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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Myth and what not

Not a few days ago, I found that my Rec buddy wrote this on her blog...
I love Rec Buddy for his commitment on research (not school related field). He takes this whole research thing religiously: performing experiments, analyzing results, gathering conclusion, and finally presenting it to whoever he thinks worth explaining to.
I don't know if I should be flattered or embarrased. Such a tattletale.

Anyway, she brought up one, uhm, maybe more interesting points regarding our quest to a healthier (and sexier) respective bodies :
...our latest frenzy about fat burning zone, which turns out is nothing but a myth taken from oversimplifying a scientific result on human physiology. All this time, Rec Buddy has been feeding me with his findings, until last night when I decided to do my own research.

Fat burning zone is defined as the heart rate region where you would burn more fat than carbohydrates, and thus, has been claimed as the ultimate tool for weight loss.

A low intensity exercise, associated with a lower heart rate, burnt more fat than carbohydrates. Lower heart rate means the heart could deliver more oxygen around. Since fat burning is an aerobic process, the higher oxygen to carbon dioxide ratio means there are more fat burnt compared to carbohydrate. At the opposite end, a high intensity exercise, associated with a higher heart rate, burns more carbohydrate than fat.

The catch is, for the same exercising period, a low intensity exercise produces lower total calories compared to the high intensity exercise. While the ratio of fat to carbohydrate burnt during low intensity exercise is higher then that of the high intensity exercise, the total fat burnt of the latter is larger than the that of the former.

Adding to the already complicated thing, heart rate is not necessarily a reliable measure of ratio of oxygen burnt and carbon dioxide produced during exercise.

What one needs to loose weight is a negative calory balance. Fat or carbohydrate burnt do not make a difference.
Ah, what can I say. I love her too for this. :p
Here is us on our way to resume yet another high intensity training.

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