Is Cardio Necessary For Burning Fat?

The first thing that comes to mind when we think of fat loss is engaging in a regular cardio exercise such as treadmill workouts. But the fact is doing cardio is not the be-all and end-all of shedding body fat.

The key to losing body fat is to expend more energy than usual and maintain a calorie deficit diet plan.

This means finding an exercise where you can apply progressive overload, eating a balanced, protein-based diet and consuming less carbohydrates. 

It also helps to have a better understanding of energy metabolism, energy balance and our body’s response to exercise. 


Energy Expenditure 

Another factor to learn is energy expenditure. Our body runs on calories, which act as our body’s fuel. Our calorie intake would determine if we’re going to gain or lose body fat and weight.

Exercising regularly helps with energy expenditure because it entails moving our body. 

Think of yourself as a car. Your car consumes gas and, with constant use, you would  eventually need to refuel to run it again.

Energy expenditure, exercising and a calorie deficit have similar dynamics. The more calories you burn and the less calories you take— combined with proper exercise— the more you lose body fat and weight.


Proper Diet

Whether you’re doing cardio or weightlifting to lose body fat and weight, it’s important to remember that we expend energy differently. For example, a construction worker uses more body energy than an office worker because of the nature of their respective jobs. 

Thus, each of us should have different and  unique body fat and  weight loss diet plans. 

A proper diet also makes a difference. Many people wrongly associate dieting with starving oneself to lose fat. But this is a big no-no.

The healthy approach is to count your calories based on your energy expenditure and exercise routine; and from there, create a proper diet plan. Fitness applications such as MyFitnessPal can help monitor your progress.

Energy expenditure, proper diet and exercise are key to losing fat and losing weight.


So Why Do Cardio?

So why do cardio at all if it’s not necessary for losing fat? It’s because cardio is still important! A cardio workout is vital to maintaining a healthy heart and helping improve our blood pressure, mood and overall health.

We need to fully grasp the fundamentals of energy expenditure for us to not exclusively depend on cardio exercise. But while cardio may not be necessary for fat loss, it remains relevant to our overall weight loss efforts. 

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