Should I Be Doing a lot of Cardio if I Want to Lose Weight?

Nov 9, 2020 mindpump

If you have a goal to lose weight, researching your options can quickly become overwhelming. There is so much conflicting information out there about the process of losing weight that it can be downright confusing. You already know the basics – you need to burn more calories than you take in to lose weight. It sounds simple on the surface but is difficult to accomplish in reality for many people. Don’t be discouraged! Losing weight is possible if you implement the right types of changes. If you are looking for help with your nutrition, check out the Intuitive Nutrition Guide. If you are ready to get on track with your workouts, keep reading.

Many people start their weight loss journey with the idea that cardio is the best way to lose weight. In the beginning, cardio burns a lot of calories and can jumpstart your results. However, doing a lot of cardio is not the best way for you to lose weight for the long-term. There are benefits to doing regular cardio and it can play a role in your weight loss journey but an intense cardio regiment is not the best workout plan if you want to lose fat and keep it off.

Benefits of cardio

Cardio is important for your overall health. You need to be up and moving around as much as possible during the day. Getting in your steps is a way to care for your overall and heart health. The American Heart Association recommends that you get 150 minutes of activity that raises your heart rate each week. You can break this down however you want but a common recommendation is to get in 30 minutes of aerobic activity five days per week. This recommendation is related to your heart health and not specifically to losing weight. As part of an active lifestyle, you should be getting in this minimum amount of movement each week.

The role of cardio in weight loss

A minimum amount of cardio is important for heart health and may provide some weight loss results – especially if you are just getting started on your weight loss journey. However, a lot of cardio can sabotage your weight loss efforts. Cardio burns calories which is a good thing when you are trying to lose weight. Unfortunately, your body is quick to adapt to your calorie burning efforts. This is because your body is designed to protect itself. If you start doing a lot of cardio and start burning a high number of calories, your body will register that fact and can move into a self-preservation mode. Burning a lot of calories can send a signal to your body that something is wrong and cause it to start holding onto more calories by slowing your metabolism. It will take more and more cardio for you to burn the same number of calories. This is a frustrating cycle if you are putting in tons of time and effort to do cardio and seeing fewer and fewer results. Fortunately, you can prevent this cycle from happening by choosing a workout plan designed to prevent your body from adapting.

The best workout plan for losing weight

The best workout plan for losing weight puts the primary focus on resistance training. Resistance training helps you lose weight by increasing your metabolism over time. As you build muscle, your body naturally burns more calories throughout the day. This is a virtuous cycle that can help you lose weight and keep it off.

If you are looking for a workout plan that will help you lose weight – focus on finding a plan that primarily includes resistance training. Cardio is important for heart health and overall wellbeing but it should not be your primary focus when it comes to weight loss.

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