4 Reasons Why Cardio Might be Hurting Your Fat Loss and Muscle Gains

by DailyHealthPost

cardio hurt fat loss and muscle gain

1. For fat loss, cardio is poor time investment and generally not the best idea.

Fat loss breaks down to energy intake versus energy expenditure. Eating less or moving more is the secret sauce to success.

Half an hour to an hour of steady state cardio might burn off a meager 200-300 calories while simply not eating those calories would be much easier.

Seriously, one of the best decisions you will ever make could be stepping off that treadmill. Saying no to long cardio sessions. And focusing that hour a day on getting your diet nearly perfect. Think of how many vegetables you could chop, chicken breasts you could marinate, or how many meals you could plan in that time.

Eating at a deficit is much more sustainable in the long term because you can always find the time to not overeat while it’s not always easy to find the time for a cardio session.

cardio hurt fat loss and muscle gain

2. The fat burning zone is dead and out of context.

When you spend 30-60 minutes chugging away on the elliptical you are actually sending powerful messages to your body to start storing fat instead of burning it.


When you do cardio, your body suppresses a hormone, called T3, to adapt to the stress. It essentially holds onto the fat even tighter because of the added stress from cardio. Our body’s auto react to this stress from cardio because we need fat to function.

If you must do cardio, use some form of interval training like HIIT instead.

3. While cardio will help you lose some fat, you will also lose plenty of muscle.

Although aerobic exercisers lose more weight doing cardio, a good portion of it will also be muscle. A short term strategy for losing fat might have some cardio in it, but if you really wanted to get fit you should incorporate some strength training into your workout.

Weight lifting will help you lose fat and gain a little muscle while doing so. Muscle will give you a more sculpted look. While losing fat and muscle will give you more of a sickly look.

Cardio has many health benefits, it is hard to argue that point. But nearly every health related benefit you get from cardio can be achieved through some serious weight lifting.

4. Cardio will also hinder your appetite suppression throughout the day.

You will actually feel hungrier. Your body will begin to crave carbohydrates, sugar, and salty foods. It wants to replenish some of the fluids and energy it lost so it will send signals to you to eat more. Which could make dieting even harder.

Some of the most successful diets and routines out there use little to no cardio at all. Cardio is best used as a warm up tool or for leisure sports and activities.

Weight lifting can yield some pretty amazing results when done consistently. You won’t experience the same fatigue as with cardio and you will be able to control your appetite much easier.

There are only two exceptions for using cardio as a fat loss tool:

  • Small women (for size reasons aren’t suitable for much food to meet a caloric deficit on a day to day basis) who want to eat larger meals.
  • Remarkably lean people trying to get persistent fat off themselves.

So unless you fall under those categories, you should consider tossing your cardio equipment into the yard sale. Get back into the gym and start some weight training routine. Use that free time to focus on your diet.

Related: High Intensity Endurance Workouts Could Damage Your Heart

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