Aerobic Exercise doesn’t burn fat…say what?!

Well that’s great news if you are feeling lazy huh? No need to go for that run then…

I was reading some research today about effects of food and exercise on weight loss. Yep I’m interesting like that, it’s how I spend my spare time J I stumbled across some research from that stated “The effect of regular aerobic exercise on body fat is negligible; however, other forms of exercise may have a greater impact on body composition. For example, emerging research examining high-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE) indicates that it may be more effective at reducing subcutaneous and abdominal body fat than other types of exercise. The mechanisms underlying the fat reduction induced by HIIE, however, are undetermined. Regular HIIE has been shown to significantly increase both aerobic and anaerobic fitness. HIIE also significantly lowers insulin resistance and results in a number of skeletal muscle adaptations that result in enhanced skeletal muscle fat oxidation and improved glucose tolerance. This review summarizes the results of HIIE studies on fat loss, fitness, insulin resistance, and skeletal muscle. Possible mechanisms underlying HIIE-induced fat loss and implications for the use of HIIE in the treatment and prevention of obesity are also discussed.” (Boutcher, 2011)

In other words doing HIIE for some reason, burns fat like no other exercise. What about those super skinny marathon runners though? Well they haven’t just burnt fat, they’ve burnt the hell out of everything in their bodies, mostly because they can’t run that fast or far if they are carrying much weight. Most of us aren’t needing to burn so much total body and really just want to burn some fat, firm up our muscle tone (it’s muscle that makes us looked toned) and increase our metabolism – so that we can have that chocolate/beer/wine/cake/kebab etc later on and still look like a complete god/goddess….or close enough to it in our own minds.

The Olympics fascinated me this year. How amazing were they all?! Admittedly I was torn between who to cheer on – being Australian but living in the UK. Anyhow those who do a number of different sports particularly got me thinking. Those Heptathlete’s are amazing. They have to have just enough muscle to throw stuff and to sprint but not too much weight so that they can run further and jump as well. They have the perfect balance in my opinion. Lean and strong. Not to mention that Jess Ellis has 80k likes on a facebook page for her bum so it must look pretty good to a few others too! I wouldn’t mind having a bum like that. How can I get it without working out full time though hmm…?

Tomorrow I shall attempt to break down and summarise these benefits mentioned above:

  1. Increase aerobic fitness
  2. Increase anaerobic fitness
  3. Lowers insulin resistance
  4. Skeletal muscle adaption
  5. Improved Glucose tolerance

I shall also try to explain what HIIE is and what it means to you, and me, and how I can get that bum…!

Boutcher, Stephen H. High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss. Hindawi Publishing Corporation. Journal of Obesity. Volume 2011, Article ID 868305, 10 pages.


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About the author

Emma Wight-Boycott MSc is a natural health advocate with a passion for simplifying the science. Emma works with postnatal mums, weekend runners and those with digestive issues to rediscover their health mojo!

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