This one is a natural follow-up to the previous myth.
When most people start exercising to lose weight, they choose some form of cardio, like jogging, swimming, or biking.
This is all well and good, but unfortunately, simply doing cardio guarantees little in the way of weight loss:• In fact, studies show many people wind up even heavier than when they began their cardiovascular exercise routines.
Hence the crowds of overweight people addicted to burning calories instead of getting fit.
There are two primary reasons why cardio alone doesn’t always produce significant weight loss:
- It’s too easy to eat the calories you burn.
Guess how much energy 3o minutes of vigorous running burns? For someone who weighs iso pounds, about 400 calories. And guess how easy it is to eat that right back? A handful of nuts, a bit of yogurt, and an apple does the trick. Or if you’re the more indulgent type, a measly chocolate chip cookie with a cup of milk.
My point isn’t that you shouldn’t eat nuts, yogurt, apples, or cookies when you want to lose weight, of course, but that cardiovascular exercise just doesn’t burn as much energy as we wish it did.
The energy you do burn during cardio does support your weight loss efforts, of course, but your goal isn’t to just burn calories, it’s to reduce body fat levels. And if you’re eating too much, no amount of cardio is going to get you there.
- Your body adapts to the exercise to reduce calorie expenditure.
Research shows that when in a calorie deficit, the body strives to increase energy efficiency.,. This means that, as time goes on, less and less energy is needed to continue doing the same types of workouts. This also means that you’re no longer burning as much energy as you think you are when performing the same exercise under the same conditions, which increases the likelihood of overeating and stalling out in your weight loss efforts.
Many people who experience this try to beat it with more cardio, which may raise energy expenditure enough to get the needle moving again but can also accelerate muscle loss and metabolic slowdown.
And what about weightlifting?
Well, research clearly shows that it’s an effective way to lose fat, so why is it generally associated with “bulking up” and not “slimming down”?,
The answer is simple. Weightlifting isn’t a popular way to lose weight because it’s a bad way to lose weight, but it is a fantastic way to speed up fat loss and preserve muscle.
- It’s too easy to eat the calories you burn.
A study conducted by scientists at Duke University illustrates this point perfectly, Researchers recruited 196 obese or overweight men and women ranging from 18 to 70 years old and split them into three groups:
- Group one did three one-hour resistance training workouts per week
- Group two jogged three days per week at a moderate intensity for about 45 minutes per session.
- Group three did both the resistance training and cardio workouts.
After eight months, guess which group lost the most weight?
No, it wasn’t groups one or three. It was number two, the cardio-only group. BUT! That was also the only group that lost muscle as well. And guess who lost the most fat while also gaining muscle? That’s right, group number three—the resistance training and cardio group.
In other words, adding resistance training to the cardio workouts resulted in less weight loss due to muscle gain but more fat loss due to various physiological factors .
I’m genuinely excited for you right now, because in reading this one chapter, you’ve taken your fitness knowledge to a whole new level—a level very few people, including many doctors, athletes, and even scientists, rarely achieve. And we’re just getting warmed up! In the next chapter, we’re going to analyze muscle building in the same way as we just examined fat loss.
That means it’s time to discuss the lo absolute worst muscle-building myths and mistakes that keep women from ever getting that lean, athletic body that looks as good as it performs.
- Energy balance is the relationship between energy intake (calories eaten) and output (calories burned)
- Energy balance is the basic mechanism that regulates weight gain and loss.
- If you consistently consume fewer calories than you burn, you’ll lose weight, regardless of how much carbohydrate or sugar you eat.
- If you consistently consume more calories than you burn, you’ll gain weight, even if those calories come from the “healthiest” food on earth.
- No individual food can make you fatter. Only overeating can.
- The number one reason most people “inexplicably” can’t lose weight is they’re eating too much.
- The inability to estimate calorie intake accurately is why so many people fail with diets that deal in rules and restrictions instead of hard numbers.
- There are right and wrong ways to “cheat” on your diet, and many people who struggle to lose weight do it very wrong.
- The worst type of cheat meal is one that is very high in both calories and dietary fat, which is chemically similar to body fat and thus requires very little energy for conversion into body fat (between o and 2 percent of the energy it contains).
- Research shows that high-fat meals cause more immediate fat gain than high-protein or high-carbohydrate meals.
- While alcohol itself basically can’t be stored as body fat, it blunts fat burning, which accelerates the rate at which your body stores dietary fat as body fat, and it increases the conversion of carbohydrate into body fat.
- Training your muscles burns calories and can result in muscle growth, both of which certainly can aid in fat loss, but it doesn’t directly burn the fat covering them to any significant degree.
- The metabolic decline associated with dieting, including long periods of very low-calorie dieting, ranges from less than 5 to about 15 percent
- Metabolic adaptations can persist long after weight loss has stopped, but they can also be easily reversed by raising your calories, lifting weights, and eating a high-protein diet.
- Your body responds to calorie restriction with countermeasures meant to stall weight loss, but there’s no “mode” it enters or physiological switch that flips to magically block weight loss.
- Meal frequency has no significant effects on total daily energy expenditure or weight loss.
- If you want to lose fat quickly and not muscle, then you want to include resistance training in your weight loss regimen.