Fitness: Do you want to look like a marathon runner or sprinter?

How much cardio do I really need for fat loss?

This article written by David Gisaffi clearly shows we don't need as much cardio as we think to lose weight.
I fully support that high intensity interval training over slow long duration cardio is the best way to manage your weight.
(whereas the most effective way is controlling the amount of food intake)

By David Grisaffi, CHEK
Corrective Exercise Kinesiologist
Golf Biomechanic Certified
Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach

Answer: Long cardio workouts of 30-45 minutes or cardiovascular exercise
may help some people to increase their fat loss. However, that may be
too much training for a beginner and too much for others to stick with
on a long-term basis. You may be able to get as good (or better) results
with less time if your intensity level is in the right zone.

Long cardio workouts may also be appropriate if you are an athlete
preparing for an endurance event, but they're unrealistic for most
people as part of their lifestyle. Another potential drawback of long
duration cardio is that your body will adapt to it over time. As you
become more fit and increase your ability to consume oxygen, you will
burn fuel at a slower rate. In other words, in month one, your 45-minute
workout is more of a challenge and burns more calories than it would in
month six.

Many people seem to follow the crowd and do the same amount of cardio
because it seems to be conventional wisdom that a certain number of
minutes such as 30 or 45 is the ideal number for fat loss, but they
never question why they are exercising for so long. Typically, the
reason is because "that's what they heard."

Long duration, low-intensity cardio may not be as ideal for fat loss as
commonly believed. For healthy people without contraindications, it's
more efficient to perform the same amount of work in a shorter amount of
time. This type of cardio is called interval training and it is highly
effective for fat loss because of something called excess post-exercise
oxygen consumption (EPOC), which is just a big phrase for the "after
burn" effect. An Australian study, published by Jo Smith and Lars
McNaughton, showed that an intense workout can burn additional calories
for hours after the workout has ended. This explains why a 20-minute
high-intensity interval workout can burn more fat over a 24-hour period
than a much longer cardio workout performed at low to moderate

Slow, long-duration cardio may be of benefit in other instances. For
instance, men and women who are overweight may not be ready for high-
intensity cardiovascular exercise. Low-intensity exercise such as simple
walking may be the best way to start.
Just keep in mind that conventional wisdom, "gym talk," and popular weight loss programs which recommend that you
must do long duration cardio are not the only approach and definitely
not the most effective or time-efficient approach.
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