Why Can’t I Diet? – 6/7
If like the majority of regular gym users you believe that pounding away on a treadmill or ‘spinning’ till your legs can’t carry your weight is the answer to achieving your flat stomach I’m afraid you have been misled.
Cardio ( and I’m talking about LSD cardio, long steady duration ) is only part of the picture. Subjecting your body to hours a week of repetitive and often impacting stress is not helping your joints or connective tissue in any way. Sure for certain competitive sports it’s necessary but more often than not those individuals have their peripheral activities nailed down perfectly ( rest, nutrition, flexibility etc ) and to be honest if you had those elements in bed you would not need to be flattening your stomach, it already would be!!
Everyone knows a cardio junky. The person that spends hours a week pounding the pavement or who hits the gym every day often for a couple of hours. These same people can tell you countless stories of various injuries they have had. In fact most of them also often look older than their years, as if they’ve ‘had a hard life’. This is as a result of not least the stress the body is constantly put under. Chronic cardio can ‘age’ the body.
In addition this stress the body is put under can increase the levels of certain hormones, some of which are actually fat storage hormones so it can in effect be counterproductive. For the record though I am NOT saying cardio makes you fat, thats just ridiculous!
LSD does serve a purpose, your heart and cardiovascular system does of course improve and it’s a great way to bang out some tunes on your iPod. I’m not saying ‘don’t’ do it, just do it in moderation, but not if you are doing it for fat loss.
If fat loss is your goal, and a quicker bite at the ‘fitness’ apple then HIIT is the only way to go. High Intensity Interval Training is the perfect fat loss workout and will flatten your stomach in half the time without spending hours in the gym and subjecting your body to unnecessary stresses. It’s why members of The Switch Plan do it, for a maximum of 30 minutes at a time!
On a side note though, everyone will tell you that weight training is great for fat loss because it builds more muscle and muscle burns more calories than fat. This is very true indeed and they are right to a degree. Lifting weights will improve your appearance, muscle condition, strength and posture. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate, the more food you can eat without putting weight on etc etc BUT from a purely dieting and fat loss perspective….
Muscle burns on average 7-10 calories per pound per day.
AT MOST, you could expect to gain around 20lb of muscle in a year from SERIOUS, 3 or 4 times a week heavy lifting with great nutrition.
So after a year you could be burning an extra 200 calories a day from having added extra muscle
It’s not worth it if your current goal is purely fat loss, It’s not even 2 slices of bread. Stick to HIIT training, when you have lost your fat THEN engage on a properly constructed weight lifting program, not before.