It is commonplace to see articles on the internet and in magazines regarding the fat burning effects of aerobic exercise. Regarded as the only way to burn fat, we will explore aerobic exercise and the reason many believe (or are willing to believe) this, as well as other means of losing body fat.

Why does this belief exist?

The word “aerobic” means “with oxygen”. During aerobic exercise, the muscles have already depleted adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the energy source responsible for human movement (ATP/CP pathway), and has surpassed the glycolytic pathway (when glucose is broken down to produce energy). Finally, energy is produced with oxygen and lactic acid (a byproduct of glucose/glycogen) to resynthesize glycogen to produce energy. This is used when activities last beyond two minutes at a pace that allows enough time for beta-oxidation, the process of fat being broken down. This oxidative pathway is the only energy pathway that burns and utilizes fat for energy. For this reason, many consider aerobic exercise the only way to burn fat.

Is this belief valid?

Whether a trainee is at a beginner, intermediate, or advanced level, they can benefit from aerobic training, when incorporated into a workout schedule to achieve fat loss. Although these benefits are proven by experience and science, this belief is not completely valid because it is not the only means for fat loss.

Eat to burn fat.

Eat at least five-six meals per day.

Eating at least five meals a day that contain the proper ratio of macronutrients (1 part fat, 2 parts protein and three parts carbs) will lower your body’s need to store fat, allowing the body to utilize more fat for energy.

Create a caloric deficit.

By burning more calories than the amount consumed, you create a caloric deficit. The body in turn uses fat to make up for the additional calories it needs.

Make sure to get adequate rest.

Although sleep does not burn fat directly, it allows the body to repair damaged muscle and hormonal harmony. This allows the body to perform optimally, making it easier to lose fat.

Conclusion

All that is said in regards to the fat burning effects of aerobic exercise is reputable. Many neglect the major role nutrition play, but what and how you eat can make or break your goals. It is the important for professionals in the fitness industry to share this knowledge to ensure the success of their clients.