Back to Blog

The Best Form of Cardio for Fat Loss: What You Need to Know

cardio fat loss May 31, 2024

When it comes to choosing the best form of cardio for fat loss, the options can be overwhelming. Should you focus on low-intensity steady-state (LISS), steady-state cardio, or high-intensity interval training (HIIT)? Each type has its own pros and cons, but the best choice ultimately comes down to what you can sustain over the long term.

Types of Cardio: LISS, Steady-State, and HIIT

Low-Intensity Steady State (LISS):

  • Pros: Easy on the joints, great for beginners, can be done for longer durations.
  • Cons: Burns fewer calories per minute compared to higher-intensity workouts.

Steady-State Cardio:

  • Pros: Consistent pace, good for building endurance, can be easily tailored to individual fitness levels.
  • Cons: Can become monotonous, moderate calorie burn.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT):

  • Pros: Burns a lot of calories in a short time, improves cardiovascular fitness, boosts metabolism even after the workout.
  • Cons: High impact, can lead to injuries if not done properly, requires more recovery time.

Should You Run, Jog, or Jump Rope?

Running:

  • Pros: High calorie burn, improves cardiovascular fitness, can be done almost anywhere.
  • Cons: High impact on joints, can lead to injuries if done excessively, requires more recovery time.

Jogging:

  • Pros: Moderate calorie burn, less impact than running, good for building endurance.
  • Cons: Can still be hard on the joints, may become monotonous, moderate recovery time needed.

Jump Roping:

  • Pros: High calorie burn, improves coordination and agility, can be done in small spaces.
  • Cons: High impact, especially on knees and ankles, can be hard to sustain for long periods, requires good technique to avoid injury.

The Body's Natural Adaptation to Cardio

Our bodies are incredibly adaptable. When you start a new cardio routine, you might see quick results. However, as your body adapts, the same exercise burns fewer calories. This is why many people hit a plateau. Additionally, prolonged intense cardio can lead to muscle loss, which in turn slows your metabolism. A slower metabolism makes it easier to regain fat once you reduce your cardio intensity or frequency.

Sustainable Fat Loss: Lessons from a Real-Life Story

Let me share the story of a client from three years ago. She lost 40 pounds by jogging regularly. Unfortunately, she twisted her ankle and had to stop. Without her usual cardio routine, she gained back the weight and lost all motivation to start again—until she joined my coaching program.

Her story highlights a crucial point: how you lose weight is how you maintain it. If your weight loss depends on intense cardio sessions that you can't sustain long-term, the weight is likely to return once you stop.

Sustainable Solutions for Fat Loss

For sustainable fat loss, the key isn't cardio but daily movement. Think about it: what's easier for most people—walking 10,000 steps every day or doing Zumba and spin class three times a week?

More importantly, which one burns more calories and can be done every day? Walking 10,000 steps is more practical and can easily fit into most people’s routines. This doesn't mean Zumba or spin classes are bad; they are excellent additions to your physical activity. However, when it comes to sustainable fat loss, consistent daily movement trumps sporadic intense workouts.

Consistency Over Intensity

Seven days of consistent movement are better and more recoverable than three days of intense exercise. This approach leads to a steady calorie burn without putting excessive strain on your body, reducing the risk of injury and burnout.

Join Get Lifted University

For a comprehensive approach to fat loss, join Get Lifted University. We provide education, coaching, and support to help you achieve your ideal health and body. Enrollment is limited, so join the list by clicking the link below.

Join Get Lifted University

By focusing on what is enjoyable, recoverable, practical, and sustainable, you’ll find that the best form of cardio for fat loss is one you can stick with for the long haul. Consistency, paired with gradual adjustments in caloric intake, will lead you to your fitness goals.

Remember, it's not about burning the most calories in the shortest time but about making a lasting change. Sustainable fat loss is only possible with sustainable solutions. The more you know, the better you can shape your journey to a healthier you.