Science is a great tool for humans to understand more about the world. With an understanding of science, you can apply its principle to help you achieve faster results on your fitness goals. One question people often ask is how can one burn more fat at a faster rate? Recently I have watched a Youtube video on this and using my knowledge of Biology (I am a Biology teacher who has taken a Biology degree at NTU so I am totally legit), I will explain to you how you can lose fat faster!
GEEK ALERT (using layman terms as much as possible):
Humans typically store energy in the form of two types of biological molecules: glycogen and fat. Glycogen is stored in the liver and is easily broken down to give the body a ready source of energy for various activities (respiration- cellular activities, running etc). Fat, on the other hand, is usually stored underneath the skin and act as energy reserves when the body run out of glycogen. The body prefers to use glycogen as its primary source of reserve energy as it is readily broken down by the body. In other words, as long as there is glycogen available, your body will use it first.
However, there is only a limited amount of glycogen the liver can store. Any excess will be converted to fats. Due to the limited amount of glycogen the liver can store, when we sleep, the glycogen in our body is used for respiration and by the time we wake up, none or little of the glycogen is left.
Hence, we can exploit this for burning fat by: Running on an empty stomach the first thing we wake up for 30min.
Why this works?
Remember, by the time we wake up, none of little or the glycogen is left. Therefore, when we go on a run on an empty stomach the first thing we wake up, it forces our body to use up the remaining glycogen in our body. After which, the body is forced to use its fat reserves to continue to propel you forward as you run. It doesn’t have to be running. It can be any sort of cardiovascular exercise but don’t cheat yourself. It should be done at a fast enough pace to get your heart pumping.
As for why 30mins? I don’t really have an answer. This is allegedly what science literature recommends. Some mention about the after burn effect while some claims that only by working out at least 30min will get the body be more serious in using its fat reserves.
When I first started on losing weight, this was the method I use. However, due to my work (teachers need to get to school by 7:30am so a run in the morning is almost impossible), I can only do this on Weekends. In the past, I used to go for 8km runs on Sunday mornings. (Back then I was fitter and less lazy. :P) It was really effective. Initially, it felt horrible due to the hunger but I just preserved. Anyways, I can always eat after the workout. On top of the regular workouts I do on weekdays, I managed to lose 2kg in just 1 week!
Anyways, I am picking up the habit again as my girlfriend commented that we are both getting out of shape. 😦 Today, I went for a 30min steady run. I thought I would feel horrible as I didn’t eat but I felt okay.
Btw, here’s the Youtube video I was talking about!