Is Cardio Necessary to Lose Weight?
I will be consistent with the calorie intake and strength exercise. I take in approx. It is possible to do both, but usually only for beginners. Cardio is a tool for creating a calorie deficit. Did you even gain any fat? That is not a sustainable lifestyle for most people.
Cardio is a Weight Loss Tool
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In summer, most of us take our workouts a bit more seriously. Many of us have post workout routines that we feel are important for our fitness. From stretches and yoga to meditation and even meals or protein shakes, the things we do after our workouts are just as important as what we do during them.
The post-workout routine is filled with these mental and physical exercises and practices that remain critical to our fitness success. What can we add to our post-workouts for better fitness and for stress relief? Surprisingly, one answer is blogging. I am not sure what strength training to do for my legs without risking damaging the prosthesis other than perhaps the stationary bicycle.
Hi Ken, you definitely have to work within your own boundaries. You can still be fit and healthy though.
Upper body strength training is still doable. As for lower body it really just depends on what you can do without pain. An in person assessment would be best. Bodyweight training for the lower body might work for you too bodyweight squats, etc. I am currently on a to calorie diet right now, and do try to work out 4 to 5 times a week. I did it before using Weight Watchers 7 years ago and lost 45 lbs. I know that I am not as young as I was back then, and my body is different now..
Focus on losing it over the course of 6 months. Only time will tell. If you know how much you were eating before when you lost the 45lbs I would just go back to that number and save some time.
Sometimes a regimented exercise routine is tough to do day in and day out. Yup — enjoyment is always 1. It depends on your exercise goals. I give preference to weight training. However, if your primary goal is to improve your endurance, then you might want to do it first and make it the priority. I go to a culinary school for baking and pastry, and we have to taste a lot if not all of our pastries.
In doing this, I have gained over 30 pounds in the past couple months. Do you have any advice on how I can count these extra calories so that I may create a calorie deficit?
My advice would be to try to eat smaller samples. Do you have to eat the whole pastry to taste test it? You could take a bite or two of a handful of pastries and still eat only ish calories. I am at a happy weight within 5 lbs give and take. But I still want to lose more of my stomach. How do I do it? I watch my sugar and white flour intake. And cardio maybe 4 days. Set your calories at maintenance and focus on changing your body composition.
Really focus on your strength training and proper programming of it. You must build muscle if you want to improve your body composition at your current weight. D……I am going mental with what is going on in my world and I have read for weeks now trying to figure out what is going on…. Hi Salma, try to get a little more consistent day to day with your diet.
Nowadays people are so confused about cardio thinking that cardio is the answer to their weight loss. Your article is very clear and to the point. Cardio is not the be-all-end-all for weight loss, but it definitely has its place in a fitness program depending on your goals.
Which leads me to point 3 — do you know your body fat percentage? Did you even gain any fat? Ideally I should be a stone lighter but so far it has taken me nearly 3 years to lose half a stone to now with another stone to go!
Definitely have to enjoy life. I struggle with my eating habits horribly. There are three generations of women in my house each of us have a different view of nutritional eating. My Mom wants foods that have some sort of sauce or are fried, with few veggies. I just want veggies and some form of protein. The stress of it all has tilted my weight goals. I need to move to the Hymalayas. Maybe you could do what we do in our house with our dinners since the kids eat something different.
We cook the main meat so that everyone will like it. Then, we create a different side for both us and the kids. That is quite a bit and unnecessary for weight loss. Recovery is just as important as the training and nutrition. I would back off a bit on the exercise. Something like days of strength training and possibly a day of cardio if want. The rest of the days you should be focused on staying active. Personnally I dont agree with this.
I eat healthy and I exercise alot. I enjoy it and feel like it is not only helpful for weight loss but its helpful for stress and to help with energy. In June I was after four kids in 5 years and now I am So thats a huge difference. I started out slow with walking a hour a day and now I run 5 miles a day and do a short walk at night. So just saying…cardio helps alot. And I would like to point out that Im not flabby as much either.
My arms have tightened up and so have to calfs, legs and thighs. My stomach has tightened up a little and became alot smaller but its not like all abs either. Nor am I saying not to exercise at all. I personally encourage strength training to be prioritized above cardio for endless reasons , unless your exercise goals are strictly cardiovascular in nature 5k, marathon, etc. And of course if you enjoy it — do it!
