You’ve been doing cardio vascular exercises, popular as cardio, diligently for weeks now in hopes of losing some extra weight but the scales seem to be stuck right where they were when you started. Wondering what’s the reason? Before you jump to any conclusions, it will be better if you get rid of some misconceptions about cardio and fat loss. Please read on and you will know more.
The combination makes the difference
True, cardio helps in fat loss but it has to be combined with other things too. A good combination of diet, weight training and cardio is what helps burn maximum body fat. If you depend only on cardio, then you will end up being disappointed with the results. A completely untrained body may benefit from cardio initially, but will hit a plateau soon.
Cardio has low-calorie cost
Regular cardio activities like cycling, running, jogging etc. are very popular compared to bodyweight exercises like pushups and squats but the catch with such activities is that they are not very intense. Very soon, your body gets used to the low intensity and becomes efficient at it. Your muscles will not get as stimulated as in the beginning, and the number of calories your body burns every minute for these activities will keep reducing. You might then begin to reduce your intake of food, but there is a limit to it, and your health will suffer if you continue the same way beyond a point.
Weight training doesn’t cause injuries
Some people avoid weight training for the fear of injuries, or loss of flexibility. Women prefer to stay away from weight training thinking it will bulk up their muscles and they will not look feminine anymore. Most of these are myths, and you need to regularly indulge in weight training to know that for yourself. What’s more, the benefits of weight training are often ignored- it improves stamina, tones the body, enhances strength and makes you fitter.
‘Skinny fat’ is a thing
It is possible to lose a lot of weight with cardio workouts on a regular basis. However, you may end up being slim and losing some fat, but will also not have any muscle tone in the body, because you would have lost a great deal of lean muscle tissue along with the fat. Your body would still be soft and probably even shapeless, with a bulging belly or loose, wiggly arms and thighs, not sculpted like they would be with weight training. Kickboxing is an intense cardio activity and if you use a heavy bag for it, it could be a better choice than jogging and swimming for fat loss, since it would also involve strength training, and give you better muscle tone.
Make resistance training an integral part of your fat loss plan, along with a good diet (small, frequent meals and adequate protein, no processed foods, and plenty of water), and see your metabolism improve. Only cardio is not enough for fat loss, especially as a long-term solution, and if you believe in that myth, you will keep failing repeatedly. You need to adopt a balanced, multi-pronged approach that will ensure effective and healthy fat loss, with toned muscles and better fitness and strength.