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Increasing Cardio Won't Help You Lose Fat. Here's What Will.

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Increasing Cardio Won't Help You Lose Fat. Here's What Will.

If you think adding more cardio to your routine will help you lose fat, think again. It’s true that cardio can help you burn a ton of calories, but if your goal is to get stronger and look lean, it can do more harm than good. Read on to find out why cardio won’t help you lose fat and to find out what will.


Why More Cardio May Hinder Your Progress

Balanced amounts of cardio training can be beneficial for your body. However, boosting your cardio for the purpose of weight loss can have negative effects. These may include:

  1. Increased levels of hunger - Do you feel hungrier after your cardio session? That’s because cardio is energy intensive. You need MORE food to sustain longer, more frequent sessions. This gets tricky if you’re dieting. Those extra intense hunger pains can often lead to excessive cheat meals or worse, binge eating.

  2. Muscle loss or slowed muscle growth - This is especially true if your fat loss program includes reducing the amount of calories or macros you’re consuming. Muscle also needs fuel to develop properly. If that fuel is being burned during cardio sessions, it may be difficult to maintain or build more muscle mass.

  3. Lower Metabolism - To put it simply, the combined consequence of dieting and overtraining with cardio is your body holding onto its energy stores (including fat) and forcing you to reduce your energy consumption. You may experience extended periods of fatigue, which will ultimately hinder your ability to work out.


What to Do Instead

Instead of going all out with cardio to lose weight fast, try implementing one or more of the following:


Increase Your NEAT

Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) is the amount of energy your body expends during normal daily activity. This is outside of your workouts, eating, or sleeping. In essence, the more you move your body, the more energy you expend. The more energy you expend, the more you burn. All you have to do to increase your NEAT is move more. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Shop at the store instead of online.

  • When running errands, park your car further away from the store, so you can enjoy a short walk to the entrance.

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator

  • Take frequent breaks from your computer to stand up and walk around the office or take a quick stroll around the block.

  • Whenever possible, make work calls walking calls.

You can easily track your movement by tracking your steps. Most smart watches come with a health app already downloaded. Or you can browse your favorite app store for one that works for you. If you don’t have a smart watch, download one to your smartphone. Just make sure it’s always on you, to get an accurate read of your total daily steps.


Add Resistance Training to Your Routine

There are many benefits of resistance training. The one we want to highlight here is increasing your muscle mass. Even a small increase in muscle mass can boost your metabolism. That translates to more calories being burned at rest. Awesome, right? Simply add 2-3 sessions of strength training per week, 30-60 minutes per session.


Adopt a Healthy Diet

Here are 3 simple rules you can follow to adopt a healthy diet:

  1. Eat more vegetables and fruit - aim to have one or the other at every single meal

  2. Eat modest portions of “healthier” carbohydrates - aim for less processed items (i.e. breads and pastries) and more nutrient dense options, such as quinoa or sweet potatoes

  3. Enjoy more water and less sweetened beverages - liquids contain calories too! Reducing sugary beverages is a simple way to cut some out without feeling deprived.


If you’re ready to keep things simple and focus on what WORKS … without getting overwhelmed, our San Jose personal fitness trainers are here to help people just like you find the sustainable, simplest route to their goals.  Fill out the "Request More Information Now" box above to receive your free consultation with our caring San Jose personal fitness trainers OR call us 408-371-1212 to connect.  We're looking forward to talking with you!


Method3 Fitness is conveniently located in San Jose.  Our team of personal fitness trainers serve clients in Los Gatos, Campbell, Willow Glen and other surrounding Bay Area cities.  


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The Method3 Fitness blog is updated weekly by our San Jose personal fitness trainers. All content is designed to improve the way you move, eat, and think so you can achieve your goals and live stronger for today. Check back here each week and LIKE our Fan Page, to stay up to date on the latest tips, strategies and methods to get active, gain energy and get healthy again!




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