One of the most compelling questions we are often confronted with:
‘Which form of workout to adopt for weight loss?’
In the battle of the fittest, who takes the trophy? Is it cardiovascular exercises or strength training? Fitness enthusiasts often contemplate about a comprehensive plan of action that would target all round fitness, while also sculpting the body. In addition to this, fitness myths surrounding both, cardio workouts and strength training regimes, further add to the confusion. While some pin their allegiance to strength training for a pumped up look, others profess their love for cardio workouts, as it is the key to losing weight. The simple formula of ‘calories in and calories out’ syncs well with Cardio, because it burns more calories than the amount consumed. This causes one to shed those extra pounds. But is it really that simple?
Cardiovascular exercises target the heart rate through high intensity exercises to burn fat for the extra energy expenditure.
This proposition of burning more calories and lose weight, sounds lucrative to a layman. But if you take a closer look, it might not be the best plan.
When the body burns fat, it does not distinguish between muscle mass and the extra stores of fat. Most likely, the body is going to burn the muscle mass to draw energy, whereas the extra fat in the body does not nudge as much. This results in a short-term & limited weight loss along with a smaller version of oneself, which is unsustainable.
Why do we say unsustainable? Simply because when we have more muscle in the body, the resting metabolism rate is higher as muscle mass burn more calories than fat. When we have less muscle mass and excess stored fat (due to excessive cardio) our body burns less calories and gradually when we decrease the cardio burnout, our body starts to gain fat & weight, both. And this time, since muscles mass has decreased, the weight increasing even more.
However, we cannot discount cardio on the basis of aforementioned facts. High intensity Interval training (http://www.inspire.fabfit.in/2016/05/23/high-intensity-interval-training-workout/) undertakes cardio moves to reach the desired results and it works like a miracle.
First things first– I need to throw some light on the myth “lift weight to look bulky”. When we talk about strength training, we are not talking about ‘yeah-I-got-muscles’ look. We are referring to , ‘yeah-I-look-toned-I-am-going-to-wear-tank-tops’ look.
With 30 minutes of weight training 3 to 4 times a week, the practitioner will not only reshape his/her body, he/she will transform the body image as well.
Recently, I lost 15 Kgs by adding strength training to my regime and I can say it with surety that I don’t look bulky. Rather, it has helped me achieve my goals.
Strength training exercises are perfect when the aim is to build lean muscles and achieve a transformed look. This is not to say, that strength training burns more calories than cardio, but it does not burn the muscle mass instead, it burns stored fat and helps build muscles & physical endurance. With increased muscle mass, our body’s resting metabolism rate shoots up and we burn more calories even when we are away from those weights & resistance bands. The bonus is, a weight loss that is stable and sustainable.
After looking at all the points above, if you want to lose weight and achieve a healthy body, it is mandatory that you opt for not just one form of workout. Both cardio or resistance training has benefits of its own & it would be unfair to say that only one form of workout is better than the other. We have to incorporate both forms for an overall achievement.
It is imperative that we take our diet into account because diet constitutes to 50% of weight loss.
The idea is to eat good fat in order to lose the bad fat. According to a study conducted by the journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, women who ate a high-fat and low-carbohydrate diet until satiated actually lost twice as much weight as compared to those who ate a restricted low-fat diet. Opt for Superfoods (link to superfood article), healthy fats, good cabs and increase the protein intake in your diet to achieve a healthy body.