s🏃🚶 🚲 To cardio or not to cardio when you want to lose weight?
Last week I talked about how I felt doing cardio should be viewed more like movement rather than a chore from a general stand point, but today I want to focus on the topic of cardio for weight loss.
"Should I add in extra cardio to lose weight?" 😕 is a common question I get asked.
☺ Here's my perspective/my opinion:
First it's important to note, if you want to lose weight, you need to ensure you're in a calorie deficit. You can do that by slightly lowering your calories or by increasing your activity levels.
If you're caloric intake isn't low enough (or you don't like to lower your calories and you'd rather burn energy by moving) incorporating more cardio into your training sessions can help with weight loss. When you do cardio training you 🔥 burn calories right then and there, so by incorporating cardio and resistance training 💪 (which is beneficial for your metabolism), you will be on your way to lose weight, on the condition, that you're now in deficit. It's important that you don't only do cardio training and understand resistance training and a good diet 🍓 will help you maintain your metabolism, but cardio training can help you fast track/or feel more on track.
For me personally. I don't like to eat below a certain amount of calories (unless I'm just having one of those I'm not too hungry kinda days which isn't often hehe) because I am a big foodie 🍴. Therefore, I always like to eat more or less the same amount of food and I would rather put myself in a deficit by burning more calories then eating less calories. I also feel that when you're keeping your body busy, you're not thinking about food and I know I can be a bit of "I'm bored" lets eat kind of person. Knowing this about my personality is very important (and I think anyone who is tossing and turning between what they should do, should get to know themselves well). Some people eat to live while other live to eat.
Also, you do need to factor in for yourself that if you don't have the time to exercise 💻(maybe you're working alot?), you are probably better off lowering your calories as fitting in a workout may be difficult, so keep that in mind for days when you can't train (but still make sure your eating enough to keep you satisfied and you're not just be at in for out of habit/emotion), but ideally, moving is part of being human 👌 and is beneficial from a hormonal/muscular/mindset/stress relief perspective, so anyway you can incorporate regular exercise into your life is key. 😇
Wonder what type of cardio training you should do? Do the type you like. Despite all the studies of which burns more calories etc what it comes down to at the end of the day is doing the type you enjoy because you'll more likely to stick to it and it will feel natural.
I hope this was helpful and if you have any questions don't be shy to contact me.
I've been getting a lot of questions 💡 about IF.. 'Intermittent Fasting' so I thought I'd share my opinion, experience and pros/cons:
First... Intermittent Fasting is something we all do every night when we go to bed and stop eating until we wake up the next day. The only difference is that some of us continue our fast for longer than other people's. Some people like to break their fast with BREAK-FAST 🍴 as soon as they wake up, get it? Where as some people purely aren't morning eaters and enjoy eating later in the day and some people actually 'practice' the intermittent fasting diet purposely where they fast for 14-16 hours and then eat all their food within a specific window.
Now that we got out of the way, let's discuss the actual topic of 14/16 fast that people are asking me about if they should do it or don't.
Before changing any habits/diet always ask yourself will this method work with my 🏃 lifestyle? 💪 Work schedule? 👪 Personal life? I think these are very important questions to ask yourself because eating habits that you can stick to LONG term are usually the best types. One person's medicine is another person's poison so just because 'IF' works for someone, it may clash with your schedule and make you miserable. The thought of missing your morning breakfast with your kids/friends that you usually have all to stop in order to stick to a specific time frame of eating may upset you. Or it may work perfectly for you and you'll never look back because you're not a morning person and you would rather eat late. Or vice versa you eat early but then stop eating early cause you go to bed early. Or someone could be very random with their meal times and that could still work for them.
At the end of the day sticking to a routine of what works for you is the important thing. But these topics become popular and people take them in town consideration when they have weight loss goals because everyone likes to try something different when the previous method failed them. However when it comes to weight loss, people have been able to get results with IF the same way other people have got results from following a non strict eating window plan. What both of those methods had in common was a caloric deficit 👌
And the same way some people lose weight, some people don't lose weight on IF because a lot of people think this magical eating window gives them the advantage to eat everything under the sun without the possibility of putting on weight. Also IF is popular because it can help you reduce appetite which is useful for trying to lower your calories. However once you start eating, your hunger hormone unleashes and some people have trouble controlling themselves and easily overeat in that eating window. Especially if they usually prefer eating earlier and they are forcing themselves to eat later just because. So it's very relative at the end of the day, and sticking to a plan or routine of eating that will suit you is more important over the long run instead of doing something to fast track your results which if happen too quickly you may not be able to maintain.
My experience with IF, I tried 'properly' did it over the course of a few weeks and months off and on to experiment how I felt and for, almost 4 years ago, and I enjoyed it because it did help my glucose levels and I actually experienced being able to NOT eat breakfast for the first time without having an anxiety attack thinking I was going to faint. The first day was an adjustment but soon enough my body knew what to do and cope. I personally felt better doing no more than 14 hours as 16 hours and I have to admit if I didn't have ☕ coffee it wouldn't have been easy for me. However it wasn't long term sustainable not being able to have my breakfast at home if I wanted to do the morning fast which would work best for me (if I have to structure my eating windows) or a late dinner with my partner in the evening because my schedule is very all over the place sometimes. Although some days I could eat early and finish eating early but again it's relative. However what is sustainable for me is some days when my body feels full the next morning still from the night before is that I can actually extend my fast a few hours and it's just something I do for that day but not a forced routine that 'have to do' because it's the most recent talked about diet method.
So to conclude if I do it, it's usually to do for digestion purposes or if I know I'm planning a big breakfast and my ideal workout time for that specific day is in the morning so I'll train before which would makes sense, so I am not training on a full tummy. What works for me is eating healthy regularly and if I need to drop weight, being in a caloric deficit by exercise or diet combined is going to get me results regardless if I start eating from my usual 12 hour fast (ex stop eating dinner around 7-8pmish and eating breakfast around 8am-ish) or a 14/16 hour fast.
If this is something you have looked into there is a lot of noted benefits in research that I have not included and it would make it too lengthy of a post so do keep that in mind if you do wonder about hormone etc. I hope my experience may have been of use to some of you in case it was it was something that was cloudy in your mind and throughout my experience you can see how I sometimes I apply this method based on my current situation but it isn't the be and end all or the determining factor of me getting results. Do what's right for you, we all are different, just always make sure what you do, makes you happy 💜
"How much cardio should I do?" 🏃
That's a question I get asked a lot and it's very relative.
First and foremost, I am a firm believer that the human body was designed to move, not sit in an office all day everyday, drive everyday and then go home to sit on the couch because you're exhausted from all the sitting. Unfortunately a lot of us don't have a choice with work/car setting, but we can make a choice in and around those variables. Therefore if you're one of the many people that are forced to sit a lot, doing cardio for 'movement' sakes is important. We shouldn't even think of it as 'cardio' training, we should think of it as 'moving' or normal.
Now taking that into consideration, I personally enjoy 'moving' 5-6 days per week for at least 30 minutes. That may seem a lot for someone especially if they barely do any movement at all, so increasing your activity level one step a time would be ideal. Regular movement will benefit you from a hormonal perspective, weight perspective and energy perspective. If you are doing a lot of sitting and the thought of moving exhausts you, from personal experience, if you can push past the initial hurdle that's infront of you, I promise it will get easier. You will then realize how much more time and energy you do have and how easily you waste it away.
Don't let the thought of exercise stress you out, realize it's movement and your body was designed to move.