Is Chronic Cardio Making You Fat? (2021)

Is Chronic Cardio Making You Fat? From sweaty spin class to sprinting on the treadmill at lunchtime, these grueling (and sometimes boring) workouts are tough. But, they burn a substantial amount of calories.

After working in various gyms and watching active people commit suicide on cardio machines to no avail, I had to ask myself, “Can cardio make you fat?” So, I did a research marathon to find the solution.

Can cardio make you fat? No, cardio is not fattening. If you are gaining fat, it is because you consume more energy than you burn. You will lose fat if you are honest and push yourself with cardio, eating a healthy diet, incorporating strength training, and not thinking that you can simply eat more to “make up for the calories you burned.”

As you will say, it is crucial to know that certain situations or habits that you are doing during or in conjunction with your cardio can increase the likelihood of gaining body fat.

Let’s dig deeper to learn about cardio and therefore the effect it has on our weight.

Can Cardio Make You Fat: 5 Things to Consider 

Is Chronic Cardio Making You Fat? (2021)
Article: Is Chronic Cardio Making You Fat? (2021)

Cardio cannot make you notice weight or fat directly.

According to Mayoclinic, the way you eat and drink, as well as your level of physical activity, are factors that ultimately determine your weight.

This is also affected by your metabolism, the method by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy.

Your metabolism includes the energy needed to try to perform daily functions such as breathing, circulation, hormone production, and cell growth and repair. In addition, it can burn energy through the process of digestion and breakdown of food. Then burn energy through physical activity.

Certain factors influence the way your body stores energy. This includes how and what you eat, the balance of the exercise you do, and the way you exercise.

If you are not losing weight while doing cardio, then you will want to think about the following 5 factors.

Nutrition Is Key

Is Chronic Cardio Making You Fat? (2021) Nutrition Is Key
Article: Is Chronic Cardio Making You Fat? (2021)

According to research and wellness professionals, reducing the total calorie intake is a crucial weight loss technique that can be applied to a variety of diets. Weight reduction and repair can be achieved by reducing energy mass, according to clinical trials.

If your goal is to lose or maintain your weight, you will specialize in reducing the energy density of foods, controlling your portions, and improving the quality of your diet.

What is energy density?

The sum of energy (calories) per gram of food is known as energy density. Calories per gram are lower than foods with a lower energy density. So, whether you’re trying to shed or retain weight, you’ll be able to eat filling meals that are low in calories.

For example, 1 cup of broccoli has around 30 calories, compared to fat which has around 1,900 calories per cup.

It’s not to say you should simply avoid oil, but it helps to understand which foods are best with careful and controlled portions.

Related Article: Inspect What 3 Pro Bodybuilders Do For Cardio

What about portion size and control?

Portion control consists of managing the proportion you consume in order to obtain the serving sizes recommended by food authorities such as ChooseMyPlate.

Some tips for managing your portions include using smaller dinnerware, using measuring utensils or perhaps your hands as portion guides, and posing for half portions or packaged doggie bags before eating.

What about diet quality?

What you eat has a tremendous impact on the composition and health of your body. To improve the quality of your diet, believe in whole foods. This includes fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, vegetable fats, and healthy sources of protein.

The lowest quality foods are processed or packaged people. they tend to incorporate more sugar, preservatives like salt, and unhealthy fats. They also tend to be high in calories and not very satisfying, which means more cravings and more eating.

But make sure to eat enough…

It may come as a surprise, but once you don’t eat enough, especially while doing cardio, it can prevent you from losing weight. It can even be dangerous.

Let me explain more.

To maintain your muscles, you would like to eat enough food.

Think of it this way: your body is meant to keep you from starving. If you “fight” it by restricting calories in an excessive and interesting amount in an excessive amount of cardio, your body will slow your metabolism to catch up with this. Slow metabolism is not something you would like.

Therefore, you would like to make sure you eat fewer calories than you burn to cut down. But not so much where you starve yourself all the time.

Not sure what ratio you need? check out our article on how to calculate your calories for weight loss.

Incorporate Resistance Training

Is Chronic Cardio Making You Fat? (2021) Incorporate Resistance Training
Article: Is Chronic Cardio Making You Fat? (2021)

There are many reasons why people can avoid resistance training, but one of the common myths is that cardio burns tons more calories than resistance training.

This is not true.

Cardio offers you a quick burn of calories which is typically what you burn during a weight training session.

Resistance preparation, on the other hand, has been seen to have a greater effect during the day. This means you’ll keep burning calories during the day while the body repairs muscle tissue. Muscle also burns more calories when at rest than other tissues like fat.

As a result, weight lifting is easier to do than exercise when it comes to gaining strength and dropping weight.

Diabetes Strong explains that when you are losing weight just by doing cardio, you generally lose fat and muscle. If resistance training is not part of your exercise routine, it will potentially slow down your metabolism thanks to the loss of lean muscle mass. This is often more likely to happen if you also restrict calories.

Learn more about resistance training with examples here: Strength Training Versus Weight Training: What’s the Difference?

If you’re trying to find a custom exercise program that supports your experience level and goals, check out Fitbod. You will get 3 free workouts by downloading the application HERE.

Workouts that are easy do not guarantee results.

