How do I know if I am burning fat when I use my treadmill? I have a calorie indicator and a pulse monitor but how do I know if I am working out effectively? I weigh 160 and am 5'9 and 37 years old. Please help if you know! How long will it take for me to lose 10 pounds if I eat sensibly.
Take your measurements before you start exercising on the treadmill. That way you can see if you are starting to firm up.
Everyone's metabolism is different, but if you are eating sensibly and exercising regularly, it should 4 to 10 weeks. Ideally you don't want to lose more than a pound a week as it has a bad impact on your body to lose it faster and you are less likely to keep it off. As for knowing when you are losing "fat" versus all lean tissue--think aerobic. You must be in aerobic mode to truly burn fat and that means you should not be out of breath. There are lots of ways to tell from monitors that you can hook up to taking your own pulse and measuring it against a chart. I use the "cheap and easy" way...if I can carry on a conversation while exercising and not get out of breath, I'm doing well!
I agree - 1-2 pounds a week is the best level for long term weight loss. Here is a link to a great burn barometer that I love to use all of the time. It is great to plug in everything you have done for the day to see how your calorie burning is going:
An easy way to know if you're working at the right intensity level is try to talk and sing. If you can sing, you are not working hard enough. If you can talk, but not sing, you are right where you want to be. If you can do neither, you're working yourself too hard, and will stop burning fat stores, and begin burning muscle. Slow yourself down a bit until you can talk.
Remember that muscle tissue weighs more than fat tissue. (That is, one cupful of fat weighs less than one cupful of muscle.) So, you may notice that your clothes are fitting better before you see a change on the scale. Also, if you see the scale move up a bit, but KNOW you have been careful of your food intake and have been exercising, don't fret! You're losing fat and gaining muscle, and this is not unusual. Check your measurements or the fit of your clothes and let that be the true test.
Also, one other thing I notice, is that there is a week out of every cycle that I gain up to five pounds of water weight. I also know that a week later it comes off. If you know this is something that happens to you, take this into account when you do your own "weigh-ins".