As I said, you can lose weight doing nothing but cardio, and you can lose weight doing no cardio at all. Sometimes objective confirmation helps! Yup, strength training and cardiovascular training can easily be combined into one! Sometimes they need to be separated, but if they are just trying to build some lean body mass, lose fat, and be fit and healthy, doing it together works great.
You need to measure it. Body fat calipers are your most convenient and cheapest way. You can do a 3 point yourself. A 7 point will require a partner. My energy levels have increased. I feel way fitter now than i used to when i was just strength training and my dog is loving the extra exercise.
Good to hear, Hannah. Consistency and adherence should always be your primary goals. Everything you choose to eat or do for exercise should be structured with those two things in mind.
In your case the half marathon training brings you enjoyment and keeps you motivated and also allows you to eat more food. This is due to your body storing more muscle glycogen from the extra energy demands.
But 12lbs is a bit much to be explained solely by that. Start reducing your food intake by calories a week until the weight rise stops and a downtrend develops. I am getting stronger and make a point of increasing my weights regularly.
I also go for an hour walk 4 or 5 times a week burning about calories. What can I do to get the fat moving? Being that you are strength training, that is almost always a result of your calories being too low. You also need to get your nutrition and calorie levels up to support your lean body mass and activity levels. So with a calorie intake of what sort of deficit should I be aiming for?
Also should a aim for a deficit everyday or just the days I train? Thanks heaps for the replies, can I just check my understanding? I should be aiming to consume around calories and if I do a gym session and burn calories I end up with a net figure of calories. Also should I increase I my current calories with protein or a mix of carbs fat and protein?
You are burning much more than calories during the day. You also add in general activity like walking around, and also your BMR calories required for vital body functions. Just exercise consistently and adjust your nutrition around that. Maybe you could address that in a later post? And yes — I agree. I would like to loose body fat and begin training for a half marathon and eventually a marathon. Is this enough cardio for fat loss? But you still have to be in an energy deficit if you want to lose weight.
I work out twice a day, 4 days a week. I jog for 30 mins in the morning and hit the weights in the afternoon after work. I have a split routine, exercising each body part once a week except calves and abs that I exercise every other day. So in total I hit the weights 5 days a week. And on weekends the family and I go for 2 hr hikes in the forest or beach. I do have the beginning of the six pack, but still a bit of a tummy and no V shape yet.
The weight loss pace is likely to slow down as you get leaner though, so manage your expectations. Your articles are also so helpful! I feel so much hungrier when incorporating these two regimes into my exercise routine. Dropped bodyfat in two weeks. So thanks and keep up the amazing work Coach! Great to hear, Tara! Sounds like you have a good attitude towards your fitness. And thanks for letting me know how the increased calories worked out for you.
Finally some great advice on how little cardio you need to do and how you cant starve yourself to get into awesome shape. Yup, cardio is a tool and should be used strategically in a way that complements your specific goals.
Thank you for sharing the information! Mon — upper body Tues — lower body Thurs — upper body Fri — upper body. I follow an RPE based training style and I stay active every day. And its a vicious cycle.
Then I do extra cardio to try to make up for it. Anyone else have this problem? Ya, I do the same thing. I am having more good days than bad days. Keep trying and working towards more on days than off days. Now that spring is here and there is less ice, I will be starting my evening walks again, on top of going to the gym days a week. One step at a time, I know I will get to where I want to be. I know what you mean. Same thing happens with me. I have been working out for over 6 months now and I lost some weight but not much because I eat too much.
My biggest problem is that I cannot sit down and watch tv without having to munch on something: Bingeing followed by extreme or obsessive measure to cancel out the calories is Bulimia Nervosa. It does not always include a low body weight and purging via laxatives and induced vomiting. Even when eating junk food. It will slow you down and give you more time to register wether you are hungry or not. No distractions whilst eating other than dinner conversation. Focus on your food.
Chew slowly and thoroughly and drink water with your meal or snack. Plan breakfast, lunch, dinner and 4 reasonably sized snacks. Stick to your plan. Forgive yourself if you deviate and move on.
I beat bulimia this way and now my body fat is lower than when I had it because I no longer binge. I am also no longer depressed and have higher self confidence. You can definitely include all foods in moderation.
