STRATEGIES TO IMPROVE FAT OXIDATION
Fat oxidation means; the ability of your body to burn fat or utilise fat as energy source instead of carbohydrates. The benefits for this are, weight loss, reduction in body fat and increase in lean mass. But how can you achieve this?
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Exercise Training for Fat Oxidation
Exercise training improves capacity of muscle to oxidise fat. After training your body will rely more on fat oxidation. During exercise, the intensity of the training will determine the rate of fat oxidation. Scientific studies have indicated that moderate high intensity exercise is optimal intensity for fat oxidation. This is 62% – 65% of VO2max for well-trained athletes and around 50% VO2max for less trained individuals. Moderate high intensity exercise means: your breathing rapidly increases, but you’re not running out of breath, you start sweating at 8 – 10 minutes, you can carry on a conversation, but you cannot sing at this rate. For effective fat loss, I would suggest a moderate high intensity exercise for a duration of 30 minutes.
Diet for Fat Oxidation
Another important factor for maximising fat oxidation is diet. A diet high in carbohydrates, will reduce the ability of your body to burn fat. A diet low in carbohydrates will increase fat oxidation. This is a so called; High-fat-low-carb diet. When consuming a high-fat-low-carb diet, your body will rely more on fat oxidation as energy source, because your carbohydrates are low. This, however, takes 7 – 10 days for your body to adapt to the new diet. When you are on a high-fat-low-carb diet it will become challenging for you to do a high intensity aerobic exercise, because your immediate fuel source (carbohydrates are low), your performance will be reduced. Therefore, it is advised to stick to low intensity exercise if you are on a high-fat-low-fat diet.
Another factor which can aid in increasing fat oxidation is training in the morning with an empty stomach. This will cause your body to utilise stored fat as energy source, which will result in weight loss, reduced body fat and increase in lean mass.