Many people are asking, “what exercise should I do to lose weight/burn fat?” This, believe it or not, is a complex question. The type of cardio you chose to do depends on your current state of health, the time you have, and your long-term goal.
Steady State Cardio:
Steady-state cardio is the traditional low-intensity cardio we all know. It consists of a consistent low-impact movement over a lengthy period, such as walking or jogging for 60 minutes. It is great for those who may not be physically capable of doing intense workouts or may have any heart issues as it is great for improving the cardiovascular system as well as releasing stress from your body. When choosing steady-state cardio, your body will fuel itself by burning fat, but only while in this aerobic state. Once you stop, fat mobilization, which causes fat to burn, ceases.
High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is when you move as fast as possible for a short period, and then take a short break. This 2-step cycle repeats itself until you stop. For example, you may choose to sprint for 30 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, and repeat for 15 to 30 minutes. HIIT is a great way to burn fat quickly. HIIT requires the body to fuel itself from carbohydrates, as opposed to fat, during the workout. However, once you complete your HIIT workout, your body will no longer look to burn carbohydrates, but will instead look to burn fat for up to 24 hours after your workout completion. Make sure your body is healthy enough to sustain such an intense workout before trying HIIT as it can add stress to your body. If your doctor does not recommend it due to your health, then start steady, and kick it up a notch when your body is ready.
Fasted cardio is performing any form of cardio before you eat, when insulin levels are at their lowest. It is great for those who have a small amount of fat to burn or have stubborn areas. You do not only have to fast first thing in the morning. This is great news for those who are not “morning people”. You can always get your workout in while dinner is cooking. In a fed state, your body will first burn what is readily available and then go for what is stored. In a fasted state, your body will go straight to what is stored (fat) and use it for fuel.
Of course, the journey to fat loss is more successful with proper nutrition. Carbohydrates and sugars are stored in your body as fat if not used as fuel. Ideally, you want 80% of your food to be non-starchy fibers, protein, and water, and 20% to be whatever else you want or your taste buds are craving!
So whether you chose steady-state cardio or HIIT, doing any form can be more beneficial for fat loss in a fasted state and with proper nutrition.
Much Love and Health,