OK, now that I have your attention you’ll go ahead and read the rest of this post, right? I mean what’s 5-10 minutes of your day anyhow? This post will be especially important for anyone wanting to start a new exercise routine or for someone struggling to get the results they are looking for from their current routine. My suggestion: Proceed with an open mind.
Yesterday on Twitter I went on a little rant about Cardio and the ill effects of running or doing hours of cardio every day. The response was mixed so I felt it necessary to expand on those thoughts. I pulled the “rant” from Twitter for your reference. (remember Twitter limits your posts to only 140 characters)
People, especially women, ask me all the time how I lost 110 lbs. They immediately tell me they hate to exercise and want to lose weight with diet alone.
Well ladies and gentleman that won’t help, at least long-term. It takes a very strong-willed person to lose weight by diet alone….
And in the end most of those people look just as flabby as when they started cause they do WAY TOO MUCH CARDIO and have no muscle mass….
FYI muscle eats fat. Running miles everyday will not help in building muscle. In fact it breaks muscle down. Cardio just burns calories..
And that’s it. So run less, do some weight training and eat MORE. If you don’t I guarantee you’ll be unhappy with the end result.
It’s not about being skinny but actually being fit. Two DIFFERENT things. Rant. Over.
Oh one last thing. Stop complaining about being over weight and do something about it. Complaining gets you no where.
Disclaimer: my definition of Cardio is a light walk, jog or run. I put Sprints into a HIIT category.
OK where to start? Well first off the language seems a bit harsh, hence why I wanted to expand on my thoughts. Secondly, more than likely, this goes against mainstream logic at least when it comes to what you’ve been told by friends. To most people CARDIO = WEIGHT LOSS. And to be honest, when I started losing weight, cardio is exactly what I did. Why? CAUSE TO ME CARDIO = WEIGHT LOSS. Well, that was a long time ago and I wish someone would have shown me the error of my ways. Fortunately for you, I’m here to tell you that you’re probably doing it wrong (how nice of me) and my goal is to help you get on the right track before you end up frustrated and give up all together.
I want to begin with my so-called attack on the idea that Cardio is “bad”. Well, if you go back to what I wrote you’ll see that’s not my point at all. To clarify, cardio is great and is an extremely important part of any exercise routine. What I said is that HOURS of Cardio is bad. OK, bad is probably not the right word. Let’s use instead “Not a great idea”. Why? Well that’s mainly due to the fact that cardio just burns calories and exercises the heart. Yes these are good things but it won’t boost your metabolism (the life force behind weight-loss) and long cardio sessions will actually eat your muscle, not help build it. Just do a Google search for “Long Distance Runners” and you’ll see what I’m talking about. They don’t look thin….they look almost dead. Do a Google search for “Sprinters” and the difference should shock you…or at the very least open your eyes. Lets be honest, which body type would you rather have?
Lets go back to what I said about Cardio eating your muscle. The average person who runs a mile every day eats just enough to make up for that loss in calories. Not to mention that most, if not all, the people I talk to about weight-loss are eating about 500-1000 calories LESS than they should be eating. Why? Cause the mind says:
EAT LESS – EXERCISE A LOT – LOSE WEIGHT
The average person needs at least 1200-1500 calories a day just to maintain a healthy nutrition intake, promote organ function and basically just stay alive. Sadly, most people when losing weight eat this amount, or less, AND exercise…..a lot. Meaning they are putting their body in harm’s way. If you don’t feed a plant can you still expect it to grow? And if you don’t feed that same plant do you expect it to stay healthy and/or live?
Question: If you are burning THOUSANDS of calories every day and only eating 1200 calories, how in the world can you GAIN muscle?
Answer: You can’t.
Question: If you need muscle to burn MORE calories and to boost your metabolism yet you are losing muscle every day (because you aren’t feeding it properly), how can you expect to maintain weight-loss or even lose (healthy) weight in the first place?
Answer: You can’t.
Question: Can you lose weight by diet alone?
Answer: Yes but you will gain no muscle mass and will more than likely gain it all back because your metabolism is not being boosted.
Question: Will you lose weight by eating a little but exercising a lot?
Question: Is that a healthy way to lose weight?
Answer: EMPHATICALLY NO
Honestly, 20-30 minutes of cardio a day is all you need. Combine that with weight lifting (or any muscle-building exercise), a higher calorie (+1500 a day)/ high protein diet and your body will turn into a fat loss machine. It may be slower than doing an hour of cardio daily and eating celery with cottage cheese three times a day, but in the end you’ll replace the fat with muscle which means a healthier looking you. NOT TO MENTION THAT MORE MUSCLE MEANS MORE WIEGHT LOSS.
To sum up, weight loss comes in all shapes and sizes but unfortunately most people are lied to (misled) when it comes to correct weight loss. The best thing you can do is understand that your diet is 10,000 times more important than any exercise plan.
If you have any questions feel free to leave them below or email me at LyellWalker@gmail.com