Author: Sorting Last Post on Top Message:
12/2/09 1:06 P

you can loose a bit of weight doing only cardio.
you cannot keep weight off by only doing cardio.
your body get use to things very easy thats the great things about our bodies and things get easier, its very quiet interesting.
if you do a workout and do your cardio after you will loose alot more weight.
also you need to eat right. you dont have to diet, jsut watch your intake of carbs and fat.

you burn alot more calories by working rather then cardio, both together work very well.

NIKI778 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (22,873)
Posts: 1,630
12/2/09 12:58 P

Deb summed things up pretty well, there is just one thing that I disagree with, the calorie burn from cardio not really being that big a difference to your overall calorie burn, and thus not as important for weight loss here is why

It takes a calorie deficit of 3500 calories to lose 1 lb of fat, so if you want to lose 1 lb a week that means you need to take in or burn 500 less calories a day than the amount required by your body to maintain your current weight. Which means that if you burn 300 calories a day you only need to eat 200 calories less than what your body needs to maintain your current weight.

Here is a formula to determine your body's current daily calorie needs:

Harris Benedict Formula
To determine your total daily calorie needs, multiply your BMR by the appropriate activity factor, as follows:
*If you are sedentary(little or no exercise): Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.2

*If you are lightly active(light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week): Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.375

*If you are moderately active(moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week): Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.55

*If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week): Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.725

*If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training): Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.9

BMR Formula:
English BMR Formula
Women: BMR = 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) - ( 4.7 x age in years )

Men: BMR = 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) - ( 6.8 x age in year )

I workout with both cardio and weights, (all my workouts are done at home with exercise DVDs) I do a lot of circuit training type workouts which alternate between cardio interval and four limb strength training moves which keep your heart rate up while you are doing them. I like because I can get the benefits of both type of workouts at 1 time.

I burn around 1800 cals a week with workouts so that I can eat more food. I like to eat, so far this method has worked great for me I am down 20lbs in 3.5 months and happy with that rate of weight loss.

Edited by: NIKI778 at: 12/2/2009 (13:00)
VHALKYRIE Posts: 2,214
12/2/09 12:39 P

The holy trinity of weight loss: nutrition, strength training and cardio. You cannot lose weight without doing all three, and keep it off.

I've seen guys who weight train all day who have a good bit of body fat. Think sumo wrestler. A sumo wrestler could pick up a truck along with any ironman. They have a lot of muscle, and a lot of body fat. Strength training alone will not make you lose weight.

I've seen girls who spend hours and hours on the treadmills. Month in, month out, they have exactly the same body fat.

I've seen people lose weight from crash diets without exercising. They lose weight, then it all comes back as fast as they lost it, and then some. With all the lean mass they lost during the first round, it becomes harder to lose it again. Doing the same crash diet again, it doesn't work the next time around, and they're baffled.

Do all three. None alone will work. None alone will keep it off. None is more important than the other. They all have to be balanced.

Edited by: VHALKYRIE at: 12/2/2009 (12:46)
AMY69ROSE666 Posts: 324
12/2/09 12:16 P

Thank you for posting this, I wondered myself. I was certain you needed both but I wasn't sure which was more important. But I know now. Thank you!

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
12/2/09 12:14 P

1) So just do it. :) You know what to do, and how.

2) Do not use diet versions of things you enjoy. I find when I do that, it doesn't satisfy the craving because the diet versions are universally awful, so I end up having the full version within a day or two as well, anyway. Just aim for moderation in frequency - yes I can have that "if I really want it" and "not every day".

3) Those people have quite a big misconception about how it works. This could get complicated ...

Strenth training will burn fat. Strength training is not a big fat burner in the act of doing strength training. It doesn't burn many calories. But increasing your lean muscle mass (or minimising its loss) helps to increase your BMR - what you're burning every day merely by existing. Muscle is expensive on the body, it takes a lot of energy (calories) just to own it, just to keep it there day by day. So the more lean muscle you have, the more calories you are burning every day without lifting a finger.

However, cardio directly burns fat while you're doing it. So people think that's the key to fat burning.

But you burn about 1600 or so calories a day, maybe a bit more, just by BMR plus your daily activity. Just by moving around and so on. Is 300 more through cardio going to make that much difference? In general, the amount of calories you can burn doing cardio is pretty minimal in comparison to what you're burning all day by existing. So it makes some sense to increase that BMR rather than spend hours in the gym directly burning calories.

Last word on it - food is the most important thing. It doesn't matter if you increase your BMR or you burn a lot in the gym if you're going to over eat. It's often easier to create some of your calorie deficit through dietary choices rather than directly burning more calories at the gym. Eg, you can save a whopping 600 or so calories by not having a big mac. It takes over an hour to burn that.

