PEERtrainer Note and Article Summary: We first published this article on how to burn fat during exercise and video in 2009. Short bursts of metabolic exercise are great to help tone and maintain your muscle. Most people as they age do not do enough of that.
This article addresses longer duration exercise like running, and even daily life itself. When you exercise at a slow heart rate, which is generally 180 minus your age, you train your body to burn fat, not sugar.
This gives you access to an endless energy source- your fat. This concept is called “slow burn” and was coined by Stu Mittleman. The 180 formula was created by endurance coach Phil Maffetone. When you slow burn during a run, you get tremendous energy. You don’t tire yourself out. You want to keep going.
Over the years we have converted many people from sugar burners to fat burners. We have an hour interview with Stu Mittleman on this page, and I also recorded a short video where I explain this
concept in my words.
“There is a difference between burning fat and burning sugar. While your body can burn either fuel, it is far better off burning fat. Fat is the body’s fuel of choice. Fat, not sugar, is our most inexhaustible and healthy energy resource.”
One of our main objectives at PEERtrainer is to help people find ways to increase their energy levels. Many of our articles and tips are focused on this. Energy is also one of the three “pillars” that we focus on in our Point Of No Return Program. It is a big and complex objective, and it is important that people take their time and go easy on themselves as they make the adjustments necessary.
Like our approach to weight loss, we tend to identify ways to reach this goal that are often new or done in a different manner. The reality is that far too many people do not have the energy they need or want, and there are a series of slight adjustments one can take to change this aspect of your life.
The first step we focus on is a reduction in sugar, and to stop viewing sugar as a primary source of energy. When you start to reduce your sugar intake, you set in motion a process where your body can start to burn more fat, to rely on fat as an energy source not sugar. We also point to the benefits of greens and vegetable soups to help you get the nutrients that will increase your energy. This article focuses on the next step in that process.
The next step is to Slow Down and rethink the idea you hold in your head of what “ideal” exercise is. When you do an intense workout, you often trigger our innate “fight or flight” mechanism, which is designed to get us out of trouble quickly. This intense process primarily uses sugar as an energy source. When you move slowly, your body primarily uses fat as an energy source.