Hi Sharma, were you doing any exercise before? You can read more about the topic here — https: I only eat a half palm size of bread and ginger lemon tea for breakfast, a cup of rice and viand for lunch and dinner and also garden salad without a dressing or a banana in between meals.
It is a steady 68 kgs. I also make sure to consume 8 glasses of water a day but i guess the result is very slow. I hope you can advise me how to lose weight faster the natural way because i find three weeks long enough to achieve nothing but an inch reduced on my waistline.
I really wanted to lose weight because 68 kgs. Thanks and best regards! Second, give it another couple of weeks. Kinda lost here, my weight is Get consistent with your exercise doing something you enjoy.
Ideally that would include some strength training and being active. I typically do 30 min of cardio and 30 min of weight training at least 4 times a week, usually 5,alternating with upper and lower body.
How much weight training should I be doing if I am going to replace some of my cardio sessions with it? I try to do compound exercises for both upper and lower with some isolation exercises as well.
Do you enjoy it? Then keep doing it and adjust your nutrition around it. Oops…pressed post before I was even done. I lost 15lbs last year on calorie restriction and promptly put it all back on, before that I went down to doing Herbal Magic, I am a chronic dieter.
When I hit the switch went off. I have been doing a 20 minute, 5 day a week HIIT work out for 4 weeks now and not seeing any changes, I also get in a bike ride times a week. I stopped weighing myself and am going by how my clothes feel, they feel the same. I am eating close to calories, those calories are from whole natural foods.
Reduce your food intake a little, either by halving a side portion or two, or by simply cutting calories and see if that gets things moving in the right direction. I am a lb as of today woman who has lost 30lbs however I have stalled and I am starting to get very frustrated can you tell me my correct BMR?? But go back to what you were doing when you lost 30lbs and then just make small adjustments to either your nutrition or exercise.
What else do you suggest? Hi Joni, congrats on the 40lbs so far. In cases like yours my standard answer is always always to do more of what got you that weight loss in the first place. So they end up changing things up and then stalling out. Go back to what you were doing when you lost 40lbs and then make small adjustments to your nutrition or exercise drop calories or add in a cardio session. Would you recommend to some one to eat mainly protein and low carbs, I am trying to shift the last 4 kgs and am also doing high intestity cardio 3 hrs a week and my weight is not losing I,m building alot muscle tho.
I do not recommend that. I like a more balanced approach while doing some nutrient timing or calorie cycling if needed. I find that the restriction from low carb tends to lead to other issues. You have to measure it. Body fat calipers will be the most convenient and cheapest way. You can also do hydrostatic weighing or DEXA scans for more accuracy.
Is it possible to lose weight while training for a half marathon? But I do circuit training about five times a week. IMO, they are intense an example of today was a one mile run, squats, full push-ups, cross over sit ups, then another one mile run. Second question-Is adding runs to my circuit training over-training? I just really enjoy my runs, but so many people have told me excess cardio will break down muscle.
Only you can assess that situation. Keep making small improvements to your diet, exercise, and mindset over time. Loved your response to Lee that 3 weeks trying to reduce is nothing and you have thousands of weeks left in your life.
The message is to look at the big picture. We sometimes get tunnel vision with weight loss. This is a lifetime endeavor with no end dates. I exercise in classes usually 5 times a week, spin, combat, pump or gym. I usually burn about to calories per session. After an initial loss of 6K, I now seem to have put that back on and all round my middle.
Feel really uncomfortable in clothes again although I actually have lost two dress sizes. I think that I eat carefully, am a veggie, hardly have carbs and struggle with enough protein.
Can I have some advice as to the best approach as I really want to feel better in my body? Hi Lesley, if you lost weight with your routine and then started gaining, then you either started eating more than you think or you had some kind of other life change — medication, more stress, less sleep, etc.
I try to keep my simple carbs bread very low as in one serving per day. In addition, I do cardio 6 times per week, alternating between HIIT and long, slow using my elliptical. Weight training is every other day. Doing this, I've lost about 6 pounds of fat and gained the same in muscle using calipers. I've hit a plateau the past month and it's making me crazy.
I don't want to up my workout, for fear of overtraining. I've dialed in my nutrition, upped my water intake, and aim for hours of sleep. I'm wondering how much menopause affects this whole regime-seems I would make a small gain then lose it. The zig-zagging is insane. I have a major problem. Im on a new diet and excercise plan…problem is instead of losing fat on my legs im building muscle.
