Thursday, July 15, 2010

Exercise Timing Important for Weight Loss

(Article first published as Exercise Tips That Drive Weight Loss and Burn Fat on Technorati.)
The body is an amazingly efficient metabolic machine which stores excess caloric energy for use in times of famine. Unfortunately our genetically programmed survival mechanism leads to failure for the majority of people trying to lose weight. Information published in the American College of Sports Medicine provides encouragement to those who use exercise as a catalyst to drop excess weight.

Professional athletes load up on fast burning carbs before they train, as this provides the necessary energy they need to perform at a competitive level. Research indicates that people who don’t eat before exercising burned significantly more body fat, and for a longer period of time than those who ate prior to exercise. Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of energy, and when carbs are not readily available, fat is burned instead.

This information is important for individuals interested in sustainable weight loss. Many people believe they need to eat prior to exercise, as this provides fuel for training. In effect they’re simply burning the calories just eaten, and never turn up their fat burning metabolism, unless they exercise intensely or for an extended period. Research sheds an important light on the proper steps to follow to maximize the weight loss effect from each exercise session.

Tip 1: Carb Fast Prior to Exercise to Burn Fat
Fat burning in the body shifts into high gear when energy from a recent meal is limited and you begin to exercise. The body must find an energy source and shifts to your fat reserves. Eating a meal high in carbohydrates will cause your body to focus on burning existing calories, and a full stomach actually encourages fat storage, even during exercise.

Carb fasting before exercise will provide weight loss results for many people, but it’s important to note that is may not be for everyone, especially those individuals with poorly controlled blood sugar or diabetes. If fasting of any type is not an option, eating 3 or 4 smaller meals per day will work better to control blood sugar spikes. Avoid processed carbohydrates or any type of food which breaks down to glucose quickly, including fruits, sweetened beverages and juices.

Tip 2: Use Protein to Increase Metabolism
Protein is your friend when trying to lose weight. Proteins are very difficult for the body to break down, and therefore don’t provide an easy source of energy, forcing the body to break into its fat reserves for fuel. Research from the Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise journal demonstrates that whey protein eaten 30 minutes before exercise boosts the fat burning metabolism for up to 24 hours after the workout ends.

Tip 3: Choose High Intensity Interval Exercise to Drive Weight Loss
Choosing the right type of exercise is essential to maximizing the fat burning potential of a training session. While aerobic exercise is important for its heart healthy benefits, high intensity interval training is optimized for metabolizing fat. Resistance exercises which train the muscles in short bursts at high intensity for 1 to 2 minutes per repetition help to build fat burning muscle. We have evolved with this ‘fight or flight’ type of exercise, and it’s the key to priming our fat burning furnace.

Exercise is the catalyst to successful weight loss, and improving the efficiency of each training session will step our metabolism into overdrive, burning stored fat for energy. While it’s possible to lose weight without exercise, most people understand that a reduced calorie diet and regular exercise are necessary for permanent weight loss. Get the most health and weight loss benefits from exercise by coordinating meal timing and food choices with high energy resistance training.

1 comment:

Steve @ Weight Loss Diet said...

Good information. The only problem lies in trying to exercise without eating leads to weakness and a lack of energy for the workout.