Wednesday, September 26, 2007

How Much Cadio Should I Do?

I just read an article in a fitness magazine that was titled "How to walk away the pounds".

While this particular article had good intentions, I don't think cardio (especially walking) is an effective tool for weight loss. Consider this, if you are of average weight, you would have to walk 5 miles to burn an extra 500 calories a day. Even at a fairly fast pace, it would take you about an hour to walk 5 miles. That's a lot of work just to burn 500 calories.

If you kept your calorie intake exactly the same over the course of the week, and managed to walk for an extra hour a day at a fairly fast pace, you may be able to burn of an extra pound of fat per week.

This is assuming that the amount of calories you eat over the course of a week is EXACTLY equal to the amount you need to stay at your current weight. If you were overeating even slightly during this week, then the extra walking would have even less of an effect.

7 hours of exercise for a maximum of 1 pound of fat loss is not a very efficient use of anyone's time! And, while walking 7 days a week may be possible now, think about what it might feel like during the winter months!

This is why I believe that eating for weight loss is much more effective than trying to 'sweat off' the pounds.

With the proper nutrition plan reducing the amount of calories you eat by 500 calories can be almost effortless.

I have found that the very best, most efficient way to lose weight is to combine a solid weight loss nutrition program with a resistance training program. The nutrition program helps you lose weight by creating a caloric deficit and the resistance training preserves your muscle mass and metabolic rate.

Once you have these two "pillars" in place then you can sprinkle in a little bit of extra walking, but think of this as more of a recovery exercise that helps you clear your mind and de-stress (with a bonus of being able to help burn some calories), rather than counting on it to really make 'you shed the pounds.'


PS- Typical cardio machines like treadmills have been found to over-estimate the amount of calories they burn by 15-20%, so be careful when estimating how effective these machines are at tracking your calorie burning efforts.

Is fasting for weight loss effective?

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1 comment:

Israel said...

eating is a crucial part to losing weight. many folks dont get that.