A Top Exercise for Fat Loss


Q:  I’ve heard that in order to burn fat you must exercise moderately for at least 40 minutes, and that vigorous exercise primarily burns sugar, not fat. Does that mean I should avoid high-intensity workouts if I want to lose weight?

A: No.  It is true that the body burns a greater percentage of fuel from fat than sugar during prolonged, easy-to-moderate exercise, but the body’s fuel during more vigorous exercise is primarily sugar.  Researchers, however, have not determined whether that physiological difference in fuel consumption translates into any meaningful difference in the amount of fat or weight you would lose.


What they do know is that you’ll shed body fat and pounds if you consistently burn more calories than you consume from food and drinks.  And the average person can do moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, for a much longer time than a vigorous one like running – and consequently burn significantly more calories overall.

At the same time, more intense exercise can help you shed pounds if you use a popular fitness method called interval training, in which you weave short bursts of vigorous exercise into a session of easier activity.  Because the bursts generally do not cause much fatigue, most clients who I work with are still able to exercise for a long time with interval training, and thus burn more calories than maintaining a moderate pace only.

A simple way to incorporate interval training into your fitness program would be to increase your walking, jogging, or hiking pace for 1 minute immediately followed by 2-3 minutes of slower walking, jogging, or hiking.  Then, repeat this sequence of 1 fast minute/2-3 slow to moderate minutes for up to 30 minutes three times a week.

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About Dave Barnas, M.S., CES, NASM-CPT

Dave is the true health guy. He is the founder and owner of True Health Unlimited, LLC, a personal health and fitness company in Tolland, CT & Wellness Writers, a subscription wellness newsletter service that incorporates live & virtual wellness workshops for companies across New England. Dave earned both a Bachelor's (1998) and Master's Degree (2000) in Nutritional Science from the University of Connecticut, and also holds certifications as a National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Personal Trainer, National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist, Aerobics and Fitness Association of America Group Instructor, and Nutrition Specialist. He's also the lead author for four published works. Dave has over 20 years of combined experience in nutrition counseling, dietary supplement advising, personal training, corrective exercise training, health coaching and public speaking. In addition, he's spent over 25 years studying spirituality, meditation, and personal growth strategies. Dave's clients are all ages: youth, college championship level athletes, folks in their retired years, and everywhere in between. He's worked with three of the nation's leading physicians as a dietary supplement advisor and been a guest lecturer at Harvard University, Yale University, UConn, St. Joseph College and various church groups, health clubs, and high schools. In 2013, he was invited to Whole Foods Market to share his Real Food Therapy Guide. And in 2015, Dave's funny "Snowga" (yoga in the snow) video caught the attention of The National Weather Channel, who aired it to shake off cabin fever and bring laughter. In 2016, Dave & Hollie (his wife) founded Wellness Writers and deliver evidence-based Wellness E-newsletters to spread a message of health and happiness to various businesses throughout the US. Dave currently serves as a personal trainer in Tolland as well as a wellness coach and writer for several businesses, gyms and wellness facilities throughout the US.

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