So I got another Polar FT40 heart rate monitor about a month ago and started to use it regularly with my runs.
One of the additional feature of this watch is that it tracks a person's fat burn.
As you can see, right from the start, it says Fat Burn. This appears during the initial stages when my heart rate hasn't picked up yet. What I noticed was that once I entered the zone starting from 122 bpm (see above), the phrase "FAT BURN" will change into "FITNESS" and my understanding is that this is when I start burning carbohydrates for fuel.
This completely overthrow what I used to understand.
My impression has always been that a body burns the following items, for fuel, in the following order:
- Drinkers get fat cause the alcohol gets in front of carbohydrates when burning fuel, that results in unused carbohydrates being converted and store as fats.
- Easy to get fat but hard to lose them is explained here. Fats, as you can see in the list, is the last to burn. Since most of us are eating adequately, we hardly get the chance to dip into our reserves to burn that stored fat. Over time, what happens is that your fats accumulate as more and more unused carbohydrates are being converted and stored.
- The Atkins Diet works on this principle where it restricts you from taking alcohol, oily fried (fats) and carbohydrates but you are free to go crazy with meat (protein). As for fruits and vegetables, fruits is not permissible due to its sugar content while vegetables are allowed due to their relative lack of sugar (carbohydrates).
So the theory is that now that alcohol, fats and carbohydrates are eliminated from your diet, all you have left to burn for fuel is your protein intake. However, protein yields very little fuel which means that you would finish burning your protein intake pretty quickly. Once that is out of the way too, you have only fats to burn and therefore, you will start to lose the fats i.e. this is when the diet starts to take effect.
My interpretation, according to what I read from the watch, is that you are burning fats for energy as long as you keep your heart rate under the zone? And that once you hit the zone and higher, your body switches over the carbohydrates?
Here's the screen shot after an 8k run. So I burned 1169 calories in that 1 hour run of which, 10% of that 1169 calories (116.9 calories) is fat burn.
It is very confusing in the sense that here I am running like mad only to find out that a leisurely stroll i.e. keeping the heart rate low, who have been the easier way to lose fat?
No logic right?
I am totally confused.
Would appreciate any running experts to provide some enlightenment.