Secret to Weight Loss…The Hours You Are Not Exercising.


“That makes no sense.  Everyone has told me that in order to lose weight I need to exercise and now you are saying the secret is what happens when I am not exercising, I don’t understand”. 

As an Exercise Physiologist & Personal Trainer here at My Fitness Kitchen in Latrobe PA,  I do my best to educate and empower individuals on the hierarchy of fat loss and how certain activities are more efficient than others when it comes to losing fat.  The main point that I will want to get through is the value and importance of having a concern for muscle when it comes to weight loss, more specific FAT LOSS. 

In a nutshell; there is a chain of command when it comes to effective fat loss.  

  1. First and foremost is Supportive Nutrition.  Very few can out-exercise a crappy high caloric diet. High caloric is above your metabolic demand (daily metabolism).  Bottom line one needs to create a caloric deficit while eating enough protein and essential fats. Therefore it is obvious, caloric management nutrition can't be ignored.
  2. Second in the chain of command are activities that not only burn calories but more importantly maintain or promotes muscles mass and elevate metabolism (e.g., resistance and/or metabolic resistance training).
  3. Third in the chain of command are activities that burn calories and elevate metabolism (e.g., interval cardio)
  4.  Fourth in the chain of command are activities that burn calories but don’t necessary maintain muscle or elevate metabolism (e.g., Steady-state cardio). 

For sake of conversation nutrition is in check when not exercising so lets focus on the second point above – activities that burn calories, build muscle and elevate metabolism and why its of highest importance (next to nutrition) when it comes to fat loss.

What separates this point and makes it superior from the other exercise activities in the chain of command of fat loss is MUSCLE.

This is what some people like to call "After-Burn".  Meaning if you would exercise for 30 minutes or an hour one day, what is your body; more particular, your metabolism doing the rest of the day?  Some people don’t realize you actually burn calories all day.  This ability to burn calories all day is the key to losing fat.  More importantly the type of exercise you do will greatly impact how much (residual) caloric expenditure you will get at rest after a particular workout. 

For simplicity there are two types of exercise;

  • cardiovascular training which trains your heart (cardiac) muscle tissue
  •  strength/resistance training which trains your skeletal muscle tissue.   


Actually, there are studies documenting EPOC being elevated some 38 hours post workout.  So, if for example you would do a resistance training workout at 7AM on a Monday you’re still burning more calories (above resting levels); without even working out again by time you go to bed at 10PM on Tuesday evening.  For those people who say they don’t have enough time what do you say about that for effective time management?    

our heart (cardiac) muscle is designed to resist fatigue; therefore can be trained every day.   Additionally cardio exercise will generate the highest expenditure per unit of time; however this is where the confusion sets in.  “If I wanted to lose weight/fat, why wouldn’t I just do just cardio since I will burn more calories per minute than weight training?”  When you are exercising, yes cardio exercise will have a greater caloric expenditure per unit of time than resistance-training workouts; however the key with resistance training exercises is that it takes much longer for your metabolism to get back to resting levels as compared to cardio exercise.  This delay to returning to resting levels is what increases your overall caloric expenditure for the day. This in the scientific community is referred to as EPOC or Excess Post Oxygen Consumption or as stated above the "After-Burn".


EPOC is defined as the recovery of metabolic rate back to pre-exercise or resting levels.  This period of time can require several minutes for light steady state cardio to several hours for hard metabolic interval or resistance training.   It is your skeletal muscles that need rest and recovery.   It is during this rest/recovery period (both between sets during a workout and between workout days) of the skeletal musculature that the difference is made with fat loss.  However, the key to maximizing this part of “After-Burn” is that the muscles must fatigue enough that they breakdown the skeletal muscle tissue so that energy (caloric burn) is spent during the non-exercising hours to repair damage from the resistance training.

 Actually, there are studies documenting EPOC being elevated some 38 hours post workout.  So, if for example you would do a resistance training workout at 7AM on a Monday you’re still burning more calories (above resting levels); without even working out again by time you go to bed at 10PM on Tuesday evening.  For those people who say they don’t have enough time what do you say about that for effective time management?   

In conclusion, this information is not intended for you to abandon all steady-state cardio (walking, jogging, etc.) exercise.   If you have all the time in the world, go ahead and do as much steady state cardio as you would like as it is great for your heart and lungs.   However, this is for individuals who have been trying to lose weight with steady-state cardio (e.g., walking or jogging on a treadmill or outside) alone and has been frustrated because the results are not happening as fast or as they would like.  Understanding this chain of command of effectiveness is like selecting a knife to cut a steak, both a butter-knife and steak knife can do the job, only difference one is little more effective than the other.   You can only burn so many calories in an hour from a workout regardless of your fitness level, the difference is how much you are burning the rest of the day and comes to down to how much lean body mass (muscle) you have and how you stimulate it and move it.  






Request more information

Facebook



Request More Information

Cancel

Let us e-mail you this Free Report


Cancel