In 2006, I sent out a nationwide media release insisting that Oprah’s fat-loss methods – which included walking as her primary exercise – were actually making her fat. Even worse, they were making the millions of Americans following her lead fat too.

Fact is, if you want lean, sexy muscle (at any age), walking is not sufficient exercise.

Sure, walking is better than no exercise at all. But it’s not going to help you burn the fat you need to burn in order to feel great and get noticed. Nobody ever walked themselves out of the Fat Cow Hall of Fame. I didn’t… and neither has Oprah.

When it comes to exercise, the old adage holds true: “No pain, no gain.” Why? Because you need to force the body to produce a family of fat-burning, beer-belly-melting compounds known as catecholamines. When released, these weapons of fat destruction bind metabolic receptors on the outer membrane of fat cells, causing them to be eradicated via thermogenesis and lypolysis. (That’s just a fancy way to say that the fat cells are being demolished.)

Getting rid of fat with exercise happens only when you attain 60 to 80 percent of your max heart rate. If you’ve forgotten how to do the calculation, here it is: 220 minus your age times .60 equals your maximum target heart rate.

Exercise by the numbers, and watch the numbers plummet on your scale too.

[Ed. Note: Shane Ellison’s entire career has been dedicated to the study of molecules – how they give life and how they take from it. He was a two-time recipient of the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Grant for his research in biochemistry and physiology. He is a bestselling author, holds a master’s degree in organic chemistry, and has first-hand experience in drug design. Take advantage of his knowledge and insights to look and feel your best in 90 days.]

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