Why Cardio is 100% Unnecessary for Losing Body Fat
What Is the first picture that comes to your mind when you hear the term fat loss?
Most people that I have talked to can’t think of anything except a picture of them running on a treadmill for hours, and having a love-hate relationship with food.
We all have been led to believe that doing more cardio and eating less is the ONLY way to lose fat and get healthier.
Cardio does help but at the same time, it’s 100% unnecessary to lose fat.
It creates a calorie deficit to some degree that might benefit certain people but not all of us.
Cardio is just one way to create a calorie deficit. Any kind of physical activity along with reduced food intake will create a calorie deficit.
The most crucial thing responsible for you to lose fat is a calorie deficit. You can lose some weight just by eating less.
Though cardiovascular training is beneficial to your heart, but when it comes to improving body composition and losing body fat too much of it is highly unproductive.
Prioritize Strength Training
I made a lot of mistakes when I first decided to lose body fat. It was the summer of 2012 I was working under an architect in Delhi.
Just like everyone else I started eating less and put my entire focus on doing cardio alone.
Skipping lunch was easier than I had thought. Between work and meetings, food was never a priority. And coffee would kill the appetite.
Every day I’d come home from work and go to a park nearby. Gradually my stamina increased and I could run much faster and longer. It felt right.
Losing weight was easy. I lost 20lbs in about 16 weeks. But the end results were disastrous!
The lack of nutrients in the diet gave me dark circles under the eye.
That unhealthy relationship with food and focusing on cardio made me extremely weak.
People started asking if I was doing drugs.
Doing too much of cardio will burn your precious muscle tissue as fuel, slow down your metabolism, wreck your hormones and make you look weak.
To optimize fat loss however while still enjoying life
The first priority on my list while trying to optimize fat loss is to find ways to still enjoy life. To still be able to eat ice-cream, pizzas and have fun at all the family gatherings.
Muscle vs Fat
The problem is most people don’t include any kind of resistance training or up their protein intake and lose too much of their muscle fiber while doing cardio.
There’s no need to kill yourself with cardio every day. It’s not sustainable.
I tell my clients to do the least amount of cardio.
Muscle tissue supports metabolism while making fat loss easier.
People with greater muscle mass have a greater demand for calories even at rest.
Muscle tissue burns about 8 to 10 calories daily per pound, so why would you risk losing your body’s most efficient fat burner focusing on cardio alone?
Ever since I started lifting weights, my weight hasn’t fluctuated much. It’s been nothing but a steady, sustainable gain of muscle mass while losing body fat.
Strength training will do a lot more for your fitness and overall health than the treadmill ever will. It will preserve and build muscle tissue and burn more calories throughout the day.
You should not just try to lose weight. Instead, focus on improving your body composition by sparing and building muscle tissue while dropping your body fat.
Want to lose fat fast? Focus on getting stronger. Run towards one goal – building physical strength.
Running on treadmill is just a way for you to optimize your fat loss. Few minutes of it before and after strength training is more than enough.
Lift weights at least 5 times a week. For cardio choose any activity whether it is swimming, trekking, cycling, or any sort of sport that you enjoy.
For fat loss, cardio is just another tool for burning those extra calories. And it’s not as efficient as strength training. It’s not something you should rely on.
I would encourage you to get some cardio in for the other health-related benefits of cardio, not solely for fat loss.