Why Cardio Isn’t Great for Fat Loss


Words by Sean Bykerk

When setting a weight loss goal, most of us innately think that jogging is one of the best ways to get there. I mean, it leaves us sweating and gasping for air at the end of our run. How could that not be a great fat burner?!

Let me start off by saying that “traditional cardio” (jogging, elliptical, biking, etc.) absolutely does work for fat loss, but when compared to other methods it’s inefficient. Here’s why:

When exercising, our body goes into survival mode by trying to conserve as many calories (energy) as possible. When we start a new exercise program, our bodies are inefficient at conserving calories so we end up burning a ton of them; thus causing fat loss.

What happens with running is that our body eventually becomes efficient at conserving energy because it’s under the same demand every time we run. So the more you run, the fewer calories you burn. The fewer calories you burn, the harder it is to lose fat.

The good news is that there are other options that will give you more bang for your buck. Here’s what you should do to speed up your fat loss instead:

Eat Healthy
No fitness program can make up for a poor diet when it comes to fat loss.

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
HIIT is a style of training that emphasizes short bursts of high intensity exercise, followed by short rest periods. This type of training places a higher demand on your energy systems. It not only burns a ton of calories during the workout, but it creates a residual effect where you’re still burning calories even after your workout is done.

Resistance Training
Lifting heavy weights will not bulk you up, I promise. In fact, the best fat burner in the world is muscle. Train for strength and you will see your fat melt away.

This article isn’t meant to bash traditional cardio. In fact, I use traditional cardio as part of my fitness routine. Cardio is fantastic for your heart health, provides a rush of “feel good” endorphins, and does assist in promoting a healthier body weight. However, it’s important to understand that there are other options that burn fat more efficiently.

Don’t run to get fit; get fit so you can run.

Photo credit
Burning fat photo courtesy of lepfitness.co.uk

sean4Sean Bykerk is a body transformation expert and owner of Breakthrough Bootcamp in Mississauga. Contact him at bootcampbreakthrough@gmail.com.

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