Fat-burn zone: Fact or Fable?

You may recognize the picture below of some cardio machines in the gym. The fatburn zone claims that you burn more fat when you train at low intensity. But is this really true?

It is true that you use relatively more fat as an energy source for an effort at a low intensity, as you can see in the table below. The level of effort affects the use of the energy sources for that effort. The reason why the body mainly uses fat as the primary energy source in an effort at low intensity: fat is virtually unlimited in comparison with other energy sources and provides a lot of energy for a longer period. That is why fat is an important source of energy for low intensity efforts. But to use fat as an energy source, oxygen is needed and this energy conversion is more inefficient than with other available energy sources, such as creatine phosphate .

But is cardio at low intensity than the way to get rid of that excess belly fat? No. There are two reasons for this.

First, the fatty acids in the bloodstream and in the nearby mitochondria (near the muscle cell) are first converted into energy. This means that you do not immediately burn that fat around your belly or hip ( local fat bandages do not exist ).

Second, your net burns a lot more calories by exercising at a higher intensity. You burn with exercise at a high intensity relatively seen less fat, but net yet more than when you exercise at a low intensity.

In short, exercising at low intensity is not always better for ‘fat burning’. The table above makes it even more concrete. Here you see that for weight loss running is preferable to speed walking.

Basic tips for a lower fat percentage

Do you want a lower fat percentage ? Here are some basic tips by Uchpa.org that can help you:

Map how much energy your body needs and how much you eat and drink. Make sure you eat fewer calories than your energy needs . The easiest way is to count your calories in an app.

Move more!
This can simply be an extra walk or on your bike to work, but also by exercising.

Do strength training.
This is valuable against the loss of muscle mass during a period of weight loss.

Follow a protein-rich diet to protect the amount of muscle mass.

Provide a good work / rest balance.

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