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Cardio or Strength Training: Which Helps You Lose Weight Fastest?

Cardio workouts

If you want to shed a few pounds and tone your muscles, then you might have wondered what types of exercises will help you reach those goals fastest. Should you focus on cardio workouts or strength training? As it turns out, you will get the most benefits by using a combination of the two.

Short Term Burn

Cardio workouts burn calories quickly. Jogging, kickboxing, and spinning do a lot more than just make you sweat profusely. They burn tons of calories. This is good for people trying to lose weight. As you burn calories, your body turns to the energy stored in fat cells. That quickly leads to weight-loss that can help you drop inches from your waist in a hurry.

Long Term Burn

If cardio is so great at burning calories, then what’s the point of strength training? The long-term health benefits of strength training aside, you can use these exercises to boost your metabolism. That allows you to burn more calories throughout the day. When you have a higher metabolism, you’re burning more calories at all times, even when you are just sitting in front of the television trying to relax. Strength training forces your muscles to grow so that they need more fuel. Aerobic exercise will increase your metabolism too, but not as much as lifting weights and other forms of strength training. A combination of cardio and strength training is by far the best option for anyone looking to lose weight. You can choose to stagger your workouts by concentrating on strength one day and cardio the next, or you include both types of exercise in every workout.

Eating Right:” What Does That Mean?

eating right

In short, “eating right” means moderation. It means knowing which foods do what for you and controlling your intake. Here are some facts, tips, and rules that will help you begin a healthier lifestyle.

  1. Control when you go out to eat. Make it no more than once a week (and only on special occasions would be even better). Why should you avoid restaurants? There are a ton of reasons, but a big one is portion control. When Americans go out to eat, we expect big portions. Giant pancakes with lots of bacon. Huge burritos. Plate-sized steaks with a heaping pile of mashed potatoes. These are not healthy portions. When you do go out to eat, never feel pressure to finish what’s on the plate. Take some home with you for tomorrow. Another reason to avoid restaurants is that when you cook for yourself, you control exactly what you eat. You know what fats, what veggies, and what starches went into your meal. When you go out to eat, you have no idea. A meal at Cheesecake Factory or Olive Garden is generally worse for you in terms of calories than a Big Mac or Whopper.
  2. Control your portion sizes at home. While this technically should involve researching your daily recommended serving amounts and following it (and “serving” does not mean “portion,” it means a standardized amount of the food), an easier way is to put a small amount on your plate, giving yourself more veggies and fruits than you do proteins or fats. When you’re no longer hungry, stop eating. If you’re still hungry after clearing your plate, wait five minutes. Still hungry? It’s okay to go back for more.

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