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Best Way to Tone Up but Not Lose Weight

Question: I am a 28 yr old female (5 ft 1 in). I am now in the 6th week of diet and exercise. Have achieved goal weight of 104lbs. No intention of losing more but I have noticed that that I am still flabby in comparison to how lean my body was at that weight 5 years ago. Do cardio for 45 mins 4 days a week, as well as strength train 6 days a week. Recently read that I need to do cardio exercise (within my heart rate zone) for at least 30 mins before I start to burn any fat. Is this true? spectra

Answer: Dear spectra, Do cardio more often than you strength train. Since you're doing such an intense program, make sure you're getting enough rest. I wouldn't recommend everyone do as much as you do. Doing cardio 6 days per week and strength training 3 days per week is the limit I would advise. At all times no matter what you're doing, you're burning both sources of energy: fat and carbohydrates. It's not the time spent exercising, but the intensity that determines which system is being used more. Lower intensity workouts (still working hard, but not lollygagging) use a higher proportion of fat and all-out efforts use a higher percentage of carbohydrates. Please see the Articles section for more info.

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