Could it possibly be true that your big friend is, in fact, fit? Though these may seem like opposites, being fit and fat at the same time can happen. It actually happens more often than you'd think. Here is why...
Measure your performance by immediately checking your heart rate. Take your pulse from your wrist or from your carotid artery in your neck. Count the number of beats for 15 seconds. Multiply this number by 4, to get the beats per minute measure. Check the tables below to compare your results:
Excellent = <79 to 86
Good = 80 to 96
Above average = 90 to103
Below average = 106 to 120
Poor = 117 to 129
Very poor = >128
*note that results vary slightly based on age and sex
A second test you can do is a push up test: this measures upper body strength.
Procedure: do as many push ups in a row (without stopping) as you can.
For men, military style push ups is the only option. This means having your hands and feet supporting your bodyweight only. Women have the option of doing military style, or knee push-ups, where the knees are in contact with the floor instead of the feet.
Results: compare your results with the charts below.
Men: (age factor)
Excellent = >50
Good = 35 to 47
Above average = 25 to 34
Average = 13 to 24
Below Average = 10 to 12
Poor = 4 to 9
Very poor = 0 to 3
Excellent = > 37
Good = 30 to 36
Above average = 22 to 30
Average = 11 to 21
Below average = 5 to 10
Poor = 2 to 4
Very poor = 0 to 2
* Note that results in each category vary based on age.
Exercise Doesn't Burn Fat
It is generally believed that exercise will quickly burn fat. This is simply not true. Burning fat for energy is one thing, but actually burning enough fat to lose pounds of fat is really challenging. A single pound of fat contains about 3,500 calories of energy. One full hour of intense exercise can burn up to 500 calories, just a portion of which comes from fat.
It is for this reason that exercise alone will not burn fat. A healthy diet is absolutely essential to burning fat.
Nutrition for fat burning
Changing your nutrition habits is the most effective way of burning fat up. A consistent, daily caloric deficit is required to burn excess fat off the body. While exercising certainly helps to maintain good muscle mass, and speed up the fat burning process, without creating a caloric deficit through good nutrition, no changes may come about.
Check your results from the tests above and more that you can easily check at home. Regardless of your fitness level, you may still be carrying around a few extra pounds. If that is so, it is likely because you have too much food (or fuel) going in, allowing the body to use food energy rather than fat energy.