Does cardio make you lose fat? It’s obvious that yes!
But! Because, there is a …
Low intensity cardio, which you probably do as many people do to lose fat, is not the perfect training to sculpt your body.
The cardio I’m talking about in this article is cardio like running or stationary cycling at low intensity for an hour and why not reading a magazine or watching a movie.
In this article, I will explain how cardio can make you lose a little fat, but especially why it is not really effective and by what to replace it to ensure your fat loss through exercise.
How does cardio melt fat
So actually the low intensity cardio makes you lose fat, because to produce your effort you use your aerobic energy system .
Your aerobic system mainly uses your fatty acids to produce energy and so during cardio you melt your fat.
To ensure your fat loss, you must have a negative energy balance.
Specifically, you must eat fewer calories than you burn during your day.
The low intensity cardio will also slightly increase your caloric expenditure and therefore your caloric deficit and ultimately make you lose fat.
The disadvantages of cardio to lose fat
But, because yes, let’s go back to the beginning of this article.
Cardio is low-intensity, low-calorie, and is responsible for many negative factors for long-term fat loss.
Cardio does not develop your muscle mass, which does not raise your metabolism and therefore burn more calories throughout the day.
And since cardio mainly uses fat to produce energy, by doing regular cardio, you schedule your body to store fat as an energy reserve.
When endurance athletes do weight sizevital male enhancement training, along with their specific endurance training, they become stronger, but rarely increase their muscle mass.
Scientists explain this by the fact that cardio inhibits the pathways of anabolism and promotes catabolism, thus limiting muscle development.
Long repeated cardio sessions are also interpreted by your body as chronic stress.
During each cardio workout, your body will secrete the stress hormone, cortisol.
When your cortisol level is high too long, your body will store more fat and melt your muscles.
Cardio to lose fat works best for beginners
The cardio will be more effective if you are a beginner and you are not used to the effort.
When you start cardio, you burn calories during your cardio session and also during post-workout recovery.
Your body increases its ability to burn fat and switch between using carbohydrates or fat as energy.
Your sensitivity to insulin improves and your body has a better ability to store sugars in your muscles, rather than in your fat.
But that’s the beginning, because after a while your body will adapt to cardio and use oxygen and fat more efficiently to produce energy.
Your cardio workouts will then become easier and less effective at burning fat.
And if you want to continue to get the same metabolic benefits, then you will need to increase the intensity or the time of your cardio sessions.
Over time and as you progress, your cardio workouts will need more than an hour to provide visible fat loss.
This is one of the major disadvantages of cardio, to have consistent results and long-term, you must do long training sessions, almost every day.
The mistake not to commit to lose fat with cardio
A nice mistake some people make when they want to lose fat is that they tend to consume more calories around their cardio workouts.
It is a misconception to believe that when you do cardio, you need more “fuel” to your body to produce the effort.
This is true if you are a competitor and you will be running intensely over an hour, but not just to lose fat.
If you want to lose fat through cardio, you should not increase your food intake.
By respecting this, you will dig up your calorie deficit and accelerate your fat loss.
Do not worry, low-intensity cardio such as walking, jogging or cycling will not deplete your energy reserves, or cause you muscle damage.
An additional intake of carbohydrates and proteins is not necessarily necessary.
Avoid carbohydrate supplements especially if you want to lose fat.
By consuming a larger amount of carbohydrates, you will raise your insulin level.
Insulin is an anabolic hormone that inhibits the use of fat to produce energy.
On the other hand, to lose fat you must not lower your caloric consumption too much.
If you reduce your calories too much, you will lose fat, but also muscle and decrease your metabolism.
Your body will also put in place survival mechanisms and seek to eliminate everything that consumes energy like your muscles and store energy reserves like fat.
The result of the races, the slightest difference in nutrition will result in an increase in your body fat and you will end up with a body fatter and less muscular.
What to replace the cardio to lose more fat
To promote your fat loss and the maintenance or even the development of your musculature, high intensity interval training is more suitable than cardio.
Many studies show that high intensity interval training like HIIT , circuit training or Tabata is more effective for fat loss.
These trainings will also be shorter and more varied.
By performing interval training, you will burn more calories in less time than with cardio.
Depending on the intensity of your intervals and your recovery time, with these training you will be able to burn as many calories in 25 minutes, as by doing 50 to 60 minutes of cardio.
You will also have a higher energy expenditure post training, thanks to what is called the afterburn effect .
After your interval training, your body will consume more oxygen to restore its internal balance and will burn more fat during 48 hours.
With interval training, you will also have a hormonal environment post training more favorable to lose fat.
You will elevate your levels of growth hormone and testosterone , two hormones responsible for muscle growth and fat loss.
Bodybuilding is also a great way to be satisfied with your shape and physical appearance.
Strength training optimizes your lean mass, elevates your metabolism and improves your insulin sensitivity.
It also improves your hormonal balance, reduces inflammation and promotes your cardiovascular health.