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UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
7/20/12 5:51 P

There are myths out there that you need to work out for 20 minutes, or 30, or more, "before you start burning fat". Those are totally mythical.

Yes, you burn fat right from the get-go.

But as pointed out, what is important anyway is calorie burn, not fat burn. If you burn up calories from glycogen, your body will replace those from your fat stores later in the day anyway. So total calories matters, not whether it was fat or glycogen that was burned.

So enjoy your exercise - ANY exercise. You're burning the fat away.

Deb, in New Zealand
MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 14,910
7/20/12 1:18 A

Actually, the body can convert fat to usable energy only slowly, so most of the energy for intense workouts will come from stored carbs. Most of the fat burn will probably come later in the day as your body replenishes its energy stores, and meet the energy demands of the rest of the day.

What matters for fat loss in the overall balance between calories burned and consumed over the ENTIRE 24 HOUR DAY. The significance of exercise is not that it burns a whole lot of fat directly, but that it helps create a calorie deficit overall.


The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
MPLANE37 SparkPoints: (65,751)
Fitness Minutes: (35,117)
Posts: 2,167
7/20/12 12:09 A

The whole idea is to create a daily deficit through controlled caloric intake and exercise. When a deficit happens, the body will have to compensate by burning fat, mostly. It will burn some muscle too, but the muscle burned will be minimal if the deficit is not too large, and there is a balanced exercise program of cardio and strength training.

So, from the fat loss point of view, you should only be worried about if you are getting your daily caloric deficit right, not that if you burn fat or not during exercise.

``Don't break the chain." -Jerry Seinfeld
``Moments of silence are part of the music." -Anonymous
SCARLETSINEMA SparkPoints: (0)
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7/19/12 10:56 P

awesome thanks! This is a great site. I appreciate the quick response

SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (158,833)
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7/19/12 10:52 P

Well, actually the first few seconds of any activity is all glycogen and then you move into the fat/glycogen burning mode, but remember your goal is to expend calories and not worry about focusing on the fat loss.

Coach Nancy

SCARLETSINEMA SparkPoints: (0)
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7/19/12 10:41 P

ok thanks basically, it kicks in right away?

SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (158,833)
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7/19/12 10:34 P


Believe it or not, but your body is primarily a fat-burning machine. YEP, that's right. Fat is the go to fuel for most activity--however for most activities, like sleeping, sitting in front of the computer, reading, etc, you don't burn a lot of calories.

When you exercise (heart rate begins to elevate along with your breathing) your body begins to burn a higher percentage of glycogen (stored glucose) AND fat. You burn about 50% fat and 50% glycogen when you are working around 60% of your max heart rate. Not only are you burning fat and glycogen for fuel, you are also burning a greater percentage of calories. So don't worry so much about the type of fuel you are burning, but instead focus on the intensity so that you burn a larger amount of calories.

Coach Nancy

SCARLETSINEMA SparkPoints: (0)
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7/19/12 10:20 P

How long does it take for fat burning to kick in during a cardio workout?

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