Many people are afraid of doing any type of strength or resistance training when losing weight, or don’t want to change their diet. Cardio alone is one of the most popular ways to lose weight, but it won’t work miracles without changes in other areas of your life. There main factors of weight loss are diet, both main types of exercise, and other lifestyle elements like getting enough sleep. Here’s why you need to do more than just cardio to lose weight.
One type of exercise won’t help
When you do only cardio for hours, your body is burning calories in the exact same way. The same muscles are worked, your body grows used to it, and it becomes less effective. This leads to the weight plateaus that many people are familiar with in the weight loss process. If you only do cardio, your body isn’t getting a chance to build certain muscles, and you will find yourself stuck.
Alternating types of exercise is a good secret for not just good athletic performance – this is why cross-training is so important for athletes – and overall body strength and health, but weight loss. Sure, power-lifting will build muscles, but you will lose fat weight when you perform strength exercises that work your core or flabby areas of your body. Doing different types of exercise will benefit you far more than focusing on one.
What you put into your body matters
You can’t just increase your workouts and expect to lose weight. Diet plays a huge role in weight loss, which is why the long-time formula for weight loss has always been “healthy diet and lots of exercise” throughout different times and cultures. If you’re stocking your body with sugars and junk food ingredients, how can you expect it to perform at its best? Maintaining the same eating habits and exercising more can work to a point, but it will stop working sooner or later.
Changing your diet to a healthy, whole-food diet with adequate nutrients and calories is crucial. Some people think that cutting back calories is what “healthy diet” means, but this isn’t even close to true. Starving your body of calories will make you gain weight or plateau. Eating enough nutrient-rich foods means your body will have energy that it’s happy to use, it won’t feel like it’s in starvation mode and adjust your metabolism to counteract the effects of exercise, and the weight loss will come.
It’s important to keep your life balanced between exercise and food. If you spend all your time on the treadmill, your body will eventually figure out what you’re trying to do and you won’t find yourself losing very much weight. Eating the wrong foods (processed, packaged foods) is just as damaging as sitting on the couch for hours.
Remember: if you’re trying to lose weight, it’s to obtain a healthy body, right? Health isn’t just about the number on the scale – it’s about making sure you’re physically active and strong, your body is getting everything it needs, and you happen to look great!