Do I have to do cardio to lose weight?
You're stepping into a gym today and most likely you will see more cardio equipment than free weights. In fact, what’s the first thing you will most likely see at the front of any gym? Cardio equipment. Additionally you just read your favorite fitness magazine or website and you noticed that the first thing you read is how cardio will help your fitness goals and aid you in dropping pounds of weight. So it’s easy to see why most people who want to lose weight immediately make the connection as to cardio being the key to weight loss.
The truth is, you can make a stronger impact in your health, daily lifestyle, hormones and weight loss goal with nutrition alone than cardio. If someone were to ask me right now, which one should I choose; cardiovascular work or improving nutrition? My answer over and over again would be nutrition. Cardiovascular work these days doesn’t even seem to be that challenging anymore. People watch T.V., play games, read etc while they are supposed to be exercising to pass the time. Eating healthy for your goals takes on the other hand, time, dedication and consistency that most don’t want to think and do and it’s easy to see why. When people think nutrition they think of the infamous word ‘DIET’. But diets don’t work. They might help you shed a few pounds here and there initially but usually people gain them back or worst gain more weight than they originally started.
So do you have to do cardio to lose weight? The answer is no. But let me explain first why cardio is good for your health. After all, what’s the most important muscle in our bodies? It’s the heart! It pumps oxygen, blood and many more essential nutrients into our system. If you don’t have a healthy cardiovascular system you could have health issues down the line. So why don’t you have to do cardio for weight loss? Because a big part of losing weight is your total calorie input versus your output. If you are eating more calories than what you are burning off than there will always be a surplus. Imagine a sponge. It’s dry. If you pour water into it, it will absorb it, however it can only absorb so much, right? After it has absorbed all it can, if you keep pouring more water than you will just spill over. In our bodies spilling becomes body-fat. You can use cardio as a resource to burn more calories and help you to be in a deficit but use nutritional primarily to get you there.
How do I know then how much I eat and when to stop? Easy. Start keeping track of your macros (carbs, fats and proteins). Using an easy app like myfitnesspal or mynetdairy start logging in what you eat and it will tell you how many calories you are consuming. If you want to take it to the next level, buy a smartwatch like a fitbit or apple watch that tell you how many calories you’ve burned in a day. It’s a smart investment that will help you create a better idea of where you are and where you want to be. It takes a little work but that’s okay! From there you know how many calories you are eating and how many you are burning. If it was easy than we would all be in incredible shape! So get up, start doing some tracking and be the person YOU want to be!