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Cardio and Fat Loss

Discussion in 'Training' started by Zillagreybeard, Oct 09, 2019.
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  • Oct 09, 2019
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Many people jump to doing a lot of extra cardio when they want to lose fat. This post is a reminder that shows why more cardio is not always better!

Cardiovascular training has many benefits. But these benefits are primarily related to your general health and endurance performance [1, 2]. When it comes to losing fat, just doing more cardio generally isn’t enough. Also, at a certain point, more cardio can be counterproductive.

Multiple studies show that cardio by itself doesn’t burn enough calories to put you in a caloric deficit for fat loss [3, 4]. Even if you try to do a ton of cardio, there’s research indicating that spontaneous activity throughout the day (NEAT) typically decreases as a compensatory response to the high-calorie burn [5].

So, dialing in your nutrition and somewhat restricting caloric intake is necessary and the basis of your fat loss phase [6]. Additional cardio can help, but it should be seen as a tool you use to increase energy expenditure, which helps you greater a larger caloric deficit.

For those seeking to look leaner and more muscular after a fat loss phase, it’s also important that your main form of exercise should is strength training. This helps with muscle retention [7].

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