What Kind of Calories Are You Burning?

April 6, 2018

 

Why is it that you go out day after day and exercise until you are blue in the face but don't seem to be getting rid of those "love handles?" We all know, that exercise burns additional calories, right? Well, it's because the real question really is...

What kind of calories are you burning? 

Teaching the body to utilize a higher proportion of fat calories for fuel (both during training and while at rest) is key to slimming down.

Each workout burns both carbohydrate (sugar) and fat calories. Harder and longer workouts result in higher total amounts of sugar and fat calories being burned. More specifically, higher intensity training burns a higher percentage of carbohydrates. While lower intensity targets a higher percentage of fat calories.  

There are many issues that encourage increased fat burning besides the intensity of each workout, but the primary factor is nutritional. 

 

The good news is the ratio of fat and carbohydrate burning is easily measured in a laboratory while exercising on the treadmill or bike. This assessment is made by testing the amount of oxygen consumed and carbon dioxide expired (called respiratory exchange ratio - RER).

These changes in fat and sugar burning are correlated with both intensity and heart rate. This is the most accurate way to find your ideal training zone(s) to promote maximum fat burning while building endurance and aerobic speed.

The bigger piece of the puzzle -- nutrition -- is also addressed. Based on the clients assessment results nutritional recommendations are made and metabolic efficiency training principles explained. The road to higher fat burning has commenced. 

Overall, the athletes who burn a higher percentage of fat during workouts and at rest are healthier. They have less body fat and weight, and more energy. And even better news...they perform better in competition!

Below is an excellent example of how one of my clients improved his fat burning through the metabolic efficiency training process by both modifying his nutrition and targeting his fat burning zone(s) during aerobic effort exercise. These two separate laboratory assessments (shown below) are the first page only of each report which reveals his Metabolic Efficiency Point - MEP - showing fat and carbohydrate burning percentages at each stage of intensity.

Case Study:

Assessment #1 
Client: Age-group male triathlete 
Age: 58 years

 

RESULT:
Initial Assessment shows MEP occurred at a heart rate of 151 beats per minute (bpm) and a pace of 8:34 min/mile. Below this heart rate and intensity, he was more efficient at using fat as an energy source, but began to burn a higher proportion of carbohydrate beyond this intensity.

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Assessment #2
Client: Age-group male triathlete 
Age: 60 years

 

RESULT:
Second Assessment shows MEP occurred at a heart rate of 164 beats per minute (bpm) and a pace of 7:24 min/mile. Below this heart rate and intensity, he was more efficient at using fat as an energy source, but began to burn a higher proportion of carbohydrate beyond this intensity.

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The second assessment shows an amazing improvement in my clients fat burning!

His first test uncovered that he was a good fat burner, but after diligently implementing the metabolic efficiency training principles he was able to move his MEP almost 4 stages to the right. Incredible!

 

As I mentioned above, there are enormous health benefits to improved fat burning but for this client, as an age-group endurance athlete, it means he needs very little exogenous carbohydrates during races, as he is tapping into those almost unlimited fat stores for fuel. Hence preserving his limited carbohydrate stores for later in the race when he picks up the pace and kicks it across the finish line!

Will his performance improve? Absolutely. 

Find out what kind of calories you are burning!

 

 

 

 

 

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