Cardio is a Weight Loss Tool
I jog for 30 mins in the morning and hit the weights in the afternoon after work. Hi Susan, I like seeing people hit muscle groups times per week. A small individual pack g has as much protein as an egg! You can do a 3 point yourself. Your go-to appetizer at your favorite sushi restaurant might be the reason you can only make it through two rolls before maxing out.
Is Cardio Necessary to Lose Weight?
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. Eventually the mindfulness should take over as a habit. It takes time to change those mindless eating episodes. Hi Tony, I am 50 years old and am recovering from major surgery I had done 10 weeks ago to mend a hole in my posterior semi circular canal.
Since the operation I have gained 15 pounds and I am now lb. I went onto Livestrong. It said I needed to consume calories a day to lose lb a week. I am usually an eat clean person and do HIIT regularly but since my operation I have had only PT exercise which is very low key as I am still very dizzy and can not even drive! So I started a journal and wrote down my weight and measurements and logged everything I have eaten over the last 15 days. I have lost 3lb! So, do you think I am doing well?
Should I eat more calories, as my maintenance calories are around I eat less so over 7 days I have burned 1 pound. What are your thoughts, and any advice please, would be greatly appreciated.
Hi Tanya, I think at lbs that a pace of. Yes, unfortunately the first thing people think about when they want to lose weight is cardio. Think strength training first, then cardio as a tool as necessary. If i start with maintenance calories, how do i calculate that number? I have been plateaued for over a year now and i want to strength train without gaining any size.
Seems like every time i strength train i get bigger my clothes fit tighter. I just really want to lose the fat and keep my current mass.
I feel kinda stuck like im spinning my wheels. A few off measurements of your food and the deficit is wiped out. I would probably start around calories for a couple of weeks. I am not losing nor gaining weight.
Is it a sign of overtraining? I like your approach Coach, I do the things I love for Cardio and add strength training. My typical week would be: Monday — Rest Tuesday — Rest or Cardio. I usually do a 20km on an indoor cycling bike with varied intensity.
Wed — strength training — I keep a balance of lower and upper body movements. I would say squats and cable exercises are staple. Sometimes If I feel really hungry, I eat a small sandwich. Although I have stopped logging into food apps meticulously, I am self conscious with the things I buy and eat. I wanted to lose 6 more lbs of fat to get lighter to be faster on the tennis courts to catch more balls and to be active on the net volleys.
What do you think I need to improve on? Do I need to be more active on logging on to the food apps? Do i need to decrease cardio? It says I should maintain that intake. And I think your calories are close to maintenance, which is why your weight is staying the same.
I Noticed that I did jot lose weight in two weeks time when I decreased calorie intake for cal. My other question would be, for workout calories, do I need to consider re-feeding that?
Or should I eat the whole thing? Just get consistent with your exercise week to week and adjust your food intake around that. Thanks for your articles, Tony. I am working my way through them all. My question is how to fuel when I really enjoy distance running. I enjoy running half marathons times a year. In the past, I would take a cal Gu packet every half hour after 1 hour and then a large meal within an hour afterwards simply because I am usually starving after a long run.
Running is my joy, though I am learning to accept my need for more strength and flexibility work as I get older! Hi Janean, I think the range is a good starting point. See how you feel at that level. As running volume increases you might have to start bumping up calories some to fuel that extra activity. An extra calories every weeks would be helpful. As for fueling the long runs, the packets work and I also like plain old gatorade during the run.
Otherwise, so long as your calories and carbs are sufficient, you should be ready to run. The benefit of cardio for me is that it changes my appetite. It makes me want to eat only moderate amounts and only healthy food if exercise is relatively intense for 30 min or less — any longer and it makes me want to eat more, although still healthily. I find this function of cardio invaluable for healthy eating. There are a lot of intangibles to dedicated cardio too — appetite regulation being one of them.
I am so confused. I go to work at 4am in a warehouse where I stock hundreds of cases of wine 42 lbs. I am on my feet walking for the remaining 2 hours. Then I walk my dogs approximately 1 mile every afternoon. I average 20k steps a day. I take in approx. In one year, I gained 18 lbs. I sleep 6 hours a day and am always tired. I just started hot yoga — 90 minutes a session twice a week.
