This may be common knowledge, but I have just learned something very interesting:
I have been busting my butt at the gym trying to get my cardio in gear -- running on inclines at 7.0, 7.5, even 8.0 mph, sweating through multiple shirts, getting my heart rate up as high as 191 and maybe sometimes more, its madness ... and its extremely tiring.
Finally, I decided to ask one of the trainers at my gym to tell me why I work so hard and am not seeing much of an improvement. He took one look at my heart rate monitor that I try to wear during all of my workouts, and gasped. APPARENTLY, getting your heart rate that high is over-training and isn't really benefiting me. I'm burning the muscle I worked so hard to gain and the fat just kind of gets bypassed. When I asked him what to do to burn the fat, he said I need to do EASIER WORKOUTS!!!! WHAT?! Yes. He suggested I try to keep my heart rate right around 150, which would put me in my "Zone 2," or my fat burning zone. I tried it this morning, and all I had to do was walk at 4.0 on an incline to get it there. IT WAS SO EASY!! I couldn't believe it, and frankly, I didn't trust it. So ... I went on the Internet to see if what he said was true.
It turns out, staying in the fat burning zone is EXACTLY the way you can shed those extra pounds, which means keeping your heart rate lower and not working as hard. This concept is just beyond me, but facts are facts. I'm nervous to give this a try, but I don't think I've got anything to lose! I'm going to focus very strongly on staying in zone 2, and MAYBE it will work! WHO KNEW?! If anyone knows any more information about this or can offer some encouraging success stories please let me know, I'm doubtful and curious. YIKES. But here goes nothing ... :)