I want lean legs not bulky muscles…what can I do? If you feel like your legs are too muscular you can cut back on the frequency of your lower body workouts. Also known as the amount of calories you need to do basic functions. I unable to lift or strain my upper body. I can peddle on a high setting which really works my legs, will this build muscle?
Just look at the legs of some of the elite cyclists. Try interval workouts if you want to build muscle. Many thanks for your empowering reply. I was feeling despondent in thinking I would be doing cardio sessions for no real gain. Interval workouts it is! Love reading and taking advise from your blogs. They always make perfect sense. Me personally I love running. I go to the gym and I either run my 5km or run 3 and do sprints of a minute on and a minute off for the other 2.
Its my main cardio. It can be hard on my body at times however I feel im building a good level of fitness and that benefits me doing the cardio.
Theres no magic wand for weight loss and some of it is trial and error however if you or I or anyone enjoy doing exercise in whatever form thats half the battle. Is walking, then, enough cardio for someone trying to lose weight and for health benefits? I also do weight training and yoga. Is it enough to lose weight? Is it enough to get some health benefits?
Will you build muscle? Will your weight loss efforts be as easy as if you included some strength training too? Walking does burn calories, and anything that burns calories will aid in weight loss, but depending on your goals, there could be other, more efficient ways, to accomplish that.
Thank you so much Tony. I LOVE your site. Based on what I have read in your suggestions on other articles, I am starting to do more weight training.
I actually enjoy it more than cardio. I was running and it was causing some hip injuries so I stopped. Very good info here. Keep it up …. I am 48 and is doing weightlifting and cardio , i dont want to look like an athlete , i want to be athletic , that means the cardio must be intense and my heart beats pr minute must be over and maximum bmp , i do this times a week , my cardio is done in 30 minutes and always before leg workout , then my legs are warm and ready for sqauts and etc. I think at this level my cardio will give me long term benefits , but not having bad influenze on my muscle gain.
Its like you are neglecting the benefits of cardio , i think that i will be able to lift heavier the better my cardio rate is , its very important. We all have different performance goals and you should do as much cardio as you need to fulfill those goals. You will be able to lift heavier with a better trained cardiovascular system — to a degree. But the muscular adaptations to endurance and strength are very different and will affect one another.
Each performance goal is different and not necessarily healthier than the other. Hi , need a little advise , I did strength training for a year got leaner but not much weight loss. There is no set rule. Much will depend on your performance goals. If you want more strength do more strength training. Regardless, you should have some strength training in there to help maintain lean body mass.
You can then layer in more exercise as needed to increase your caloric expenditure. And eat calories, such as breakfast some egg whites with spinache bell peppers and wheat toast.
For dinner I have about the same maybe just chicken with broccoli and healthy snacks in between. After cardio I mostly workout my abs and change it up for arms and legs some days. And I do drink many water. Am I doing the correct workouts? I also just had a baby 2 months ago. Get your activity levels consistent and then pick a calorie intake to stick with. Use averages with your calories over the week. I would also start strength training now. This is where body composition changes happen.
No I am not breastfeeding, okay so stick to see if I lose weight and still burn calories a day and do some strength training? Thanks so much there are so many different articles that are pretty confusing. Thank you for this article, it definitely helps in setting realistic but fun goals for fitness. Is a bit of cardio recommended before doing strength training to warm up the body and muscles , or is that a myth? After proper stretching, can it be as effective to jump right into strength training and skip the minutes of treadmill?
Hi Tony, Thank you so much for this information. Any suggestions for someone that is unable to do strength training? I have chronic Lyme disease and Fibromyalgia, and am unable to lift weights, or even do yoga that often. I can walk and clean my house, cook meals, etc.
I do a lot of walking, about miles a day, and have a foot elliptical at work, similar to a recumbent bike, where I can bike miles a day. Weight loss is very, very slow with a calorie diet. Any suggestions would be much appreciated, to help with weight loss.
Maybe the future changes and the pain subsides enough that you can do it. Otherwise, walking is just fine for losing weight. There are many cultures that stay healthy simply by eating whole foods and staying active. If certain cardio equipment is doable for you, you might be able to do some interval training on it. This will at least provide some strength benefits over walking. That said, all the ideas you have can help raise your mindfulness. They are just short term cues to help train you to eat differently.