Use The Afterburner Effect To Melt Away Fat!

You have heard a lot about the “Afterburner Effect” lately. What exactly is it and how do you use it? Do you have to buy anything? Of course not! Its simple and easy to activate your “fat afterburner”!

To lose fat you either have to eat less, … or …, you can increase how much your body burns! I don’t know about you but I like eating so I’d much rather increase how much my body burns! Turns out that its really quite easy to get your body to turn on its metabolic afterburners and burn more calories.

We’ve all see the activity calculators, the ones that say if you jog for 30 minutes you burn off 325 calories – these are very misleading and pessimistic. Back in 1918, Harris and Benedict discovered that doing cardio caused the body to burn up way more calories than these charts predicted. Doing cardio puts the bodies metabolism into overdrive so that it continues to burn more calories for around 24 hours after the exercise stops. Harris and Benedict came up with some formulas which predict the how much these fat afterburners will burn up which is what my calorie calculator is based on.

Lets look at a great example, ME! If I did no cardio, my daily energy need would be 2600 calories. The below chart shows how much afterburner effect I get for a given daily amount of cardio:

Minutes CardioCardio BurnsAfterburner Effect BurnsTotal Cals BurnedPounds Fat Lost
none0 cals/day0 cals/day2600cals/day0.0lbs/wk
20min/day230cals/day70cals/day2800cals/day0.6lbs/wk
35min/day400cals/day360cals/day3360cals/day1.7lbs/wk
50min/day570cals/day580cals/day3750cals/day2.3lbs/wk

 

You will note that at 20min/day, its negligible but when you up it to 35min a day it really starts to kick in! By 50min a day, the fat afterburner is in overdrive chomping up 580cals a day while I sit and do nothing.

So what’s happening here? Its nothing complicated, mysterious, or fancy as many would have you believe. Its just that cardio raises your metabolic rate. Just as hibernation lowers metabolic rate to near zero, high activity sends the metabolic rate thru the roof. Interesting question, what qualifies as “cardio“. Definitely traditional steady state cardiovascular exercise like walking, jogging, swimming, and biking. Perhaps interval training, its unclear. The Tabata supporters would have you think that 4min of Tabata is all you need to do, personally I feel that is some very wishful thinking. At best I would say that 20 minutes of intervals is like 35min of running. One thing that IS clear, you must do the cardio every day! The afterburner effect only seems to last about 24 hours so you need to do cardio daily if you want the effect. Doing a 7 hour run on sunday burns off fewer calories than doing a 30 minute jog each day and the 7 hour run will kill you :)

Now you see why doing cardio is very important to losing fat and getting 6-pack abs. Its not so much the calories burned during the cardio that is important but the fact that the cardio puts your metabolism into overdrive to burn up fat!

People always ask if they can lose fat and get 6-pack abs without doing cardio, and the answer is – “Yes, but its really really hard”. Why struggle? Use your fat afterburners!