special equipment. Remember that a medium intensity workout is going to make you breath harder, sweat, and feel challenged, but you'll still be able to hold a conversation.


If you want to challenge yourself a little more, make the middle few minutes of your medium intensity workout more challenging by going to high intensity. This helps use up some extra calories and burns a bit more fat.


You can also get a nice medium intensity workout by using a good Pilates or Yoga DVD, or maybe a low impact aerobics DVD.


And Low Intensity?

On the day you do your low intensity cardio training, you're basically giving your body a little rest from all the other heavy-duty activity you've been engaged in for the other 6 days of the week.


But you're still working on it, and that's important. Even lower intensity cardio is going to burn fat, especially if you've been dedicated to following through with your workouts on the other 6 days.


Low intensity workouts can be taking a walk at a leisurely pace, going for a long, slow ride on your bike, doing a light yoga routine, swimming some easy laps in the pool, gardening, walking the dog, washing the car (by hand – not by driving it through the car wash), or any number of light activities that still get your body moving and your heart rate elevated.


Now that you have an understanding of the differences between high, medium and low intensity cardio workouts and when to do them, there is one more thing that is important to know about burning fat: you have to be very consistent in your efforts.


If you aren’t, you're not going to get the results you want. When you exercise on a regular basis, and in this case that means 30 minutes a day, 7 days week, your body becomes more efficient at burning fat. What happens is that you are more able to deliver oxygen to every cell of your body and that helps the cells burn fat better.


Also, because your circulation improves with regular exercise, the fatty acids in your body become more readily available for burning as fuel, and your body can create energy from the fuel you give it more efficiently.


I've mentioned plenty of outside activities for getting your cardio exercise. That's easy when the weather is good, but if you live in an area where winters are cold or the summers are unbearably hot, you might want to invest in a quality treadmill or stationary bike or other piece of cardio exercise equipment for your workouts when the weather is just too awful to go outside.


Interval Training: It's Like Having a Secret Weapon


Perhaps you've heard of interval training. I actually suggested that you include it in your medium intensity workouts now and then, but I didn't call it interval training.


Interval training is a way to exercise where you periodically begin to exercise at a more intense rate than what you're doing in your main workout, even if only for a minute or two. This makes your body go into a higher gear, and increases it's ability to burn calories and fat by leaps and bounds.


Interval training is easy to do. Just pick up the pace – walk or bike faster or take a route that leads you up a hill. Find a way to make what you're doing more intense, faster, more challenging or harder.


Ideally, when you engage in interval training, you should start out as normal and then push things up a level for 5 minutes or so and then go back to the original intensity. You can do this once or several times in your workout, and do it once a week or with each cardio session. It's up to you.


Interval training adds some excitement and variety to your workouts and gives your body an immense boost in the fat burning department, so try to throw it into the mix as often as possible. 

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