Is Cardio really making you fat? It very well could be if you are doing moderate to high intensity cardio. Watch the video or keep on reading to learn why.
Why Cardio Makes You Gain Weight
When you do moderate to high intensity cardio, your body is operating above the aerobic level. The aerobic level is the level at which your body can provide the energy needed from fat metabolism. When you get above this level of output, your body must tap into the glycogen reserves located in your muscles and liver.
The problem with this is what happens after the workout. Your body wants those glycogen reserves back and it will do anything to get them, including making you very hungry. If you have ever had your appetite spike an hour after doing cardio, you gt what it feels like.
So, while that high intensity cardio burns a lot of calories, it has the potential to cause your appetite to spike to such a degree that you eat more than you burned. Burn 400 calories by doing 30 minutes of treadmill running and then break down and order a burger for lunch. The math does not add up for weight loss.
What You Should Be Doing
If your goal is weight loss, you should be doing low intensity exercise where your body can aerobically keep up with the energy demands. You can tell that you are at this level when you are comfortably able to hold a conversation while you work out. If you are winded, slow it down.
The benefit to working out with low intensity cardio is that you get the extra calorie burn that you are looking for without triggering your body to panic and make you hungry. Will you burn 500 calories in a single workout? No, but you will also not have the intense cravings that cause you to not only eat more than you burn but also to give up on your weight loss goals.
Slow and steady for the win.