Afterburn Effect

Afterburn Effect

When we do any type of physical activity, our bodies utilize calories from the food that we ingest. Each macronutrient are used at different times and are burned in the most efficient way possible.


What a lot of people don’t know is that you continue to burn calories even after your work out is finished. This is called the ‘afterburn’ effect. What happens is that as you exercise for a certain length of time, your body begins to release calories to be used as fuel. Our primary fuel source is glycogen which is derived from the carbohydrates we eat. For those of you who are on the Ketogenic diet, your body’s glycogen stores are depleted and you use ketones as fuel from the fat stores on your body. As we go through our workout, we reach a certain threshold in which your metabolism is spiked and continues to process energy usage even when we stop exercising.

The time in which this afterburn effect continues is determined by how intense your workout is and how much energy you expend. If you are doing a strength training circuit in which you are taking less than 30 second rest periods, you put more demand on your body. Just like a car’s engine, the faster you go, the more fuel you burn. By using energy, your body produces heat as a byproduct. It is through this heat that energy is released into the world. The Conservation of Mass-Energy states that ‘matter cannot be created nor destroyed’. So you might be asking yourself, how do I lose weight if matter cannot be destroyed. Well the answer to that question is conversion. The food we eat is converted into its simpliest parts. Carbohydrates are converted to simple sugars such as glucose, fructose, sucrose, etc. Proteins are broken down into amino acids. Fats are broken down into fatty acids and triglyerides. Whether your body is at rest or when you are doing some sort of physical activity, that energy from the food is converted and used. Now as you exercise, you may notice that your body gets hot or your muscles begin to fatigue. An exothermic reaction takes place in your body which produces heat and uses energy. Even though this energy is used by your body, that energy doesn’t just disappear. That energy goes into the environment and is recycled. When we breath out, we produce carbon dioxide. It is in that carbon dioxide that fat is released. So you literally breathe your way into a better body! A lot of people think that by sweating, you ‘burn fat’ when in fact all sweat is is water and waste known as urea.

You might be wondering how many extra calories can the afterburn effect burn? Well that is a tough question to answer since many factors need to be touched upon before we know exactly how much. Your weight, gender, height, activity level, intensity level, and duration are all taken into account. If you were to exercise with your heart rate elevated for 45 minutes with moderate to high intensity, you can burn up to 200 extra calories. The more intense your workout and the longer the duration, the more extra calories your body will use.

Please keep in mind that as you work out, fat isn’t actually burned. Instead, your fat cell shrink and become smaller. The amount of fat cells will always remain unless you physically have your fat removed by liposuction or some kind of surgical procedure. Why do you think that people who have lost a substantial amount of weight in a short amount of time gain it all back and more? Now I am not saying you should call a doctor and have your fat removed. But it is possible to keep the weight off with more natural methods. Most people say ‘I’m going on a diet’ which implies that they will get off that diet in the future. What you want to do is find a nutrition plan that you can follow for the rest of your life. It shouldn’t be a plan that you struggle with or that you are completely miserable. You want to find a plan that you can make into a lifestyle. Now there are several plans out there and it is only you who can decide which plan to follow. Depending on the types of guilty pleasures that you like will determine which plan would be best suited for you. If you love carbohydrate-rich foods, the Ketogenic, low carb, or Atkins diet probably wouldn’t be for you. You would probably be better off doing a low-fat diet. Now if you crave foods with high levels of fat like a nice fatty steak, eggs, butter, cheese, and bacon, then you might want to try Ketogenic, Atkins, or Paleo. If you crave both carbs and fats, the Zone diet might be best for you. If you don’t know where to start, you can check out our store with different types of products, programs, and memberships. There are workout programs as well that don’t require any equipment such as Bar Brothers or Barstarzz. If you have a gym membership or some weights, you can try programs such as Mi40 or 2×4 Strength.

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