Posted By: CustomVite Nutrition Team Date: July 5, 2017 Comments: 0

The words “fat burning” come up very often. We see it on fitness machines at the gym and on numerous nutritional supplement bottles . This term refers to the ability to oxidize, or burn fat, and use it as a fuel source instead of carbohydrates. When fat is used as the primary energy source during exercise, over time, you’ll notice an increase in lean body mass and a decrease in body fat. Many times, we get confused between losing body weight and losing body fat; therefore, it is important to understand here that losing weight isn’t always the same as losing body fat. Our bodies are mostly comprised of fat, muscle, and water, so a change in any one of these can lead to weight loss. Fat oxidation and metabolism is an important factor for both performance and health. Below are factors that can affect substrate utilization (a fancy term for the energy source your body is using during exercise):

  • Exercise intensity
  • Exercise duration
  • Dietary intake
  • Supplemental intake, including vitamins and minerals such as CLA and Green Tea
  • Mode of exercise
  • Altitude
  • Environmental temperatures

Remember, if you want to burn fat, it is recommended to exercise beyond 20 minutes. If your activity continues beyond 20 minutes, your hormones will trigger your fat cells to begin breaking down their stored triglycerides and freeing fatty acids into the blood, thereby using body fat as the fuel source. Also, make sure to include aerobic activity into your exercise routine. Higher intensity activities use less fat as fuel, but lower intensity activities that allow you to breathe during the entire activity (such as fast walking or cycling for more than 20 minutes) use fat as the primary fuel source.



(1) Jeukendrup, A. E. (2012). Sports nutrition: from lab to kitchen. UK: Meyer & Meyer Sport.

(2) Wartian Smith, P. (2008). What You Must Know about Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & More. Garden City Park, NY: Square One Publishers.

(3) Whitney, E., Rady Rolfes, S. (2005). Understanding Nutrition. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadworth.

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