The Science Behind Burning Fat

Weight loss can be a product of fat burning, and muscle or water loss. For most of us, burning body fat is a goal. We want to ditch the love handles and uncover our abs. However, there are a ton of misconceptions about transforming your body into a fat-burning furnace. Let’s dive into the science behind burning fat.

Fat Loss Requires a Negative Energy Balance Through Exercise & Diet

Your metabolism turns food into fuel to keep your body functioning properly. After a meal, your metabolism converts the carbohydrates from your food into energy and any excess carbohydrates convert into stored fat. For your body to utilize stored fat as an energy source, you must monitor your caloric intake to avoid an excess consumption and over-eating. Eating healthy food with proper portion control will ensure you get the nutrients you need while generating a caloric deficit by helping you consume fewer calories than what your body burns. Toss in regular exercise and that caloric deficit increases exponentially. The missing calories your body needs for energy can then be converted from stored body fat.

When fat is used as an energy source, the fat cells begin to shrink. As the cells decrease in size, you look leaner. Alternatively, when you eat more calories than you burn, those same fat cells will refill, causing your body fat to increase. The bottom line is that the body must have a negative energy balance, meaning your body is burning more calories than it’s digesting, to be primed for fat reduction. Rather than counting calories every meal, focus on eating calorie-dense, whole foods, and using healthy, physical activity to increase total calories burned and pack on lean muscle as you melt fat.

Another area of focus to ensure you are getting the most out of both your workout performance and calorie burn is on hydration. Proper hydration is one of the most effective forms of burning calories. You burn approximately one calorie for every fluid ounce of water you absorb. Being properly hydrated improves your ability to physically perform and increase calorie burn.

Busting Common Fat Burning Myths

Now that you know the science of converting stored fat into energy, let’s debunk these common myths with some hard facts about body fat:

Myth: By choosing specific exercises, you can pick which part of the body you burn fat from.

Fact: The average human adult has billions of fat cells, which can be used as an energy source. You can’t pick and choose which cells the body pulls fat from. Instead, you can shrink these cells by eating healthy and exercising regularly.  

Myth: You must exercise in the “fat-burning zone” to burn fat.

Fact: When you work out at a moderate intensity of approximately 55 to 70% of your max heart rate, your body will burn more fat than carbs. However, the total calories burned is a more important metric. High-intensity exercise can continue to burn calories long after your workout, exceeding the total calories burned of a moderate intensity workout of the same length. The more calories burned, the better, so start exercising!

Myth: You’re not losing fat if the number on the scale isn’t changing.

Fact: While you want to see the number on the scale decrease, everything from hormones to water weight can cause fluctuations in what the scale reads.

Trade in the scale for body measurements and keep an eye on inches lost when trying to lose fat. If your measurements are decreasing, you know you’re doing something right.

Myth: You must exercise in the “fat-burning zone” to burn fat.

Fact: When you work out at a moderate intensity of approximately 55 to 70% of your max heart rate, your body will burn more fat than carbs. However, the total calories burned is a more important metric. High-intensity exercise can continue to burn calories long after your workout, exceeding the total calories burned of a moderate intensity workout of the same length. The more calories burned, the better, so start exercising and be sure to stay hydrated to increase your total calories burned!

Myth: You’re not losing fat if the number on the scale isn’t changing.

Fact: While you want to see the number on the scale decrease, everything from hormones to water weight can cause fluctuations in what the scale reads. Trade in the scale for body measurements and keep an eye on inches lost when trying to lose fat. If your measurements are decreasing, you know you’re doing something right.

Pro Tips to Burn Fat

Here are some tips to get you started with your fat burning routine:

  • Get active. We all know that physical activity burns calories and builds muscle. Whether it’s going for a walk, playing a sport, or hitting the gym, you need to increase your activity levels to burn fat and get lean.

  • Stay hydrated! Exercise performance is impaired when you are dehydrated by as little as 2% of your body weight. Losing more than 5% of body weight from dehydration can decrease your ability to workout by close to 30%. Lean muscle in the body is comprised of roughly 80% water and it needs that water to properly function. Proper hydration allows your body to perform at the highest level while also increasing your ability to burn more calories.

  • Mix up your workout routine. Don’t get stuck in a repetitive workout routine … it’s important to switch it up! Complement your cardio work with some resistance training to build muscle as you burn fat. In fact, muscle will supercharge your results by helping you burn more calories while at rest. Aerobic exercises, such as high-intensity interval training, can decrease belly fat and burn a ton of calories in a short period of time, as well

  • Clean up your diet. Sugar-filled beverages like soda, lemonade and cocktails can increase belly fat. Replace these drinks with hydrating fluids like water and Liquid I.V.

  • Clean up your diet. Sugar-filled beverages like soda, lemonade and cocktails can increase belly fat. Replace these drinks with hydrating fluids like water and Liquid I.V. Another easy swap is to replace processed foods such as chips and baked goods with protein-rich nuts and veggies. This shift in diet will increase your fiber to help you feel full and ultimately prevent overeating without constantly counting calories.

Another easy swap is to replace processed foods such as chips and baked goods with protein-rich nuts and veggies. This shift in diet will increase your fiber to help you feel full and ultimately prevent overeating without constantly counting calories.

  • Practice portion control. Another easy way to cut calories is to practice portion control. Uber-restrictive diets can be hard to maintain long-term, but decreasing the portion sizes of your favorite foods is a quick and simple way to save you some calories.

  • Commit to quality sleep. Sleep deprivation activates appetite and can lower your metabolic rate, which leads to overeating and fewer calories burned. Plus, short sleep periods can lead to an increase likelihood of obesity. Aim for 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night.

Commit to quality nutrition and regular exercise, and before you know it, you’ll be blasting stubborn body fat while taking on all of life’s adventures. Best of luck!

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32-Pack Monthly Supply (25% OFF)

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