I agree with Jennilacey - the "fat burning zone" is highly misleading. Where energy is coming from during your workout is irrelevant to weight loss. What matters is the overall balance between calories burned and calories consumed over the ENTIRE 24 HOUR DAY.
If you are already running 3-4 days per week, you are better off adding strength training to your program, rather than more cardio. ST is actually a very effective fat burner, and a program that includes BOTH ST and cardio is far more effective than a program that includes just one or the other.
Fitness Minutes: (66,656)
2,489 8/28/13 7:33 A
If your focus is on improving your fitness and weight loss, you are selling yourself short by just focusing on running and not including a strength training program.
Strength training will help prevent lean muscle/tissue loss during weight loss, improve your BF% and maintain/increase your metabolism during weight loss (you'll burn more calories even when you're not working out).
When I first started losing weight, I was the same size as you and had to eat 1300 cals to lose about 2 lbs/week. Now mind you, my activity level has increased since then and I exercise far more intensely but I also weigh a lot less (which means I should burn less calories; the heavier you are, the more calories you burn) but I also have built quite a bit of muscle through strength training. Now if I eat 1500 cals I lose 2 lbs/week easily... although a good part of it is due to my increase in activity and exercise program, I believe some of it is due to the increase in my LBM (lean body mass) because according to my Spark deficit I should only be losing 1.5 lbs/week on 1500 cals.
Muscle burns calories even at rest and is active tissue. Fat does not, inactive. So the more muscle you have, the more calories you'll burn during the day. This is why men tend to burn more calories than women even at the same size. Men tend to carry more muscle and women carry more fat. Not only will strength training aid you in fat loss but in maintaining a healthy weight as well.
Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 8/28/2013 (07:54)
Fitness Minutes: (32)
2 8/28/13 7:29 A
Hi Jen! Thanks for that! Just a few questions tho? Would it be ok to do 2 long runs a week with 2 sessions on the machines in the gym and maybe a 30 minute walk/20 minute run on another 2 nights a week? Would that be good for weightloss while maintaining my ability to run 5k? I dont want to lose that ability cos I want to do a 5k every once in a while (I would like to be able to do them without feeling like Im going to have a heart attack - like I do at the moment!). I am thinking of joining a gym but I dont want to waste the money if there is no need... Anything else - like classes, etc involves using the legs alot and as i mentioned I am really stiff and sore and tired on the alternative nights.... thanks Marion
Welcome to the site! The best cardio exercise to do is the one you enjoy. As long as the workout is challenging, that's what matters most. Fast walking isn't going to burn more fat than running, so if you like running, it's fine to keep that up. I would also recommend adding strength training to your routine twice a week, so that's something to consider. Also keep in mind that after about 4-6 weeks of doing the same thing, your body gets used to it. So it's important to change up your runs (increasing speed, changing your route to add hills, increasing distance, etc.) to keep seeing results.
Hope that helps!
Fitness Minutes: (32)
2 8/28/13 5:51 A
Hi All! Im Marion and Im from Ireland and have just joined Sparkpeople. I am looking for some advice if someone would be so kind! I weigh 165lbs and want to lose 30. I am doing well inthat I am losing about 1lb a week fairly steadily.. I started running early this year and now can (under pressure!!) rund 5k. I have 2 aims - 1 to lose weight and 2 to get fitter. I am not sure what is the right route to take cos they say that fast walking is the ultimate fat burner but now that Im running i dont want to lose that ability(it took me long enough to get to this stage lol!!) But is running is hindering my weightloss? Should I go back to walking? Also, I am a slow runner and to increase my speed/fitness, I am supposed to run 5k 3-4 times a week. I can barely manage 3 times cos I am so tired/sore the following day after my runs I wouldnt be able to go again. Shd I walk or something on these nights? By the way, I work fulltime 40 minutes drive from home and am a mom to 2 kids. If I were to walk, would a quick 30 minute walk be enough (or even if I ran the same distance in 20 minutes).. oh yea, I also own a treadmill so maybe I could do something gentle on that on the alternative nights..... bear in mind, I am usually wrecked tho!! Please help - any advice welcome... Thanks Marion
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