Fat burning is not created equal.
Take two overfat people, one regularly exercises, the other has a sedentary lifestyle. The sedentary person’s body does not ‘know’ how to burn fat efficiently, its fat burning mechanisms are not well-developed. Whereas the active person’s body has developed ways of increasing fat burn to produce energy; remember that fat is burnt in the presence of oxygen and the waste product is carbon dioxide. This gaseous exchange can be measured in a lab whilst someone exercises. Their ratio of oxygen consumption versus carbon dioxide output is calculated and the resulting figure is called ‘Respiratory Quotient’ (RQ). Better fat burners produce more carbon dioxide hence their RQ score will be better. So a fat but fit person’s RQ will be far better than a fat but unfit person’s. Quite simply they are better at burning fat*.
How the body increases fat burning through exercise:
- It produces more of the enzymes which help fat to be burnt.
- It increases the number of mitochondria. Mitochondria are tiny units in our cells that produce energy.
- It increases blood flow, transporting fat around the body for use as energy.
Whilst fat loss is largely about a change in diet (if you change your diet you will lose fat, if you exercise but continue to overeat you will not) exercise will help speed the process along and make the body a more efficient machine.
Ironically, overfat people’s metabolism, or calorie burn, is often raised just because they are fatter. It’s harder for the body to move itself around, it spends more energy digesting food (thermogenesis) because more food is eaten, even more trying to keep cool and everything is just a bigger strain for it. The raised metabolism is negated because the person usually moves a lot less, as moving isn’t comfortable, so not only do they collect more fat but they are worse at burning it. The higher metabolism is like a drop in the ocean. It’s all a very big vicious circle.
Conclusion: Become a better fat burner! Exercise regularly doing something you enjoy so you will do it forever. Change your diet forever. So you’ll be losing fat via a healthy diet AND burning a higher percentage of fat via exercise.
Not exactly news or an exciting fad, more common sense and a forever solution.
* They are better at burning fat but they remain overfat, with all the strain that puts on the body and its organs, because they overcompensate for the exercise by eating more.