Is Chronic Cardio Making You Fat? (2021)
Article: Is Chronic Cardio Making You Fat? (2021)

How many times have you seen someone expend more energy moving their phone screen than understanding at the gym?

Going too easy can also mean that you just do an equivalent workout over and over again. Your body will really adapt to the exercise you are doing, which can cause a plateau. If you want to know the results, specialize in changing one or more elements of the F.I.T.T. Start every few months.

What is the F.T.T.T Principle?

F.I.T.T stands for Frequency, Intensity, Time, and Type. This is often a really important concept that applies to any type of successful exercise routine.

  • Frequency: how often you exercise
  • Intensity: How hard you exercise
  • Time: how long are you active
  • Type: the kind of workout you’re doing.

In an American College of Medicine article, author Grace DeSimone describes when people follow the F.I.T.T. beginning throughout life, they maintain their weight over the years and may “not regain” the weight they have already lost (instead of regaining).

This is what the American College of Medicine recommends as a goal for a F.I.T.T. Program:

  • Cardiovascular: 
    • Frequency: 3-5 times per week
    • Intensity: 60%-85% of your maximum heart rate
    • Time: 20-60 minutes
    • Type: Cardiovascular 
  • Strength: 
    • Frequency: Minimum of 2 times per week 
    • Intensity: 70%-80% of your one-rep maximum 
    • Time: 8-10 reps per exercise and 1-3 sets
    • Type: Strength 

This uses F.I.T.T principles to design workouts supported by your logged training. It will offer you cardio and weight training workouts that progress over time.

You’re Going Too Hard

Is Chronic Cardio Making You Fat? (2021) You’re Going Too Hard
Article: Is Chronic Cardio Making You Fat? (2021)

Too honest is often bad for you.

Especially once you start a replacement workout routine, you’ll want to spend hours in the gym. He is excited to hear the results. However, overtraining is often detrimental to health and even leads to weight gain.

While exercise is extremely healthy, too much can actually put stress on the body.

Overtraining happens once you push yourself too hard, too often, or don’t take the time to recover. This will increase inflammation also due to the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol can cause fatigue and weight gain, especially around the abdomen.

Exercising excessively can also cause excess inflammation in your body. There is a growing body of research confirming the association between inflammation and obesity.

If you fall into this category, you must be honest with yourself.

If you’ve been doing hours of cardio, with no rest days in between, you can schedule a shock or some recovery protocols in your educational program.

You’re either sabotaging yourself or compensating for it.

Have you ever had a spectacular morning workout and then “indulged” yourself with brunch, a buffet lunch, a cookie for a snack, and a frozen dessert for dinner? Yes, we too.

Studies show that weight loss as a result of an exercise intervention tends to be less than expected. This is often in part because we tend to compensate by increasing our food intake.

Many people also greatly overestimate the percentage of calories they burn by understanding.

A study in the Journal of Medicine and Fitness found that people tend to estimate that their calorie burn is three to four times greater than what they actually burn. And once they were asked to regain what they had lost through exercise, they ate twice as many calories as they burned.

Just because you burn calories through cardio doesn’t qualify you to overeat. Remember the principles I mentioned earlier: energy density, portion control, and food quality.

How to Begin a Cardio Exercise Program

Article: Is Chronic Cardio Making You Fat? (2021)

Now that you simply know the benefits of cardiovascular exercise and what to think about in terms of how it affects your weight, let’s discuss how to incorporate it into your daily routine.

When it comes to cardio or any exercise, if you are telling yourself you don’t have time, consider doing about every day.

Incorporate It Into Your Everyday Life

Find ways to incorporate it into your day. Let’s say as an example that you are interested in compulsively watching Netflix once you get home.

Can you find an exercise bike to ride while you watch?

Or maybe you’re taking the elevator at work. Can you try the steps instead?

Do you drive to work? Can you park further away and get an extra step to get in?

Everything Helps!

Doing Cardio Outdoors

The trick is to consider what is available to you and what you will really be motivated to try.

For example, do you have access to being outdoors and you love the texture of the fresh air on your face or watching the trees go by? Maybe you start riding your bike to find out.

Or maybe you like to walk and can go for a long walk on the weekend.

They are all excellent sources of cardio.

Doing Cardio at the Gym

If you want to hit the gym, there is almost always access to treadmills and exercise bikes.

Most even have elliptical machines, rowing machines, stair climbers, and rowing machines.

Don’t know or don’t feel safe using them? Ask one of the gym employees or download the and get a step-by-step guide through your workout.

Working Out at Home

Workouts at home are one of the fastest and easiest. and profitable ways to boost some cardio.

Cardiovascular exercises at home include fitness apps, video instructions, online exercises, or those you can do on your own, such as jogging on the spot, jumping, jumping rope, or dancing.

In the , you will select your available gear and therefore the workouts will only use what you have.

Final Thoughts 

Cardio does not make you fat directly. Most importantly, you specialize in a healthy diet and active lifestyle that promotes the correct balance of calories for your body.

However, some factors that will make it easier for your body to retain fat include what you eat, how easy or difficult your workout is, and whether you are being honest with yourself when it comes to compensating for the calories burned.

Find a routine that isn’t extreme (too easy or too difficult) and balance it out with resistance training.

The most important thing is to find a cardiovascular exercise that you simply like and that is accessible to you. The more you enjoy it, the more motivated you will be on your way to the finish line.

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