When it comes to burning colossal amounts of calories and losing the extra weight for good, cardio exercise is the way to go. Running, cycling, swimming or any other form of cardio routine are perfect at shedding pounds, boosting your fitness level, revving up your metabolism levels through the roof, and improving your overall fitness and well-being. Nevertheless, cardio exercise is just one component of your weight loss program.
To lose weight, you need to back your cardio program with the proper diet. The reason why is simple. Weight loss happens only when you take in fewer calories than you burn off. That’s it. This is what is known as the “energy deficit“. Nonetheless, you can’t starve your way to your perfect bodyweight, especially when you’re engaging in cardio training. A certain balance must be achieved so you can get the most out of your diet and cardio training without going overboard, and thus preventing a myriad of injuries and health problems. As a result, here are few eating guidelines that can help you get the most out of your training sessions, while losing the extra weight for good!
Eat 4-5 Small Meals Each Day
Most people are instant gratification seekers, so when they start a weight loss resolution, they want to see immediate results. Therefore, most beginners make the mistake of drastically cutting on calorie intake and revving up the cardio workouts. This isn’t the best way to lose weight, both on the short and long-term. In fact, shocking your system this way forces your body to enter into starvation mode, thus hampering your metabolism and burning fewer calories per day. This usually leads to extreme fatigue and even weight gain as your body fights back to survive the “perceived famine”.
Instead, you should rev up your metabolism during the day. The best way to do that is to eat smaller portions of food, 4-5 times per day. By doing this, you constantly reset your metabolism so you’re relentlessly burning fat. Eating every three to four hours is the magical formula. Not only that, eating smaller meals will help keep your energy tanks full and ready for the cardio workout, thus you will boost your training performance and make it more enjoyable.
Cultivate Good Habits
I may sound like a broken record, but good eating habits are key to losing weight and keeping it off for good. Good eating principles are universal. There are no secrets. Nonetheless, doing cardio training requires adequate intake of high quality calories so you can ensure good performance. As a result, make sure to aim for a healthy mix of carbohydrates (complex carbs), lean protein, and fats. Eat 2-3 hours prior to exercise and immediately afterward. Post-exercise nutrition is essential for recovery and getting your body ready for the next workout.
In addition, you need to keep your body well hydrated throughout the day by drinking plenty of water even when you don’t feel thirsty. Relying on thirst as a sole indicator of dehydration is not enough. You need to keep your body well hydrated throughout the day, and replenish your fluid needs after a workout.
The above eating guidelines are simple and easy to follow. No pills. No magic bullets. Just some perseverance and self-discipline and off you go on your weight loss path. Nevertheless, don’t feel the need to follow these eating principles verbatim. Instead, use some common sense and adjust the program according to your own needs. And most importantly, take action now!