What REALLY Works?
So you have some fat to trim? Who doesn’t? It’s not hard to get confused by all the crazy nonsense on the Internet claiming a quick fix to the ever-expanding waistline. Schools of thought as to what works and what doesn’t have changed in this area over the past few decades. Where once, long duration, lower intensity exercise was advocated to keep the fat off, this is not the case so much anymore. Don’t get me wrong, if you train for long periods of time you WILL burn lots of energy, and a good deal of that may be fat. But there is no need to spend countless hours at the gym if you follow these three easy rules/tips/steps (call them what you will, just do them):
- Train hard – include cardio and resistance training!
- Fill your body with awesome power foods (not power bars) through nutritious meals and healthy snacks.
- Move lots during the day in addition to your workouts.
The Heart Foundation is now pushing a move towards daily walking – a minimum of 30 minutes per day at a moderate speed. But this is for good health. If you want to burn fat then you need to burn more energy. The Heart Foundation is therefore also pushing the fact that you need to think about the TOTAL kilojoules that you are burning in a workout. So if you don’t have any health concerns or injuries then you may need to ramp up the sweat levels in your training sessions to kick that butt into shape once and for all. If you run faster then you get more kilometres travelled in your 30-minute session, so you are going to burn more energy. So, no, walking for 30 minutes will not burn the same amount of kilojoules as the person flying by you pounding the pavement. There are a couple of ‘buts’ though.
‘But’ 1: Running will burn more kilojoules than walking for the same amount of time BUT heavier people will always be burning more kilojoules per minute if they walk at the same speed as a lighter person.
‘But’ 2: Training harder will increase the amount of kilojoules you burn BUT, in general, men will burn more than women due to their larger percentage of muscle.
Those of you reading these posts are by now probably well aware that I am a huge advocate of intense, daily 30 minute workouts (life is crazy busy so it just works for so many people). So how much are you burning off in these 30-minute pow-wow sessions? (Remember, these are just estimates as every person will be burning energy at a different rate).
Walk/slow jog 8km/h: 1020kJ/30 mins
Jog 10km/h: 1260kJ/30 mins
Run 13 km/h: 1680kJ/30 mins
Skip: 1560kJ/30 mins
For even better results, including life long health benefits and continual fat burning during the day, it’s important that you increase your lean body mass. That means including at least two resistance-training sessions in your program every week. Making your muscles stronger through weight training or other resistance training workouts will increase your lean (muscle) body mass. Muscle has a higher metabolic rate than fat. If you have more muscle on you then you are a better fat burning machine during the day even beyond your training session. Is it time to give your workouts a kick in the butt?