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The body needs fat to burn fat?


Welcome to the EliteFitness.com Bodybuilding Site! Please join this discussion about The body needs fat to burn fat? within the Diet & Bodybuilding category.

Excerpt: I've always read that the body needs fat to burn fat. What do you guys think of this statement? True/false? If it is true, why does the body need fat to burn fat?

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  1. #1
    Amateur Bodybuilder
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    The body needs fat to burn fat?

    I've always read that the body needs fat to burn fat. What do you guys think of this statement? True/false?

    If it is true, why does the body need fat to burn fat?

  2. #2
    Amateur Bodybuilder
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    Re: The body needs fat to burn fat?

    Bump.

  3. #3
    Good Broly Roofus's Avatar
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    Re: The body needs fat to burn fat?

    No. The body does not "need" fat to burn fat. There are multiple energy sources the body uses for energy consumption, carbs/glucose, fats, and stored fats. Burning fat, while a popular terminology in dieting, is not very precise in what the body is doing. Your body just sees energy sources, and uses them. It isn't using an energy source to really "burn" another energy source, it is using an energy source to operate in whatever you are doing.
    So if you are jogging, for the body to continue to operate in that fashion it has to consume energy. From what I understand, the body burns carbs/sugars first, then immediately available fats, then stored fats. When you start working out your body is burning everything else first and then your stored fats, which is when weight loss will occur.
    So you don't "need" fat to burn fat. You need to get past all your other energy sources and start using stored fat as an energy source to enter a weight loss zone.
    This is why I have always stuck to the notion that cardio should be done after lifting instead of prior to lifting. Since cardio is a higher intensity workout, then you will burn the most energy performing it. So the notion is that you would use up most if not all your immediate energy sources while lifting, and then when you started cardio you would already be close or in the zone for burning your stored energy source, stored fat, and thus theoretically be spending the gym time that is in a higher intensity zone using your stored fats.
    Hopefully that was what you were asking. :P

  4. #4
    pintoca's Avatar
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    Re: The body needs fat to burn fat?

    roofus, there are a couple of things in that post I would like to disagree with...

    there are 3 main energy systems: ATP, Anaerobic (carbs) and Aerobic (fat oxidation).

    Depending on what you are doing, you will use one or a combination of the three systems, since they are all different in their sources and duration, for example, you cannot run a marathon on ATP (it only lasts a few seconds of explosive energy) and you cannot deadlift 500lbs on the Aerobic system (which is specially designed for providing long-lasting, not too explosive energy).

    I agree, though, on the notion of cardio after lifting, for 2 reasons:

    1. you will not be tired for your lifts from all that cardio
    2. you will be mostly carb-depleted, which should mean you will run your cardio less on carbs (burning sugar) and more on anything else (I dare not to say 100% fat, since it depends on many things).

    The body is a VERY complicated thing and even though we all follow the same basic rules, we are all different engines.

    as a final point, when people say the body needs fat to burn fat, what they mean is that the body needs EFAs to HELP burn more fat. The complete methabolical path of the reactions that lead to this is described in Udo Erasmu's "Fats that kill, Fats that Heal" book, which is of course, a very recommendable one to read, specially in this fat-phobia era.

    just my 2 cents

  5. #5
    Olympian jpt's Avatar
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    Re: The body needs fat to burn fat?

    pimp-toca ....first off digging the new avatar hahaha

    secondly...great post!!

  6. #6
    Da Pope
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    Re: The body needs fat to burn fat?

    Pinto - right on suga

  7. #7
    Good Broly muchmass's Avatar
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    Re: The body needs fat to burn fat?

    Quote Quote posted by pintoca
    roofus, there are a couple of things in that post I would like to disagree with...

    there are 3 main energy systems: ATP, Anaerobic (carbs) and Aerobic (fat oxidation).

    Depending on what you are doing, you will use one or a combination of the three systems, since they are all different in their sources and duration, for example, you cannot run a marathon on ATP (it only lasts a few seconds of explosive energy) and you cannot deadlift 500lbs on the Aerobic system (which is specially designed for providing long-lasting, not too explosive energy).

    I agree, though, on the notion of cardio after lifting, for 2 reasons:

    1. you will not be tired for your lifts from all that cardio
    2. you will be mostly carb-depleted, which should mean you will run your cardio less on carbs (burning sugar) and more on anything else (I dare not to say 100% fat, since it depends on many things).

    The body is a VERY complicated thing and even though we all follow the same basic rules, we are all different engines.

    as a final point, when people say the body needs fat to burn fat, what they mean is that the body needs EFAs to HELP burn more fat. The complete methabolical path of the reactions that lead to this is described in Udo Erasmu's "Fats that kill, Fats that Heal" book, which is of course, a very recommendable one to read, specially in this fat-phobia era.

    just my 2 cents
    love the the avatar man!

  8. #8
    Elite Bodybuilder alex2678's Avatar
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    Re: The body needs fat to burn fat?

    You will lose fat on a typical low fat diet but there's also reason to suggest that boosting EFA intake can increase fat mobilization, decrease protein breakdown and making the psychological aspects of dieting easier for the individual. If you're eating low fat, the remaining calories have to come from somewhere. Your only other options are carbohydrates and proteins. Consuming either one of those without fats can cause some rather unstable insulin levels throughout the day leaving the dieter hungry and craving foods. Throw some EFA's in there and that problem can be limited to an extent.

    Not to mention hormones are made from fats and cholesterol. Low fat diets can decrease testosterone and ultimately cause more muscle to be lost in the process. Very low carbohydrate intakes have also been linked to low T3 levels. So it would be in your best interest to have a combination of all 3 macronutrients if you're looking to burn fat efficiently.

  9. #9
    Simple Kind of Man Ghede's Avatar
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    Re: The body needs fat to burn fat?

    ummmm... kinda, but a little clarifcation:

    ATP is the stuff that fires muscle fibers and is created continuously regardless of activity duration or intensity. Its HOW that ATP get replenished, via the KREBS cycle that gives to words we use almost continuously. The krebs, or citric cycle, is a complex series of reactions following glycolysis converting carbohydrates and lipids (sugars and fats) into ATP (adenosine triphosphate) the body's main source of energy. The process gets fired either in the big fat juicy oxygenated activity range of slow/moderate steady exertion we all like to call 'aerobic' or in the wicked, savage, generally lean and mean party where oxygen is not in plentiful supply, the 'anaerobic' pathway.

    The aerobic pathway will allow for greater fat burning DURING the activity itself. In the presence of oxygen fat burning kicks in after a while and all is well in Lovetown. The anaeobic pathway uses sugars, namely polysachcarides, in great quantities until the sugars available are not sufficient, then will start fracturing proteins to use as energy if constant high intensity is prolonged past glycogen storage or access to blood glucose. Eating your muscle to fuel exercise. Bad, dog, bad. Gluconeogenis, to you and me. Now, the big boner about HIIT is that you are HAMMERING in an anaerobic state, so why is it so wonderbar? EPOC. Excess Postworkout Oxygen Consumption: in short order, that means that for HOURS after your HIIT is done, your muscles are screaming to consume oxygen and thereby fats, even when you are NO LONGER EXERCISING. very very simple explanation, Macro: dont shoot me.

    So, long story short. ATP is the stuff that fires muscle fibers, we get the terms Aerobic and Anaerobic from which pathway adenosine triphosphate is replenised via the krebs cycle. Either way, ATP is firing those fibers.

  10. #10
    Aries13
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    Re: The body needs fat to burn fat?

    This is a REALLY good article about this question!


    http://www.supplements2000.com/nutrition/essfats.html

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