I used to think running on the treadmill was the answer to weight loss.
And it was for a while… until it wasn’t!
First, my progress flatlined. Then I started gaining weight!
How could this happen? The treadmill says I’m burning 350+ calories per session. I haven’t changed anything so why is my progress deteriorating?
The Cardio Culprit
What happened was… my body became more efficient at burning (and reserving – IMPORTANT) calories. So as I continued my same treadmill routine for the same distance for the same amount of time, my body was using less and less energy to accomplish the goal. In the meantime, I’m still eating and drinking as usual… lalalala.
SOOOOOO I realized that my calories-in gradually surpassed my calories-out as I got more fit to run and therefore plateaued and started gaining weight.
The Key to Cardio for Weight Loss
- F – Frequency
- I – Intensity
- T – Time
- T – Type
Implementing the FITT Principle
So, if you’re experiencing a weight loss or progress plateau, implement the FITT principle. Here are your options:
- Increase the frequency that you hit they gym (or the pavement)
- Increase the intensity or incorporate higher intensity intervals (or some HIIT)
- Increase the amount of time you’re working out
- Change your type of workout
The Answer to Blasting off the Plateau
If you don’t have a sufficient time budget to workout MORE or LONGER and you’re already working out intensely (or you don’t enjoy high intensity training, aka HIIT), you have to switch up your cardio TYPE.
- Try a different cardio exercise (like cycling if you’re used to a treadmill)
- Incorporate hills if you’re used to running on a flat surface or 0 incline
- Try a class like aerobics, dance, Zumba, cross training, etc
- Strength Training – Amazing for building muscle and burning calories AFTER the workout.
Here’s What You Do
Work ALL of the muscles in your body. Push, pull, bend, lift, twist, and balance. Your body is going to put on more muscle (replacing bulky fat) and burn more calories (meaning more weight loss).