Is 20 Minutes of cardio enough for Weight Loss?

By on December 6, 2013
Beta Oxidation cycle

Your body is alive with an electrodynamic flow of water, oxygen, energy and blood which generates your metabolic rate. Your metabolic rate is based on your body type, muscle mass as well as your daily activity level and dietary intake of food. All of this adds up to your unique metabolic rate which determines your bodies need for, and response to, both Diet and Exercise.

So why is it that they say women should eat 1,200 calories a day and men should consume 2,400? That doesn’t really make sense does it? Are all women the same size? Do all men have the same shape and muscle mass?

Clearly not, so lets look at a little more science that will help you determine how much “exercise” you should be doing based on YOUR own body type!


because all of our bodies need nutrients to stay alive and each one of those nutrients has a caloric value attached to them.

When you start exercising by doing cardio, weight training, Pilates, yoga or any other form of “exercise”, the body gets energy first from the muscles themselves, then from the fats and sugars in your bloodstream, then the liver and lastly from the storages of adipose tissue fat cells (all the unsightly storages on your body, tummy, triceps, hips and butt)!

Glycolysis is the actual “breaking down” of the sugars that are stored in the muscles themselves, but it is not very effective and stores are limited, so the body sends a signal to stop flexing so that is can replace the molecules that are needed to produce the chemical reaction that allows the muscle to flex in the first place! So the FACT that your muscle starts to “burn” when you are doing high reps or a lot of sets on a given muscle is NOT because the muscle is “tearing down”, this is simply a signal from the muscle to the brain to tell you to stop lifting so that it can replace the energy you burned off

Your muscles have very little of storage space for energy, so after about 4 to 6 reps, or more than a 10 second hold on any plank or yoga or Pilates position, the body kicks in something called the Kreb cycle. The Kreb cycle burns blood sugars and fats for energy which will keep your current bad eating (of sugars and fats) from getting stored.


Thats why its better to simply START exercising, because without even changing your diet yet it will stop your weight gain from your current bad eating and depending on what type of exercise you do, will actually start you on your weight loss journey!

So when you exercise for more than a few minutes (don’t laugh, i’ve had ppl who had to get off the treadmill after 3 or 4 min), your body starts to supplement the fats and sugars that are getting burned off out of the blood stream, from your liver.


Beta-Oxidation cycle taps into the bodies stores of adipose tissue body fat (love handles, hips, butt, tricep and tummy fat) which is from years of bad eating, bad eating habits from our past. THIS CYCLE ONLY KICKS IN AFTER 20 MIN OF STEADY CONTINUOUS CARDIO OF >60% THR (training heart rate). This simple scientific fact is the reason you are not burning your love handles or tummy fat with ab exercises or 10-20 intense exercise routines!

Beta Oxidation cycle


Related Catabolic Processes – Beta Oxidation

  • Fats consist of a glycerol backbone with two or three fatty acids connected to it
  • The body absorbs fats and then breaks off the fatty acids from the glycerol
  • Glycerol is converted to glyceraldehyde phosphate, an intermediate of glycolysis
  • The fatty acids are broken down into two-carbon units which are then converted to acetyl CoA.
    • An eight-carbon fatty acid can produce 4 acetyl CoA’s
    • Each acetyl CoA is worth 12 ATP’s (3 NADP, 1 FADH2, 1 ATP)
    • Therefore, this short fatty acid is worth 48 ATP’s, a fat with three chains of this length would be worth 144 ATP’s!
    • This is why fats are such a good source of energy, and are hard to lose if you want to lose weight

Referenced from the article : 

More to come on this article!


About TheFitnessAnswerMan

The Fitness Answer Man is the online personality founded by Kevin Forrest CPT, FMS Pro Trainer and Master Fitness Trainer for the US Military. He has worked in the fitness industry for 30 years and was one of the first trainers to incorporate the physio ball into people's workouts and helped pioneer in the field of "Core" training. He specializes in movement rehabilitation and uses his experience to help clarify the confusion about diet and exercise that still exists within the fitness industry today.

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  1. Pingback: Weight Training vs Cardiovascular Exercise - Ask Me Fitness

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