So often I hear people say things along the lines of “I need to lose some weight, I should probably start doing more cardio.” While there is nothing at all wrong with utilising cardio to help you to lose weight, it’s important to keep in mind that cardio is just a tool that can aid in weight loss. It’s not the end all be all deciding factor on if you will lose weight or not. Rather, ensuring you have created a calorie deficit is the key number 1 most important factor when it comes to weight loss. This can be done in in many different ways. Including cardio into your fat loss plan is a great way to burn additional calories, which helps create a calorie deficit. Keep in mind, a deficit is a deficit. For example, whether you create that deficit through 300 calories worth of cardio, or you eat 300 less calories for the day, the end result will be the same. The big issue with relying on cardio for your fat loss is the amount of time it takes to burn calories…it’s just not efficient. Burning 300 calories can take an hour (obviously depending on type of exercise), but eating back those 300 calories can be done in less than 5 minutes. Another often overlooked way to create a calorie deficit is to increase your NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis). This is essentially all the calories you burn doing non-exercise related things, such as walking, taking the stairs, standing instead of sitting, parking at the back of the parking lot, etc. The big takeaway here is that if you dread the idea of cardio, then don’t do it! However, if you want to lower your body fat percentage, you must be prepared to create that calorie deficit by other means as discussed above.
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