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Beaufort Fitness: Why Cardio is NOT Weight Loss

Hate to break it to you but… cardio exercise is NOT weight loss. Here’s why:

People always come to me with the belief that they just need to add more cardio when the weight loss stalls. This belief is false.


Let’s look at the facts of the cardio – weight loss relationship.

1. You can lose weight while doing cardio, but can also gain weight while doing cardio if you EAT in a SURPLUS.

2. If you are eating in a deficit, do you lose weight without cardio? YES. If you’re eating in deficit with cardio do you lose weight? YES.


If you are asking…..“But Sam. Which one should I do?!” If you have weight loss as your goal — always address your NUTRITION FIRST and add cardio as a bonus. Not the other way around. This will give you sustainable results and allow you to progress consistently.


“Hey everybody! I wanted to deliver a simple message today. My message today is cardiovascular activity or cardio as most call it, does not equal fat loss. Now I know a lot of you are thinking “What? My aunt, my sister, my cousin, my uncle, all of these people have been running and they lose weight. I see it all the time.” That is correct. That can happen. But I’m here to tell you that cardio is not fat loss in every instance. It is not where you should be putting the most of your emphasis on, especially if you are new to resistance training, if you’re new to developing a healthy lifestyle, it is not where you should be putting the majority of your emphasis cardiovascular activity does have a great health benefits to it so I’m not saying you should neglect it completely, but please often what I see is people will start out new fitness. They’re all hyped. They’re getting on the elliptical for 45 minutes. That’s not what you should be doing. That’s not a good use of your time. So I’m going to tell you right now, kind of what we need to be focusing on as you’re starting out and why cardio does not equal fat loss. 


So if we look at the equation of fat loss, we know that to lose weight, you have to be in a calorie deficit. So for example, those of you that don’t know what a calorie deficit is… If my baseline level of calories to maintain my current weight was around 2000. And if I ate anything more than 2000, that means I would gain weight. That’d be a calorie surplus, but anything less than 2000 and this has to be consistently over time. If I eat anything less than 2000, let’s say I’m consistently eating 1600. I know over time that I’m going to lose weight and that’s that’s science right there.

So if we look at the equation of cardiovascular activity, it’s very simple. You can lose weight. Yes, doing cardio and being in a calorie deficit, you can lose weight, just being in a calorie deficit. You cannot lose weight if you’re doing cardio and in a calorie surplus. So the main message here is if you’re starting out new focus on your nutrition first, put what matters first. If you’re looking for fat loss, put what matters first, your nutrition, dial that in. Know what your maintenance level of calories is, know how to go below that… and that’s going to get you fat loss, sustainable fat loss over time, far superior than cardiovascular activity alone. Well, that’s my message for today. I hope everybody has a fantastic rest of their day as always, stay strong.”

-EarthFIT Coach Sam

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