Everyone has heard about “fat burn”, but not everyone realizes what really happens to that fat when we burn fat. If you’re thinking “I don’t really care”, you should know that’s a big mistake. That’s because if you learn what happens to the fat the body burns, it may be helpful in burning it faster and easier. Understanding the process of “fat burn” will help you achieve your goals.
In the end, regardless of where the fat tends to store, we can’t burn fat locally. There are different areas of our bodies where fat may be stored. It mostly has to do with our genetics. For some, it could be the stomach, for others thighs, or even the face. It varies from person to person. But to get rid of the problematic area, we have to learn how to lose weight and burn fat. Here we’re going to share how fat loss occurs.
How does fat burning occur?
When we’re burning fat, we do not literally set it on fire so it would burn. It also doesn’t literally “melt” as we tend to say, nor does the weight we lose, we actually lose. So, where does the fat even go?
Before we explain it, there are various things you should be aware of. So, when we have a bit more weight than we want to, it means that we’re eating more calories than our body is using. Calories are basically the energy that your body needs to perform. Think about calories for your body as fuel for your car. But instead of pouring on the floor when the tank is full, the body tends to store those calories so it can use them for later. But when you never stop providing that surplus of calories, the weight gain doesn’t stop. That surplus of calories is stored in our body in the form of fat and/or muscles.
It is important to understand that the body is using that energy (fuel) received from calories (from foods), in different ways. We do not only need energy for physical exercise. We also need energy even when we’re at rest. That’s because your body needs to use energy in order to keep your heart pumping blood, your lungs to breathe, your brain to thin, your digestive system to break down the food you eat, and so on. This is called the “basal metabolism” or “basal metabolic rate” (BMR for short). And obviously, the body needs energy when you’re active. Whether you’re lifting weights, doing cardio, or walking – your muscles need energy to perform the necessary tasks.
So, what happens to fat when you lose weight?
Well, in order to burn fat, you will need to eat fewer calories than your body needs. When you’re performing tasks, the body needs calories (fuel) to perform them. In case you’re not providing those calories (from foods), your body takes its fuel (energy) demands from the stored calories. So that’s why the body is still able to function despite the fact that a calorie deficit occurs. It is going to search for your fat reserves for energy. Therefore, it will burn fat.
Nevertheless, the question still stands: what happens to fat when you lose weight?
Fat tends to leave your body in two ways. It escapes through your skin when you’re sweating, or through your kidneys – you basically urinate it. This is in the form of water. However, only a small amount of it (16%) turns into water. The rest (84%) you actually breathe it out. What does this mean? The fat is turned into carbon dioxide and you burn it by basically breathing it out.
Therefore, fat is converted to carbon dioxide (mostly) and water (a bit). You exhale carbon dioxide when breathing, and you get it out through sweating and urine. So, to be more exact, if you lose 10 pounds of fat, then 8.4 pounds go through your lungs, and the remaining 1.6 pounds turn into water.
Burning Body Fat
Because of the way we burn fat, it explains how some people can burn fat without ever stepping into the gym. It also explains how people can burn fat without ever sweating. Contrary to popular belief, sweating a lot in the gym will not cause fat burning. It will only cause water loss. And only a very small amount of that sweat we lost will contain fat. That’s why we can burn fat and lose weight through diet alone. We only need to maintain a calorie deficient diet (provide the body with fewer calories it requires) and voila – weight loss occurs.
Still, there are a lot of reasons why exercising goes hand in hand with fat burning and weight loss processes. Just think about it – if you’re getting the exact same amount of calories per day and you don’t work out and you maintain your current weight, you are going to notice fat loss as long as you continue getting the exact same amount of calories (foods) per day, but you started to work out. That’s because your body started using more calories.
It is pretty obvious that the body will use a good amount of calories when working out. But working out will not only have an effect on your calories alone. It will boost your BMR (metabolism), help provide a better hormonal balance that can support fat burning, and have numerous other benefits.
When we’re working out, our muscles will first burn through glycogen to get energy. After 30 to 60 minutes of exercising, it starts to burn fat. Studies suggest that incorporating weight lifting 2-3 times a week with at least 30 minutes of cardio on a daily basis will increase your metabolic rate and have a huge impact on the fat burning abilities of the body.
Best Ways To Burn Body Fat
We are getting energy from calories. But calories are broken down into three macronutrients – fat, carbohydrates, and protein. The body uses these sources in different ways in order to supply its energy demands. So, our body is mostly searching for fat and carbohydrates in order to get energy. It maintains protein to be used for muscle repair (which occurs post-exercise). The body uses protein during exercise too, but only a small amount. It mostly looks for fat and carbs when we’re exercising to fill up our energy needs. In the end, the ratio of how our bodies use these fuels depends on the type of activity that we’re doing.
