So, you’re trying to lose some weight and wondering if running a few times a week or some other form of cardiovascular exercise (cardio) is the way to go. Well, we’ll be going over some of the many reasons you should do cardio as well as some additional weight loss methods you can utilize.
Aerobic exercise, also known as cardio, is excellent for overall heart well-being and endurance. It can improve circulation and lower blood pressure, reducing the risk of hypertension and other heart conditions. It also lowers the risk of Type II Diabetes. Regular cardio has a net positive effect on all of the risk factors of cardiovascular disease, and it also correlates positively with longevity and negatively with all causes of mortality. This means that cardiovascular exercise actually helps you live longer!
The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise a week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity cardiovascular exercise for adults overall. You can split this into five 30-minute sessions a week or divide it up any other way that is convenient to you. Either way, cardio greatly contributes to cardiac health, and it can help prevent a variety of different illnesses.
Can You Lose Weight with Cardio?
You can certainly lose body fat by adding cardio to your daily routine, which will expend calories and consequently burn fat. Having said that, most people find it necessary to also restrict their caloric intake along with cardio in order to effectively lose weight consistently over time. This is because it takes a loss of about 3500kcal to shed a pound of fat. This is equivalent to running a marathon at an average speed of 5mph for the average man, and while you could divide this effort over the course of a week to make it more manageable, that is still a lot of effort to lose a comparatively small amount of body fat.
For this reason, it is best to combine weekly cardiovascular exercise with other weight loss methods for maximum effectiveness. A good way to utilize cardio for weight loss is to combine it with caloric restriction in dieting and resistance training. These methods all complement one another and will result in the maximum among of fat loss possible.
Overall, cardio is an essential tool in your fat loss arsenal that you should utilize in combination with other methods to make certain you are gaining the maximum benefits possible. You should also perform regular cardio because of its numerous health and heart benefits, which far exceed the level of effort required to do them, as regular cardio can be as easy as going for a walk a few times a day!
Additional Weight Loss Methods
There are several ways to lose body fat in addition to cardio, but just about all of them require some effort and behavioral changes on your part. Some of them are cosmetic procedures that require basically no effort from you. However, dietary and behavioral changes are required to effectively maintain the results of the interventions. However, there is no reason you shouldn’t take advantage of all the resources available to you to lose body fat.
1. Diet & Exercise
The single most reliable way to lose bodyfat is through diet and exercise. Intaking fewer calories (a calorie is a unit of energy) than you are expending will put you in what is called a caloric deficit. A caloric deficit causes you to be in what is called a negative energy balance. This is a state in which you are expending more energy (in calories) than you are intaking through food. If you are in a negative energy balance/caloric deficit, you will inevitably lose body fat.
The best way to make sure you are in a caloric deficit and have a negative energy balance is to track your daily caloric intake. You would typically use your height and weight to calculate your basal metabolic rate (BMR), then multiply that by a constant representing activity level to get your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). A person’s total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) is the amount of energy (in calories) you expend every day. Eating fewer calories than this will result in the loss body fat, according to some very basic thermodynamics!
However, what’s important for you to remember is that there are plenty of online calculators that can calculate your BMR and TDEE for you. All that remains for you to do is track your daily food intake to make sure it is below your TDEE. Moreover, there are many food-tracking apps and programs designed for just this.
Sometimes mental health issues can cause weight gain and fat retention. For example, binge eating disorder is a mental disorder that can lead to obesity. Even if a formal mental disorder isn’t the culprit, many individuals gain weight or struggle to lose weight because they have an unhealthy psychological relationship with food.
Many people comfort themselves or reward themselves with food. This is where therapy comes into play. Therapy can provide a solution to the psychological relationship with food that causes weight gain and difficulty losing weight. A therapist will help you get to the root of the problem and address why you are overeating, and will consequently help you lose body fat. This can be an indispensable tool in your fat loss journey.
