Cardio, nutrition and fat loss
A good meal plan is the main requirement if you want to lose fat. What you need to do is to fine tune the calories consumed as well as balance the macro-nutrients precisely.
The first thing that most people (coming to the gym to lose fat) will do, is to attack the cardio equipment, when in fact they need to concentrate in their diet.
Cardio training without a reasonable eating plan is like a time bomb. If you do not control your diet, then aerobics is likely to increase appetite. It may even lead to the point where you don’t lose fat at all. Without control of the daily caloric content, you can easily exceed 200-400 kcal. On the other hand, a good diet alone can help you lose 4-10 lbs of fat a month.
How can cardio help you lose fat ?
Cardio can actually help to lose fat when the diet results slow down. You can gradually increase the time you spend doing aerobic workouts while you concentrate on nutrition.
For example during the first week you can add two aerobic sessions not longer than 10-15 minutes. From there you can increase the length of the sessions during week 2 to 15-20 minutes. Week 3 : you can add another 15-20 minute cardio session. Week 4 – increase the time to 20-25 minutes. Week 5 increase the time to 25-30 minutes.
When you reach a plateau, try to slightly increase the time, for about 5 minutes. See if this helps to get the ball rolling. You can either increase the time or reduce the caloric intake. Monitor your progress and if your body weight doesn’t change in two-three weeks, you need to do some change.
How to make cardio more effective ?
A good way is to combine cardio with strength training. You can add a session after your weightlifting workout or on rest days. I personally think that cardio after a weightlifting workout (when the glycogen is completely depleted) does more in terms of fat loss. You just need to take in consideration that a combination of strength training and cardio has a negative impact on strength and muscle mass.