I am considering a total meal replacement to verify my caloric intake. When I was not at work for 8 weeks last year, I ate no different. Now, I lift lb boxes continually for 6 hours and log 20k steps a day plus Bikram hot yoga twice a week 90 minute sessions and I am gaining weight.
Makes no sense to me! I am 57 years old. Add 3 cups of coffee a day, nondairy creamer and 1 tsp sugar. As a Clinical Dietitian, who has struggled with eating and body image disorders all my life, I just wanted to say thank you for the message you send out with this blog! Thank you for the kind words, Margaret. Glad to see a nutrition specialist who understands weight loss. I had a lapband years ago, later removed and a gastric sleeve done.
I lost about 85 pounds. I am 67 years old and still very active. It is a job to eat calories a day but I have not lost a pound in several months. I am very flabby. I love doing zumba, think too much cardio. I do some free weights. I want to build muscle. I want to build some muscle. How much protein do I need to eat? What do I need to do? Can I still build muscle at my age. I have been told eating too few calories to lose weight or gain muscle. Thanks for your response.
But generally speaking, losing weight and building muscle are competing goals. One requires more calories and the other less. I would eat slightly under maintenance calories and focus on strength training. Try to get in g of protein per day. I read your article where we could calculate our calories. My intake was per day.
I think you told me to build muscle, I need calories. I wear a fitbit and log everyday. It tells me some days I am overbudget, in the zone or underbudget. What does that mean? I am trying to eat close to , usually I am eating proteins everyday. Your calorie intake, strength goals, and weight loss goals all need to intersect. Everyone wants to build muscle and lose weight, but those are competing goals.
It is possible to do both, but usually only for beginners. Just pick a calorie intake and consistently eat there while also being consistent with your exercise. I think my maintenance calories is at least calories per day which mean I need to drop down to I am doing good to eat calories. I thought it was less for my age. Please let me know my maintenance. I can do the workout. I hate I missed your program.
I will be waiting for the July program. Only way to know for sure is to eat at a level for a couple of weeks and see what your weight does. I think is a good starting point. Thanks for the quick response. I am a female. I will be consistent with the calorie intake and strength exercise. Calories are very low for a male. Even that is low. A lot easier to cut calories than it is to add them back in. I am about lbs now, started at lbs this time last year.. I have been trying to keep variation in my training.
From strength workouts a week, and some cardio times running. Around June I was lbs… and clearly lean with definition in my body. I weighed lbs when I got back. I did not think I changed anything in my diet even though I was eating more starchy roasted vegetables so maybe I missed calories there! My body fat at the end of the summer was I am not an athlete or trying to be a fitness model, I just want to see the best version of myself.
As a person that has tried many many diets low carb, low cal, low fat and had signs of eating disorder, I might have damaged my machinery a bit.
Clearly there is something different going on in my body now, we all have that pair of pants that judges us basically.. Ideally I would like to go down pounds.. I have been taking measurements but the thigh still holds strong! Last week I did 3 days of lower cal 1, and rest and the weight dropped at lbs. But obviously as a person with an eating disorders background I am afraid to add calories just to see what happens. I think the leaner you get the less you need to diet, your progress is much slower..
I do feel stronger at the gym though! Any input would be more than appreciated! I guess your opinion on how I go about the whole fat loss approach. Or would try to increase cals based on the activity level? My biggest concern with you or anyone with a history of discorded eating is first to do no harm. I think refeeds can create issues in these people as there are wild swings in calorie intake day to day.
The refeeds can resurface bingeing tendencies if you had them before. It these cases I prefer consistency day to day — both in intake and approach. A half a pound a week is going to be common and that is going to take a lot of consistency. Thank you Tony for your input! I am thankful for your feedback.
How many times a week do you recommend weigh training? I was doing cardio days a week, is it too much to replace that all with weigh training? Hi Susan, I like seeing people hit muscle groups times per week. So it really depends on how you split up your workouts. That means I hit each body part twice. I think that would serve you well and you could even keep a single day of cardio in there.
