Monday, February 2, 2009

Weight Loss: Cardio versus Diet

Is cardio the best thing to do for weight loss?
No it is not! Cardio is very good for your heart and does burn calories while you are doing it. If you are going to do cardio on a treadmill make sure the treadmill mat is ideal. But just think of how long and hard you run versus the amount of calories that you burn. It really isn't worth it in my book because I don't enjoy running. If you love running, then run all you want. If you are more like me then you will want to slim down using more affective methods. For each 3500 calories you eat in excess to what you need you will gain 1 pound of fat. People that are overweight/obese are usually at that stage because of 2 reasons: Lack of exercise and excess calorie consumption. Think about how easy it would be to gain 1 pound of fat in a week. You would only have to eat 500 extra calories a day. Let's think about that, 500 calories extra would be as little as 2 teaspoons of brown sugar. Now lets think of how much cardio you would have to do to burn those 500 extra calories. Anyone that has ever used a treadmill knows that it takes some effort to burn 500 calories. A 150 lb. person running a 6.7 minute mile for 30 minutes would burn 500 calories, and that's a fast pace! So it should be very obvious by now that it would be much easier to lose weight by simply eating less instead of doing crazy amounts of cardio. I'm not saying to not do cardio! Cardio is very healthy and beneficial for your heart and a great workout for your legs. But, if you are running for the sole purpose of losing weight you are not using knowledge to your advantage. When it comes to your weight, a little discipline in the kitchen is better than a lot of discipline in the gym.

The perfect weight loss program would involve a combination of both cardio and weights. As I said earlier, you burn calories while you are running. But when you step off the treadmill you are done burning your calories. That's why it is smart to lift weights! You don't burn many calories while lifting weights, but the advantage is that you are building muscle. And the more muscle you have the more calories you will burn throughout the day. If you ever want to find the most overweight people in a gym simply look in the cardio section. You will see the same overweight person running on the same treadmill for years! Just doing cardio isn't going to get the results that most people want. On the other hand if you want to find the fittest people you will notice that they will be in the weights section of the gym. That's because they understand what is necessary to improve their bodies. If cardio worked as well as people thought, then that person that goes to the gym does the treadmill and then goes home to eat whatever they want would be skinny. But sadly it doesn't and we have to learn to control what we eat and more importantly stop eating before we feel stuffed. We also have to do cardio in MODERATION, (No use in killing yourself and hating the gym) do a little cardio but not so much that you dread going to the gym. Look for the truth behind the word Organic in the next post

3 comments:

Rachel Adventure said...

Blasted.... So much for my new almost tolerance for running... too bad I needed a beach to stomach it. Guess it's back to the weights for me....

Kringle said...

I found your post interesting, yet it doensn't fully account for recent trends in exercise science and metabolic training that would support the use of both cardio and weight training as one is training different systems. Of course the training for not only the cardiovascular system, yet too the muscular systems (red/ white fibers) etc. in addition to flexibilty training perhaps is the most comprehensive. I too have been interested in the shift within the fitness industry over the years as zone training and metabolic testing seem far more "in vogue" in recent years. Interestingly though, although it is not my full time work, I have taught aerobics and weight lifting for over 25years and I find nearly everyone at the club (including myself) has a favorite and neglects one area (or more) of fitness. ... I myself love the weight lifting and cardio/ aerobics but always slight the flexibility (smile). Take care
Kringle

Cade said...

Thanks for the comment Kringle. I completely agree that most do neglect one or more parts of fitness. And I believe that that one thing is flexibility for the majority of people. I too am guilty of not spending enough time stretching and have suffered consequences. I believe I will make a post on the importance of stretching..