The idea of burning body fat as fuel has a certain ring to it that just makes you feel like the hard work you’re putting in is really helping you rid what most women don’t want on their bodies— fat.
The solution: use what we’ve learned through scientific research and “in the trenches” experience, to teach our bodies how to use stored body fat as efficiently as possible. Because our bodies will use carbs as fuel for moderate- to high-intensity training, stored fat is only used for a short period of time. With fat loss as our main goal, the idea is to come up with a plan that gets us from point A (fat ass) to point B (fat loss) the quickest and most efficient way possible. Weight training does boost fat loss; however, to really lose your excess baggage, cardio is essential.
Finding the right balance of carbs in your diet, as well as incorporating the right training and cardio protocol into your routine, will ultimately turn you into a fat-burning machine. If we could find a way to predominantly use our fat stores as fuel, the world would be a much happier place. This mode of energy metabolism uses oxygen to convert nutrients from carbs, proteins and fats into ATP. When we eat fats, they are most definitely stored in adipose tissue (fat), but that is to make them accessible for use in the protection of vital organs, the transport of fat-soluble vitamins, fuel for the cell and contracting muscle tissue, transportation of cholesterol out of the body, fuel for low-intensity exercise, as well as many other important functions in the body.

Stored fat is excellent for use during low-intensity, long-duration workouts like running a marathon, but as soon as exercise intensity is increased, carbs are pulled in as fuel. Alternately, TG levels were higher in those who trained with low glycogen levels, allowing more fat to be oxidized during training for use as fuel— this occurred despite the type of training (HIIT or low-intensity). During exercise, carbohydrates are the predominant fuel source; fats are used secondarily, and finally, proteins. Once lactic acid builds up in the muscle and muscle pain and fatigue set in, you’re no longer able to perform the exercise at that intensity— that particular moment is known as the lactate threshold. The kicker is that you don’t need a large store of body fat for these important functions to take place.
That means that no matter which type of training you engage in— on a low-carb diet or with low glycogen levels— you’re tapping into your fat stores more. And for those early birds, a cup of black coffee is a great fat-loss and energy booster, which may be all you need to get you through your fat-burning sweat session before the sun rises. Obviously, ATP is neither food nor fat, but merely the outcome of the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats— it’s the end result of energy metabolism. If burning fat and using it as fuel is what we want, then dipping into those fat stores as often as possible is what we need to do.

This is because your body is now tapping into your fat stores for energy, which in the case of this article is not a bad thing.
Post-workout cardio sessions are great because you’ve used your glycogen stores to power through your weight training workout and can now tap into your fat stores to get you through your cardio workout. Once you get started on a consistent cardio program while keeping your carbs low, your body will learn to use fat as its predominant fuel source and you’ll become a fat-burning machine in no time! But whether the ATP is being derived from your fat stores or glycogen (carbohydrate) stores is debatable. Any excess carbs in your diet, however, will be converted into fat and stored on your hips and butt.

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