There’s a lot of weight loss professionals taunting the idea that cardio is the best exercise when it comes to losing weight.
And then, there’s just as many people who have the opposite opinion, and completely dismiss cardio for weight loss?
Page Table of Contents
- What is the Best Exercise to Lose Weight?
- Should You Exercise for Weight Loss At All?
- Why Resistance Training is A Must for Losing Weight
- Diet, Cardio, and Resistance Training for Weight Loss
I have the answer for you:
The best exercise to lose weight is the exercise that provides the best results for you personally!
However, you are definitely going to have the best dieting results when you combine cardio, resistance training, and diet.
Let’s take a look at why you need both for the best diet results.
What is the Best Exercise to Lose Weight?
For those who continue ranting about how cardio is the best way to lose weight, here’s a news flash:
Why Cardio is not the best way to lose weight?
Cardio is not a way to lose weight at all — it’s just one of the tools that will help you to shed the excess fat.
BUT there are several other tools that are just as important.
The first thing that most people think about when they decide to embark on a weight loss quest is the treadmill.
They conjure up images of themselves panting and gasping as they pound the track or treadmill for hours every day… and guess what they do?
They subject themselves to this insane routine of running like a hamster on a wheel.
It’s no wonder most of them quit on their weight loss journey.
Excessive cardio could hurt your progress?
One of the biggest mistakes that you can make when trying to lose weight is to subject yourself to excessive amounts of cardio.
Most of us have trained our bodies to burn food/glucose for fuel.
Unlike professional long-distance athletes, we’ve not conditioned our body to burn fat stores for fuel.
So, excessive amounts of cardio often leaves people ravenous for food when they’re through exercising.
Cardio could be making you fat?
This is exactly why you’ll find that people who do lots of cardio also find themselves gorging on food later:
Especially food rich in carbohydrates.
The body craves the carbs because of all the cardio.
The end result is that they consume more food than they require.
The long cardio session they just did is cancelled out — because they’ve consumed more calories than they expended.
Running at 6 mph for an hour can burn up to 590 calories.
But check this out – 1 slice of pizza carries about 285 calories. Eating 2 slices will cancel out your entire workout session.
This post has an accurate chart of calories burned during popular cardio exercises.
Here’s where it gets really bad: it only takes you about 10 to 15 minutes to eat 2 slices, unlike 60 minutes of sweaty torture on the treadmill.
Should You Exercise for Weight Loss At All?
The key to successful weight loss is understanding that all exercise is a tool that’s meant to boost your metabolism and get it firing on all cylinders.
Exercise is an undeniable part of losing weight.
When you exercise, you get fitter and stronger and your body burns calories at an accelerated rate.
That’s the role of exercise.
Exercise is a means to an end and NOT an end in itself.
Successful weight loss comes from watching your diet like a hawk.
You’d see much faster results by following a sensible diet plan and having three 30-minute cardio sessions a week — instead of having 7 cardio sessions and neglecting your diet.
You cannot out-exercise a bad diet.
Remember – exercise is a tool.
Your body is a machine and the food you eat is the fuel.
Most people are more concerned about the unleaded fuel they put in their car than the food that they put in their bodies.
It’s absolutely essential to eat right if you expect to lose weight.
Everything else is secondary.
How to Use Cardio for Weight Loss?
The next point to note is that short intense cardio sessions are more effective than long steady-state cardio.
You want to engage in high intensity cardio sessions that last anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes.
Anyone can include HIIT exercises into any workout routine whatsoever. And it’s this HIIT routine that turns on your weight loss with cardio!
These sessions will get your heart pumping and create an oxygen deficit because you are exercising all out!
Your body will be in fat burning mode for 8 to 12 hours after the workout ends. Overall, you’ll burn more calories and lose more fat.
By doing less cardio, you’d have achieved more.
To sum things up, watch your diet and engage in short, high intensity cardio sessions. You’ll find that losing weight becomes a breeze when you focus on the right protocol.
Why Resistance Training is A Must for Losing Weight
Resistance training is one of the most powerful tools that can help to boost your metabolism, strengthen your bones, create muscle definition and much more.
In fact, as you age, resistance training becomes even more important.
Many women shy away from weight training or resistance training because they assume that they’ll become bulky and end up walking around like female Schwarzeneggers.
Resistance training is sexy
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Resistance training will make female bodies more defined and even more feminine by accentuating their natural curves.
A shapely butt, toned thighs, well-defined sexy shoulders, etc. can only be achieved with resistance training.
Make resistance training a part of your weight loss regime
An ideal workout regime will have 3 sessions of cardio and 2 sessions of weight training a week.
Don’t get into the mindset that cardio and resistance training are mutually exclusive methods of training. You can do 30 minutes of resistance training followed by 15 to 20 minutes of cardio after that.
As long as you always do the resistance exercises first, you’ll be just fine. (If you do cardio first – chances are good you won’t have any energy to complete your weight training)
Alternatively, you could do full-body workouts using resistance training moves.
When done at a fast pace, they’ll take on a cardio nature.
This method of training is highly effective and helps to burn the most fat in the shortest possible time. You’ll be killing 2 birds with one stone – getting toned while burning fat.
It doesn’t get better than this.
Resistance Training burns fat and tones muscles
It’s crucial that you not adopt the mindset that only cardio can help you to burn fat.
Hours of walking or running can become tedious and boring. Furthermore, these forms of exercise will not really tone the muscles in your upper body.
The more lean muscle you have in your body, the more calories you burn while at rest, because muscle is calorically ‘expensive’ and the body needs to burn more calories to maintain your muscles.
In other words, you’ll be a fat burning machine even when you’re not exercising.
The only way to gain this benefit will be to engage in weight training and increase muscle growth.
There’s a lot of choices when it comes to resistance training
There are many different types of resistance training that range from bodyweight training to working with traditional weights to TRX cables, resistance bands and much more.
Each style has its own unique benefits and you’ll discover them once you engage in these different methods. What’s really important is that you get started.
Even if you’re overweight, you can start off with the lighter weights.
Can’t do a pull-up? No problem. Just try push-ups.
Can’t do push-ups? No worries. Just do a few dumbbell curls. It’s all about progressive overload.
Diet, Cardio, and Resistance Training for Weight Loss
When your diet is on point and you’re mixing up cardio and resistance training, you body will shed the excess fat and you will naturally get more toned.
You’ll become lighter, fitter and stronger. Now, the pull-ups and push-ups will become easier and you’ll find yourself executing them with ease.
It takes time… but if you have all the components in place, successful weight loss and the body of your dreams will be within reach in a couple of months. Stay consistent and the results will follow.