How long do you have to exercise before you start burning fat?

Answered by Darcy Lockman on Monday, June 1, 2009 at 12:26 PM filed under fitness postings
Even the most inconstant gym-goer is bound to hear someone on a treadmill theorizing that the beginning of a workout doesn't dig into your fat stores. The truth is, two thirds of the energy your body uses just to perform basic functions like breathing comes from the breakdown of fat. That means you don't have to do more than watch Friends reruns to burn fat—although going to Spinning class will speed up the process. "The longer you exercise, the more fat you'll burn," explains Larry Durstine, professor of exercise science at the University of South Carolina. "But you burn fat throughout a workout, from start to finish." To optimize the fat-burning during exercise, remember the 50/50 rule: "Exercising at 50 percent of your maximum aerobic capacity, your body is burning 50 percent carbohydrates and 50 percent fat. As you push yourself closer to max [beyond 70 percent of maximum capacity], carbs will have a greater contribution than fat" into the calorie-burning furnace.

Follow Us

Explore FitClick
Browse this section for quick links to our calorie counter and other popular diet and fitness features. From diet plans to weight loss programs, FitClick has the content you need to lead a healthy life. Find workout routines, a calorie calculator and more at your source for diet and fitness information.
We have updated our Privacy Policy, effective May 25, 2018. We have done this in preparation for the EU's new data privacy law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Please take the time to review our updated documentation by clicking on the Privacy Policy link at the bottom of this page. By continuing to use this service on or after May 25, 2018, you agree to our updated Privacy Policy.