3. GLP-1 Agonists
These are a type of medications that can cause increased satiety and fullness when eating. GLP-1 agonist medications imitate a hormone called incretin, which is responsible for the feeling of satiety, thereby increasing fullness and decreasing hunger. This results in weight loss through caloric restriction being far easier, as the person is not as hungry and feels significantly fuller from the same quantity of food. Individuals will be less hungry and remain full for longer while on this medication, though they will still have to adjust their eating habits in order to lose body fat. However, unless the eating issue is purely psychological, this will be far easier to do, as the cravings for food and general hunger will be significantly diminished.
4. Cryolipolysis (Fat Freezing)
Fat freezing, also called cryolipolysis, is a medical procedure in which fat cells in your body are exposed to freezing temperatures in order to kill them and reduce overall body fat. This is done with the use of a cryolipolysis device, which freezes the fat cells in a specific part of your body but leaves the skin cells intact. Fat freezing is an FDA-approved medical technique, and it is typically administered in a doctor’s office or outpatient facility. The purpose of fat freezing is to cause localized fat loss around particular areas of the body for aesthetic reasons. However, there is a known complication called paradoxical adipose hyperplasia, in which the amount of fat in the area treated actually increases. For this reason, this treatment is riskier than other cosmetic interventions, such as laser lipolysis.
5. Injection Lipolysis
The procedure for injection lipolysis is relatively simple. The patient is prepared, and the chosen areas for treatment are marked off. Then a substance called deoxycholate or phosphatidylcholine, or a mixture of the two, is injected into the body fat on the chosen area subcutaneously (under the skin). Deoxycholate or phosphatidylcholine is a lipolytic agent or a chemical that causes fat cell disruption and eventually death. This results in a reduction in adipose tissue in the chosen area. This method of body sculpting, unfortunately, can have some severe side effects. Side effects include but are not limited to scarring, skin discoloration, and knots under the skin. Additionally, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) has cautioned against the use of such procedures in the past.
6. Radiofrequency Lipolysis
This cosmetic procedure involves the use of radio waves to heat fat deposits in the body until they are destroyed. The process is similar to other types of cosmetic procedures in that the patient is prepared, and the area to be treated is marked off. Then with the application of a device one centimeter from the body, radio waves are fired into the fat deposit. The radio waves pass through the skin harmlessly and then heat up the fat inside the body, eventually killing the fat cells in the treated area. This is a permanent fat loss solution, as the fat cells are dead and gone afterward. Typically, a cooling device is utilized at the same time to keep the skin at a comfortable temperature during the procedure. This procedure is relatively side effect free, with the most common side effects being redness and heating in the affected area, as well as some tissue tenderness.
7. Laser Lipolysis
This procedure, also referred to as “laser lipo,” involves the application of a low-intensity laser to the fat areas you wish to lose. Lasers can generate singular-directional light and heat to a minimal area. With laser lipo, the technician will target the cell with the laser. The laser penetrates the skin, reaches the targeted fat cells, and bores a tiny pore into the cellular membrane. In addition to creating the small hole, the laser emulsifies (melts) the lipids inside the cell, which allows them to seep through the pore.
The body’s lymphatic system then naturally disposes of the lipids. Emerald Laser by Erchonia works differently from other laser lipolysis methods. Emerald’s system uses ten 532 nanometer lasers to target fat cells. While the system allows the cells to drain, they remain intact. Other laser systems destroy the fat cells, which can lead to fatty deposits developing in other areas of the body.
Additionally, Emerald Laser is relatively painless when compared to other laser systems. Most patients don’t feel anything at all. Laser lipolysis is a minimally invasive weight loss method that targets body fat exclusively. It is innovative and relatively new. Laser lipolysis by Emerald Laser is the first FDA-approved laser lipolysis process.
Combine laser lipolysis with regular cardio to supercharge your weight loss journey! Check out Emerald Laser to find a provider near you.