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05 Apr 2006

Getting rid of small amounts of subcutaneous fat around the wasteline
Hi Doc, I was wondering if you could give me some advice, in terms of exercise, on how to lose a little bit of fat around the wasteline. I don't have too much fat there, but there is some. I read that keeping your heart rate elevated for more than 20 minutes begins the fat burning process. So would exercises like walking be the best? Any input is much appreciated.
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Expert
FitnessDoc
fitnessdoc

01 Jan 0001

Hi Slick

it's very very difficult to do this, so I'm not going to lie to you and say that you can do it by A,B, and C. The truth is that everyone struggles with this, and so while in principle it is true that if you exercise, keep your heart rate elevated, and eat well, it's not always true that this means you are guaranteed to lose the lovehandles.

The problem is probably diet, genes and age, because as we age, it becomes harder and harder to lose this last few inches of fat.

The concept that you raise is debatable - there is certainly no truth in the fact that the body burns fat as soon as you hit 20 minutes - the body actually burns fat all the time - in fact, as you sit reading this, you are burning fat. It's just that you are burning a very small amount of energy each minute.

So the key to burning fat is to raise your overall energy use, and this means doing regular cardio training. The intensity is very important because if you train too hard, then you can't do about 40 minutes, which is recommended, and the result is that your body does not use the amount of energy that it would if you trained for longer, but at a lower intensity. So my advice is that running is better than walking, but only if you do it 40 minutes - if this means you have to walk, then you have to do this.

Finally, I really do think that diet is vital and so you need to consider this as well.

Good luck
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