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Explain to me glycogen and fat burning


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I want to burn fat.  I have been doing cardio and some strength training for the past 3 months.  I usually do about an hour of power walking (or treadmill if I cant get outside) a day.  Sometimes more. Lately I have also added biking on the weekends.  I do not do enough strength training.  Mostly twice a week for about 1/2 hour.  Some time less.

I have read comments from other posters about how some exercise causes the body to burn glycogen stored in muscles instead of fat.  I dont really understand this.  Would someone be so kind as to explain it to me?

How can I maximize fat loss?  I dont have money for a gym right now and I dont have much weight equipment at home.  A few sets of dumbbells, a few resistance bands etc.  Or is my cardio workout enough?

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Original Post by madamq:

I want to burn fat.  I have been doing cardio and some strength training for the past 3 months.  I usually do about an hour of power walking (or treadmill if I cant get outside) a day.  Sometimes more. Lately I have also added biking on the weekends.  I do not do enough strength training.  Mostly twice a week for about 1/2 hour.  Some time less.

I have read comments from other posters about how some exercise causes the body to burn glycogen stored in muscles instead of fat.  I dont really understand this.  Would someone be so kind as to explain it to me?

How can I maximize fat loss?  I dont have money for a gym right now and I dont have much weight equipment at home.  A few sets of dumbbells, a few resistance bands etc.  Or is my cardio workout enough?

 

You can minimize muscle loss (thereby maximizing fat loss) by eating every 3 hours, and increasing your protein intake (around 1g of protein per pound of body weight on days you weight train...assuming you are close to your healthy weight)...I read that most forms cardio cause you to loose a bit of muscle anyways, hence why it's important to include a weight-training program into your exercise routine to atleast help sorta 'rebuild' the muscles that you continually lose through cardio (atleast twice a week of weights work should be fine)...when you're lifting, train to fatigue or close to it, you should be feeling the burn in your muscles (not anywhere else)the next day if you're a beginner.  Hope this helps :)

What are your stats btw?

 

depending on the exercise type, the body will use different energy systems. Weightlifting, depending on the length of the set, will first use ATP/CP, when this runs out the body will use glycogen.  Fat is used as an energy source during more 'cardio' type workouts, where the exercise intensity is fairly low and the length is longer. However you dont need to get caught up in all the energy systems, both  have tremendous benifits, and should be a part of anyones weightloss program.

 

p.s dont think too much in terms of calories burned during the workout, but think about the  recovery period after. In other words, although steady state cardio primarily  uses fat as the energy source, it wont contribute to as much weight-loss as something like high intensity intervals. Both have their place and with anything there are many ways to get the job done

 Think "24-hour energy balance". Your body has a preferred fuel mix of carbs, fat and protein and keeps tuning what you're burning at any given moment to converge on (roughly) the same percentages when considered over 24 hours.

 If you're burning more carbs than preferred during exercise, it'll turn down the carb-burning and rely more on fat for a while until preferred fuel mix is achieved - and vice versa.

 (this is horribly simplified but close enough to reality for anyone who doesn't have a burning desire to delve into the intricacies of energy substrate utilization and signalling hormones ;)

 To maximize fat loss then, you do as much high-intensity work as your current recovery capacity can handle and then fill in the rest of your available time with low-intensity work. In practice, the most efficient use of time for the non-strength athlete is 3 whole-body strength workouts a week, and then as much cardio as you've got the time and inclination to do. 

 (One study I looked at recently found that a practical absolute minimum with a detectable positive result was 11 minutes of strength training 3xweekly. This is the minimum for having some kind of result, not the maximum useful training dose, but 3x11 min. of cardio is not enough to make a detectable difference...)

 Cardio doesn't make a significant contribution to weight loss through direct fat burning; that's looking in the wrong place. It does make a contribution to your 24-hour energy balance which is significant if you do enough of it; and since the magic key to weight loss is calories out > calories in it helps to the extent that it adds to the calories out part.

Original Post by madamq:

I have read comments from other posters about how some exercise causes the body to burn glycogen stored in muscles instead of fat.  I dont really understand this.  Would someone be so kind as to explain it to me? It really doesn't matter, the type of exercise you do can have an effect on how much fat vs glycogen is used for energy during the exercise, but you're body is pretty smart and if you burn more fat or more glycogen during exercise you'll burn less the rest of the day so everything evens out eventually.

How can I maximize fat loss? higher intensity exercises burn more fat, calorie for calorie, than lower intensity exercises.  I dont have money for a gym right now and I dont have much weight equipment at home.  A few sets of dumbbells, a few resistance bands etc. There are plenty of workouts you can do at home with very little equipment (Your body as a barbell and training for generation ent come to mind)  Or is my cardio workout enough? enough for what? will you burn fat by doing your current workout? Yes, as long as you maintain a calorie deficit. Will you burn as much fat as you would doing something else, probably not.

 

 

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