Is Cardio Necessary to Lose Weight? Cardio is a Weight Loss Tool In order to lose weight, you need to do one very important thing — you need to eat fewer calories than you burn. Determining Your Cardio Requirements I recommend that you do the least amount of cardio that is necessary to reach your enjoyment, performance, and body composition goals.
The reasons are several-fold: In a hypo-caloric environment it is much easier to over-train and end up in a recovery deficit. Devoting unneeded energy to cardio works against that goal.
It is much easier to eat 1 tbsp less of fat each day than it is to run a mile every day. Each one will create about a calorie deficit, but the latter will cause much more stress on the body, especially in a hypo-caloric environment. Prioritize Strength Training The biggest mistake people make is prioritizing cardio when trying to lose weight.
Thanks for the advice! Hey Laura, What is your device that you wear? Coach, I am currently on a to calorie diet right now, and do try to work out 4 to 5 times a week.
And I am doing it correctly by only eating to calories a day? Hi CC Great article! Sounds like you have a busy house Dianne. Maybe you should move to the Himalayas. Good luck, and congrats on your weight loss thus far! Really great advice, very easy to understand.
Thanks so much for the input. Use the smallest deficit that results in a sustainable weight loss pace. Here is the energy balance equation: Finally, increase your calories from a mix of all 3 macros — fat, carbs, and protein. Total calories burned is what drives fat loss — not your heart rate. So yes, you are doing enough.
Hey James, congrats on the 58lbs of weight loss so far! And you have to feed the fat loss. Hi Cara, I do my own custom programming, but it looks like this: Thanks for spreading the word, Michelle. A simple formula is to take your body weight and add a zero to it and start there. Thanks for the catch Mike. Double check your math. LBM is supposed to be in kg, not pounds.
Hi, new to all this! Can anyone tell me what BMR stands for? Thank you for such an informative and helpful site. Just two tablespoons of the seeds can add around 5 to 6 grams of protein to your food. These are the seed superfoods you should be eating more of. Some pea-lovers have been known to eat them frozen straight out of the freezer.
Your go-to appetizer at your favorite sushi restaurant might be the reason you can only make it through two rolls before maxing out. I turn to coffee-flavored protein, such as Maine Roast Protein Coffee , to gear up for a productive day. It not only boosts energy, but unlike traditional coffee, it sustains energy levels and prevents a mid-morning crash you might get with whey protein. Yet another birthday at work with cupcakes?
Or extra stress have you aching for some sweets? To fight the urge, Berndt has this trick: Instead, she makes a healthier version with oat flour, egg whites, and protein powder. On the go, running late, running early or just um, running—and you find yourself hungry or hangry! To solve the dilemma of drive-through or bust, Berndt says to keep protein-packed bars in your glove compartment. Try these 10 great recipes for homemade protein bars.
When you have a moment of healthy-eating weakness, are you more likely to give in to the temptation of a salty, buttery bowl of mashed potatoes or a hunky slice of chocolate pie? Try adding silken tofu to smoothies and puddings. No one will know your secret! Slide over avocado and tortilla chips, and say hello to hummus with carrot sticks. Registered dietitian, Grace Wong, RD , has a favorite protein player: Instead of purchasing a packaged snack pack that likely has tons of additives looking at you sneaky sugar!
Or skip the craisins and add unsweetened coconut flakes instead. Nuts provide your daily dose of healthy fats, in addition to protein, and are filling and delicious to boot. Just watch portions, as the calories add up quickly. Before you turn up your nose at tofu, keep this in mind, straight from Wong who is a big fan!
For dessert, top with warm fruit and a drizzle of chocolate syrup or sugar-free monkfruit syrup it tastes just like maple! A small individual pack g has as much protein as an egg! Check out the best high-protein foods for vegetarians.
Give olive oil a rest and welcome peanut butter into your meal prep. That will keep you from burning through the carbs of the oatmeal quickly and looking for snacks before lunch. Here are the best nutritionist-approved ways to add protein to your food—without powder.