So all are still very much important - all three are absolutely necessary. But no, it's not true that only cardio will burn away your existing fat.

All are essential. You're already working on cardio, but it would definitely be beneficial to your general health and fitness goals, your bone density, your lean muscle mass, and your weight loss goals, to include some strength training as well as what you're already doing.

As for timing of eating - that's another myth. Eating late may induce heartburn or interfere with your sleep patterns, in which case you should avoid it. But if it doesn't do that, there's no dietary reason not to eat late at night. Especially when you consider your bedtime is more like 1am anyway - which would make 9pm a perfectly sensible time for dinner. Could you imagine not eating after 7pm - that's for six hours solid before you go to bed?

Eat dinner after your gym visit. As long as your daily calories are in range and you're not tempted by the time of night to indulge in unhealthful foods, there's absolutely no weight loss reason whatsoever not to eat at any time on the clock.

12/2/09 11:48 A

Thanks everyone for your replies so far. I've enjoyed reading them....I'd like to reply to a few of the points.

1.) I know that lifting won't make me look like a body builder haha. I don't understand why so many women have that misconception. I used to lift at my previous gym, and to be honest, I definitely saw the benefits. I felt myself getting stronger, and I saw a difference on the scale (a little). I'm not really sure why I have a mental block against using the machines at my new gym. I think it's just that I was so used to my old workout, that starting a "new" one is scary.

2.) I dont really want to turn into a calorie counter, but I think I could better use my common sense as to what I'm putting in. Of course the chips/cakes taste way better, but they are doing nothing for me. What does everyone eat in replacement of your old comfort foods? I know you don't have to 100% cut any one thing out, moderation as they say, but if you're a chronic junk eater, what did you replace the junk with? Fruit? Veggies? Nuts? Low fat versions of the same junk? (which we all know just means more sugar).

2.) People are saying cardio won't help me lose weight. Ok, then why is it that I was always told that you have to do cardio to burn off existing fat? I was told that building muscle is great, and it will in turn boost your metabolism which will take care of the calories youre taking in, but wont do anything for your existing fat. I was told this was one of the reasons cardio was necessary. So, was that all a lie, or are we miscommunicating here?

I want to be healthy. I want to be able to walk up flights of stairs and not get winded. Heck I want to be able to walk where ever and not get winded. At this point, I know my cholestrol is high, and i could stand to lose about 40-50lbs. (i'm 5'4" and weigh about 190 right now). I Just want to be more active. Before I started the gym, i'd come home from work and just sit around all night and eat crap and then go to bed.

Oh, another concern I do have though now with my new lifestyle is dealing with eating dinner. I work an hour from my home. I workout near my job and then i drive the hour back home. I work later hours, so I get to the gym around 7pm and dont end up getting to my home until 9pm or so, which means i'm eating dinner at like 930pm. I don't go to bed until around 1am, but still, eating that late is supposedly bad (i think you're not supposed to eat within 3 hours of bedtime). How does everyone combat their schedule? There's no chance of me eating dinner before going to the gym, because then i'd end up with something bad for me. I try to eat an apple or something before going to the gym to stave off hunger for the workout, but by the time i'm home, i'm quite hungry from all the activity. Any suggestions?

Again, thanks to everyone who has replied to this thread so far, I appreciate it and enjoy reading everyones experiences with their weight loss journey!

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (199,929)
Fitness Minutes: (298,868)
Posts: 27,309
12/2/09 10:29 A

Coach Nancy and Unident are both spot on. Yes, it's important to do some cardiovascular exercise to keep our hearts strong and healthy. BUT, you don't want to neglect your strength. If you lose "weight" just by dieting and cardio, not only will you lose fat, but you'll lose muscle too. that's bad. Losing muscle is the worst thing you can do for your body. Losing muscle can make you fatter than when you started to lose.

As women age, we are at risk for osteoporosis if we don't do some type of strength training. So, in order to decrease the risk of osteoporosis as well as increase our metabolism, we need to increase our lean muscle.

Muscle is metabolic. Muscle burns fat. the more lean muscle you carry, the more efficient your body will be at burning fat. Also, when you do some strength training, not only do you increase your lean muscle, but you increase your bone density too. That's how we decrease our risk for osteoporosis i.e. by increasing our bone density.

Cardio will not increasing bone density unless you're doing a weight bearing exercise like walking.

Strength training can change your body more than just doing cardio. You do need the TRIADE to lose weight and be healthy.

You must eat right. Good nutrition is what takes the weight off and keeps it off. It doesn't matter how much you exercise. if you're not eating right, the weight won't come off. You'll be fitter, but you won't be scale lighter.

Eat right, watch your portions and get some regular exercise that includes some strength training. Don't be afraid to strength train. You will not look like a body builder if you do. All women regardless of age can benefit from a good strength training program.