Therefore, to burn fat, we need to provide a good ratio of these fuel types. We should work on our macronutrient ratio. It goes without saying that we should eat fewer calories too. This is the reason why we need to have a diet on point in the first place. We need to pay attention to how much we eat (calories amount) and to what we eat (macronutrients balance). Besides, we obviously should workout
Strength (resistance) training is extremely helpful in burning fat. It is mostly used for muscle building, but muscles help burn more calories at rest, boost metabolism, and it still helps burn fat directly. That’s why strength training is so important for anyone, regardless if your aim is to burn fat or gain muscle.
High intensity exercise
When you’re doing high intensity exercise (such as HIIT or running at a fast pace), your body will mostly rely on carbs for fuel. That’s because it needs a lot of energy and it requires them fast. But carbs are broken down for energy faster and more efficiently. So, your body looks for carbs when doing such activities.
Slower paced exercise
Such exercises are usually longer, but slower paced exercises such as running at a slower pace or even walking long distances. This shifts your body into taking its energy demands from fat, rather than carbs.
Anyway, you don’t really need to get caught about this. What really matters is to burn more calories than you consume.
How to Lose Fat?
So, what are the best ways to burn fat? The most important thing that you should pay attention to is the calories that you consume versus the calories that you burn. This will determine whether you lose weight, gain weight, or keep it unchanged.
So, in order to get that fat burning, I strongly recommend you to work on a calorie deficit.
So, as mentioned, the calorie deficit is the most important thing that you should focus on when you want to make sure that your body will start losing its current weight. This means that you consume fewer calories than the body burns every day. You should provide fewer calories than your body needs to maintain the current weight based on the activity level that day. That’s why you may have heard someone saying that they can eat a bit more today as they trained for a bit longer. That’s why, focusing on a diet alone for fat loss can be a solution, but a mixture of a healthy diet and exercise will not only speed up the process, but it will enhance the way you feel, look, and perform.
Burn Body Fat By Lifting Weights
Everyone knows that lifting weights will help build muscle. However, you need to know that lifting weights can help increase fat loss too! During weight lifting, you’re both burning fat and gaining muscle mass. So, lifting heavy and doing resistance exercises will encourage fat burning, boost metabolism, and help grow muscle mass. Especially when it is paired with a healthy diet.
Lifting weights benefits you in a lot of different ways. Here are some of the main benefits for you:
As you can guess, you are burning calories during your workout. So, when you’re lifting weights, you’re actually burning fat, not only tearing muscle fibers (which then grow bigger and stronger, leading to muscle growth). Lifting weights at a higher intensity will help burn more fat and will help gain more muscle.
But doing so will also increase the afterburn effect. This means that even long after your gym session, your body is going to continue to burn calories (at rest) in various ways.
Why is weight lifting so helpful for burning fat? Because it helps kickstart your metabolism. A diet-only approach could help you burn fat. But the problem is that such a weight loss regimen (diet-only) will actually lower your metabolism by about 20% each day.
This means that your body’s ability to burn fat will decrease daily. Therefore, if you’re aiming for fat loss, lifting heavy in the gym will have a lot of benefits. It helps you keep your muscles, burn fat in the gym session, burn fat as an afterburn effect, and burn fat by keeping your metabolism high. So, instead of lowering your metabolism (which has a direct impact on how fast and efficiently you burn fat), you actually increase it.
Preserves muscle mass
Now that’s why lifting weights is so important. Doing cardio-only and dieting may help keep your metabolism (but not as high as when you’re lifting heavy) and may help speed up calorie expenditure. However, cardio won’t help preserve muscle mass. Weight training, however, will help you maintain muscle mass during your diet. This leads to even more fat burning. Muscles are metabolically active. This means that when you’re losing muscle mass, you’re losing the extra-calorie burn that muscles can provide.
Not to mention that in order to enhance your physique, you need a decent muscle mass. If you’re a beginner, I would recommend going for a total body workout. Complete such a workout type at least twice a week. Have at least a day or two in between. You will start getting stronger, and more muscular, and encourages fat burning. This way, you will be able to do even more exercises and lift even heavier. You won’t notice overnight effects. But you’re going to notice differences soon enough in your body when having a controlled diet and weight training for fat loss.
How To Burn Body Fat Fast?
To burn fat, you need to stay consistent with your exercise and diet plan.
You should make sure that you get regular exercise and you keep on dieting. Work on your calories and macronutrients during your nutrition in order to get the best and fastest results. You also need to stay on track with your workout to hit your fat loss goals. Here are some tips for you:
- Stay active. While going to the gym is almost a must, you can switch up your routine to stay active. Such as parking further from the store, gym, work, etc. as you will walk more – spend more calories. It may not seem much, but it adds up when doing it daily.
- Focus on exercise. Make your workout a priority, do not try to squeeze a workout in at the last possible moment.
- Plan your time. While you should strength train 2-4 times a week, I would recommend you plan your time to have a short workout daily. It could be some cardio, walking, or numerous other activities that help you burn the extra calories.
- Split it up. If you do not have the time to spend 2 hours at the gym, split your workout throughout the day. Such as cardio in the morning and strength training in the afternoon.
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