Shoot, my 80 something year old aunty is working with resistance bands. I know, I bought them for her. If my 80 year old aunty believes in the benefits of strength training, you should too.

Edited by: ARCHIMEDESII at: 12/2/2009 (10:30)
ROOBOY0000 Posts: 513
12/2/09 9:44 A

I have lost quite a bit of weight doing only cardio workouts. But I have now added weights and stretching to my routine because of a desire to improve in the sports I participate in. If this extra work leads to more weight loss all the better.


REALBLONDE474 Posts: 220
12/2/09 8:27 A

I am not certain about all of the chemistry but I can tell you from personal experience that Cardio takes weight off of me faster than strength training. It also helps with my stress and reduces my hunger. But you can only redefine your body with strength training exercises and it will help to another level in your fitness...

SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
Posts: 46,222
12/2/09 7:55 A

I don't like to say one is less effective than the other, because they all play a role in helping us embrace a healthy lifestyle.

Cardio, strength training, flexibility and a healthy diet all help us lose weight and keep us healthy. Cardio does help one burn calories, but more importantly it truly changes your body. It makes your heart bigger and stronger, increases your capillary network, helps with insulin sensitivity, increases VO2 max, etc.


12/2/09 3:07 A

"Cardio is, therefore, the least effective way to attempt to lose weight."

Wait, is this true? I've always heard that behind a healthy diet, cardio is more effective than weight training for weight loss.

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
12/1/09 11:33 P

You can lose weight on cardio only, but only really because losing weight is more about food than about any exercise at all.

The heirarchy for affect on weight loss goes:

1. Diet.
2. Strength work
3. Cardio.

Cardio is, therefore, the least effective way to attempt to lose weight. Most effective is watching your diet, and if you can toss in some good quality weight lifting you'll do more for your goals than doing cardio will.

Cardio keeps your heart strong and is great for all-round fitness, but it won't make you lose weight.

Burning fat but gaining muscle? No. Nothing you've described is likely to be building muscle on you. Only strength work does that, and generally speaking anyone on a reduced calorie diet is losing muscle, not gaining it. We do ST to try to minimise muscle loss, not create muscle gain.

I would suggest that your current diet/exercise routine supports your current weight. If you want a different weight, you'll have to change something. Do you track your food? Track your food and see how you go with the Spark recomended ranges for your goals.

SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
Posts: 46,222
12/1/09 11:11 P


It's been stated that 80% of our weight loss comes from tracking our calories, so do not underestimate the need to follow a healthy diet of lean proteins, healthy fats, and carbs.

You may try upping your cardio to 4-5 days a week. Remember the goal of the body is to always move to a state of homeostasis or balance, therefore you must always be overloading your system to keep you moving in the right direction.

I hope this helps!

LOOSEINGIT Posts: 4,078
12/1/09 10:58 P

I dont have excess to a gym, I walk or hike everyday, and have since I started taking SP serious.
It works for me.
Sorry I dont think this is the answer you are looing for. I'm sure someone out there will have an answer for you.

Happy Journey emoticon

12/1/09 10:37 P

I've recently rejoined the land of the gym. I've been going to the gym 3 days a week, and I generally do about 40 minutes of cardio while there, except for when I do a class which is 1 hour. So far, the scale hasn't moved has moved up. And this is after losing weight after an active vacation overseas. (lost 5lbs and it all came back once my "real life" set in).

So, I used to do the weight machines at my old gym, but the machines here are a little different and I'd been focusing on burning calories to get rid of existing fat.

Now, I'm it possible that I am burning fat but gaining muscle and therefore not seeing any loss? Is it possible that only cardio will no make my weight dimish?

My diet still lacks a ton to be desired, but to be honest, hasn't changed from other times I've worked out and lost weight, so I'm not sure what to attribute this lack of movement to. If anything, i've felt more motivated and focused in terms of going to the gym, because I started going with people instead of alone, so I feel more accountable.

Is it possible I'm just at a weird plateau and I'll break free? Or is all my effort futile and I should just not bother? (ok i know that's not the way to go but, that's how i feel right now, very uinmotivating.)

Can anyone relate to my story? Share your experiences. Maybe help me know it's not only me, and I will start seeing results if i keep with it?

Sigh. I feel, defeated.

Page: 1 of (1)  

Other Fitness and Exercise Topics:

Topics: Last Post:
Can't do piyo due to tendinitis - help! 2/27/2017 3:53:18 PM
Adjusting Kcals 9/6/2016 5:40:23 AM
no loss around hips? 10/8/2016 6:53:50 PM
Down to Goal Weight but Still Skinny Fat 7/21/2016 8:42:21 AM
Country Heat - Beach - tracking 8/17/2016 1:57:58 PM